December Writing Cave – Day 27

I finished my journal interiors and cover designs!

I didn’t realize Canva had a max page count of 250, so I ended up redoing both journals and formatting in Word. Technically, it was easier than doing it in Canva to begin with, but I tend to do everything in Canva because I love it so much. Also, my design ideas were easier to translate to Word because I’d already done them in Canva.

Not going to lie, though, my eyes were on fire by the time I finished recreating those pages last night. I reviewed, made some edits, and exported to spec this morning.

Then I did a happy dance. Literally.

Although there wasn’t a lot of writing to be done, it was a lot of work to set these up—the covers are simple but creating the pattern for the covers was tedious.

Anyway, now I’m going to let them rest (like a steak fresh out of the oven [even though I don’t eat beef]). I’m excited to see how they turn out physically. If they turn out as well as I think they will, you’ll be the first to know because you’re special.

Definitely treating myself to a fancy fruit popsicle tomorrow to celebrate (there’s a cute shop nearby).

Yes, I’m still stuck on the story from yesterday. I’m letting the characters marinate until they want to tell me their story. Forcing stories never turns out well for me. I’ll let you know when I get past that wall.

P.S. Three posts in one week! Who is this woman?

P.P.S. Also, tomorrow’s my grandma’s birthday and it’s been five years since she died and I still get sad I can’t call her to tell her happy birthday but last year when I got a new phone I found a voice message that she left me for my 27th (I think) birthday in my Voice Recorder app of all things so I’ll probably listen to that a couple times instead. I cried when I found it because, seriously, how does one old voicemail end up in my voice recorder files?

Anyway, that’s it.

Journaling is Writing

I’m a strong advocate for journaling. It’s a great way to relive stress, flesh out thoughts, and memorialize events in our lives. I often use journaling to vent my frustrations and to really understand what I’m thinking. There are times when I can’t fully work through what I’m feeling until I write things down. Strangers on the internet often advise that writers should write every day no matter if it is a full story, part of a story, a scene, a list of imagery, setting descriptions… whatever.

There are many days when journaling is the only writing I get done. It may not have anything to do with my creative writing process, but translating thoughts and ideas onto paper, in any form, is what writing is about. Journaling keeps our writing muscles active, literally and figuratively, but there are times when even my journaling isn’t great. Some days I can only manage a sentence or two, but at least I wrote something.

I did a daily journaling challenge a couple years ago. Every day, for the entire year, I journaled… even if I felt like I didn’t have anything to say. The days when I felt the most wordless, were often the days I was holding a lot in, so journaling forced me to express those thoughts and feelings in writing. I’m always afraid to be one hundred percent honest in my journaling, however. I still feel like somebody is going to pick up my journal and read something I don’t want them to know, so I do censor myself to an extent when I reflect or vent. I’m trying to break out of that fear, though, because I know that being completely honest with myself, especially in journaling, is the best way to release stress and find solutions to anything I may be struggling with.

I love giving journals as gifts, especially when I know the person does not have a journaling routine yet. I truly believe that journaling is a healing practice. I have a journal now that I love. I got it from Target a couple of years ago. It’s big (over 300 pages), and has a stiff cloth cover. I’m almost to the end of it so I have been looking for a new one, but I can’t find anything comparable to the one I have. I wish I’d gotten two of them the first time. I’ve never used the same type of journal twice because I always ended up finding something better the next time I needed one. This time is the exception, though. This time has me thinking about designing my own.

Designing my own journal would be amazing, but it’s been a challenge finding the right manufacturer to produce the kind of journal I want with a reasonable price point. Some of the really nice places have a minimum order requirement that would fill my entire closet. Though I have thought about designing journals similar to the one I use currently to sell, I need to have one for myself first to make sure it’s worth selling.

If anybody out there knows where I can get a good, thick, cloth-covered journal for a decent price, or where I can get one made, let me know. And if I ever decide to design and sell NINE & TWO branded journals, I’ll let you know.