Think Kit prompt #3: No screens, no technology – what did you do with your hands this year?
There is no better feeling than a Uniball Signo 307 gliding across a blank page inside a journal. And no better sound than the tip carefully making an abstract thought real as your eyes, mind and fingers work together.
I guess I’m old school like that.
I’ve been a journaler since fifth grade. Checking out a stack of Amelia’s Notebooks at the library was my first inspiration in recording my life (I found out today that my crush likes someone else, sigh) and thoughts (I want a puppy soooooooo bad). From there, I journaled off and on through the rest of middle school. I think at one point, I valiantly made the decision to “live my life instead of write about it,” which I penned on a last page. To this day that phrase makes me cringe, for living and writing are but one in the same!
It wasn’t until high school that journaling became necessary instead of ancillary. Literally - my AP English teacher required us to begin a journal the summer before senior year and throughout the rest of the year. He stressed the fact that journaling was a habit, and talked at length about the shelves of Moleskine journals he still keeps in his home.
At the start of the assignment, I scribbled as fast as possible to get words on a page, resenting the many blank pages I had yet to fill.
At the end of my senior year, journaling was, in fact, an activity as natural as walking down a sidewalk. But much more fun.
I continued journaling throughout college, keeping a careful record of moments I didn’t want to forget and copiously exploring ideas and dreams within the pages of several notebooks. Waking up a few minutes early to write with a steaming cup of coffee next to my bed grew to be a part of my daily routine that felt like productive indulgence.
The morning is creativity’s favorite time of day. But before noon, anything is possible.
Then I graduated from college. I got an apartment. I got a job - and a commute. But mostly I just got lazy.
I would journal on some Saturday mornings, but hardly ever during the week. My journaling habit dwindled to maybe a few entries a month.
But in 2015, I set out to change that.
And now, I’m pleased to report, my journaling habit/addiction is as strong as ever. I wouldn’t dream of beginning a day without jotting down a few notes about the amazing dinner I ate the night before, an exciting meeting happening at 10 a.m., my weekend plans, a few Bible verses and whatever else I’ve been tossing around in my head. Writing the old fashioned way, with an ink pen and piece of paper, brings a degree of clarity to my life that I don’t find anywhere else. Keeping a record of important memories is also an invaluable part of the process.
So, tapping on an iPad? Forget it. Typing on a keyboard? No way.
This year, my writing hand found its way back to a journal, and continues to "get handsy" every morning.