Blue 56

Over the last year and a half, I’ve made an effort to write more by hand in my journal.

When I first started keeping a journal, I married it to a rigid style: date and day at the top of the page, standard block paragraphs, at least a page a day.

I tried to break out of this mold in my 20s by allowing myself to draw, write poetry, and be more abstract, but the one thing I wish I’d done more is make notes about life.

During my recent push, I have done exactly that. I note everything in my journals these days, and use them as more than journals, but also as records of events, travels, media, vaccinations, gossip, weather, entertainment, notes for stories, photos, and columns, and even medication notes.

In the next day or two, the purple journal book, number 55, will be full, and I will start writing in number 56, which is blue.

Journal 55 is full. Journal 56 sits on top of it.
Journal 55 is full. Journal 56 sits on top of it.


  1. I’ve started journaling by hand, as well, daily notes, 1 page per day, whatever is going on or on my mind, and it A) is a good form of therapy and B) is an excellent way at this stage in my life of actually keeping track of what has happened and when, and how it affected me. There is no point of it other than to keep a record that I will maybe one day flip back to and say, “hm, how thing have changed.”

  2. I wish I had been a more consistent journaler. I really need to get back to it. After I graduated from high school, I went on a trip around the western half of the country with my grandparents. We even went up into Canada. I journaled the entire trip. About a week after I got back home, I was looking for that notebook and I couldn’t find it. I finally asked my brother. He “needed” a notebook and found that one, so he tore out the pages that had been written on and threw them away. I think that is when — and why — I stopped journaling regularly.

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