A few years ago, I had some money left on a gift card, so I bought a big fat journal. It’s made by Greenroom, whose products I like because they have nice paper and are really pretty.
Once upon a time, I used to get through journals pretty quickly. I’ll admit that most of what I wrote in them consisted of random observations, complaints, and funny stuff that I noticed. Nothing profound or worthy of being published at any point—just a brain dump.
I got sick of writing useless stuff in journals and instead began to use them for lists of important things I would otherwise forget, story ideas, work-related stuff, and so on. As I result, I wrote less often and the big fat journal that I started in May 2018 still is not finished nearly two years later.
In that interval, I have gotten several other journals as gifts, and they are sitting around sadly while my big fat journal gets all the attention (or none of it). So now I’m trying to fill the big fat one up with whatever I feel like writing about again; for example, a random quote from work: “Animals are a whole different breed of people.” (I overheard this across a couple cubes. I have no idea what the context is.)
The moral of this useless, random story is that, for me at least, there is no point in getting a big fat journal. The little tiny ones, or even plain old spiral notebooks, will do just fine.
Usually, I don’t buy super-fancy journals and for good reason: my handwriting sucks, and I don’t want to ruin a gorgeous journal with sub-par handwriting. The secondary reason I don’t buy them is because they’re often too expensive, and the tertiary reason I don’t buy them is because I think it’s a little pretentious to have a really fancy journal, like your thoughts are somehow super awesome and worthy of being kept in lovely binding and paper.
But my husband bought me this journal designed by Peter Pauper Press (I believe he actually bought it at Barnes & Noble):
It is easily the most beautiful journal I have ever owned. It’s bound like a book, which means it is very sturdy, and it has a ribbon bookmark—always helpful. The pages look like they are trimmed with gold, which has that pretentiousness factor to it, but I had to ignore that. After all, the worst type of journal is one that’s been sitting around your house for years waiting to be written in, so it would be a terrible sin to not write in this one. The journal isn’t too large and isn’t too small (6.25″ wide and 8.25″ high), so it’s not a pain to carry around in your purse, briefcase, or backpack.
At first, I thought the binding would be stiff and make it difficult to write in, but that thankfully wasn’t the case. The journal stays flat when it’s opened, so you can write in comfort. I prefer spiral binding or some other binding that will allow a journal to be folded over, but lying flat is the next best thing.
The only thing I could think of to complain about were the two gold pages used after the front cover and before the back cover. The gold rubbed off onto the last journal page a little bit, but that’s an extremely small complaint.
Would I buy another one? No, but I would give one to a fellow writer as a gift. Would I use another one if another was given to me? Heck yeah.