Last night I finished the eighth journal in my Moleskine series, and I was relieved to be done with it. Aside from a number of drawings I like, I won’t be looking at this one again any time soon. It’s like a 192-page primer on everything you shouldn’t do if your intention is to share your thoughts and creativity with other people—in other words: taking all the angst in your life and turning into something that’s totally cool.
My problem is that I started keeping a journal in the ninth grade when it was strictly lock-and-key stuff. A typical entry then (and now) runs something like this: Dear Diary: I’m really upset about such-and-such, so please bear with me while I analyze the situation to death—piece by agonizing piece. This is not a cathartic process, however; it’s compulsive. And probably one of the reasons why I worked myself into a depression after devoting myself to Julia Cameron’s morning pages for six consecutive months.
Admittedly there are finished journals I do hold close to my heart. They reflect those periods in my life where I’m focused on ideas rather than navel-gazing. The second installment in my Moleskine series is an example of this. I attempted to do something colorful, experimental and less personal. But it’s the only journal I haven’t finished yet. There are fourteen pages left and I don’t know if I’ll ever complete them.
I’m looking forward to a fresh start with journal number nine though. My plan is to start stamping in it randomly while watching the finale of American Idol tonight.