Journal Writing for People Who Can’t Keep a Journal: Think Telegram

A Telegram is short and sweet.  Keep to the big details.

A Telegram is short and sweet. Keep to the big details.

So, you’re at the bookstore and you find this beautiful blank book, or if you’re a binder like me, you make this beautiful blank book.  But then you start writing in it, and man, it is long and hard to fill a page.   And then you do get to the bottom of the page but you haven’t finished your thought, so you go over to the next page and …can you leave it at that?

I can’t leave a page mostly blank.  It needs to be at least half full.   So there’s more time sucked away into the vortex that is a journal.  So next time I think about writing in my journal, I think again because I know what’s going to happen and I just don’t have time for that.  Unless…

The book isn’t that big!  I thought I was a genius when I came up with this idea.  I started making little 4″x6″ books like my Things of My Soul notebooks, and it was much easier to write, much easier to fill a page.  Except, I started to find it very annoying when I could only fit three words on a line.  That’s where my double pamphlet with its landscape orientation comes in. (I still love my Things of My Soul notebooks, but now I write in them sideways.)

The landscape orientation means my lines are just as long as they are in a bigger notebook, but I write fewer lines per page–about a third.  And if I’m limited to 1-2 sides of paper, there’s only enough space for the major details–one sentence for me, one for each of my kids, one for my husband, for example.  I stick to brief, simple sentences, like a telegram.

This doesn’t leave room for elegant turns of phrase, but you’re a journaller (journalist?  Journalizer.) You’re a journalizer who can’t keep a journal.  Work up to that Pulitzer once you’ve established consistent writing habits.

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About sappling

When God created the world, he did it in six days and rested on the seventh. I always wished there was just one more day in the week, an eighth day just for me to pursue the thoughts in my head and translate them to the physical world. There are only seven days, however, so I steal my creative moments in between being a mom and my work binding books and making boxes for clients all over New York City. I love working with my hands, learning new things, and I'm here to share those lessons with you. There are only seven days in a week. Why not eight? Guess I'll ask when I get there.
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