The madness in the methods

The madness in the methodsI’ve scratched pieces of inspiration on order pads when I was a deli clerk and waitress . . . or on blank register receipts when I worked at Rite Aid . . . I’ve written on napkins, the backs of envelopes, in the margins of magazine pages, or any other random scrap of paper I could find.  For nearly 20 years, I’ve kept a pen tucked safely through the bun in my hair so I never I have to search for one, and if necessary, I’ve written on my hands and arms. These days, I have spreadsheets on my computer and note after note saved on my phone.

I like pretty journals and purple pens. I’ve stood in office supply stores and art supply stores testing the writeability of dozens upon dozens of pens. I feared being accused of attempted shoplifting once because I wanted to make sure a journal would fit inside my pocketbook before I bought it. I’ve had notebooks for ideas and rough drafts and journals for finished poetry, trains of thought, and diary-type writing. Today, I have multiple folders for every stage of everything I’ve written, am writing, or hope to one day write.

Different phases in my life lead me to different preferred methods of writing, but I’ve come to learn that the method doesn’t matter. I could write on fancy parchment paper or on skin, with a crayon or a $200 pen . . . the words bled onto the paper will always be the same.

Sometimes I feel neglectful of all the half-written-in, barely-used, and never-touched journals that fill the bottom drawer of my nightstand (and the box in my sun room and the pile on the bottom shelf in my dining room). I miss the days of lying on my bed listening to Tori while writing with pretty-colored gel pens on the pages between flowery fairy-swathed covers. But I just don’t feel the vibe with journal writing anymore . . . well, at least not right now.

Sometimes I miss my scratched out notes on all of those random scraps of paper. I wonder if there’s some kind of missing authenticity when I thumb-type on the notepad app instead of scrawling on a napkin. And there was a certain romance . . . a sentimentality to it all . . . but in the end, the words are still here . . . still crawling across the page . . . still living and breathing and still very much a part of me.

Maybe in a couple of weeks or months or years, I’ll rekindle my lost relationship with journals and notebooks and fancy pens . . . and I look forward to that reunion. In the meantime, I will happily dance with my words . . . no matter what tune is playing.

Photo Credit

2 responses to this post.

  1. I have baskets full of full journals, from high school days to about 3 years ago when I began blogging regularly. I sometimes worry that my blog words will not be as safe as my ink on paper words in journals. So I know what you mean. But the keyboard is so much quicker and smoother. My hand does not even want to ramble for long on paper. lazy? I don’t know.


    • “My hand does not even want to ramble for long on paper.”

      Exactly! I used to wear my writer’s bump proudly, now it’s not even noticeable! Every time I try to write in a journal again, it feels really good for a day or two and then I get tired of copying it over to the computer . . . plus, I’m neurotic and if I mess up in the journal, it annoys me, so I have to keep the White Out handy . . . or if it’s really bad, I’ll rip the whole page out and start over. . . . It’s just so much easier to type everything!


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