journaling etc. 📖✨

Sunday, August 11, 2019

I’ve been meaning to write this blogpost for months now. But it’s just like it used to be with essays in University: I don’t feel like I could ever cover all there is to talk about and fathom the topic in its entirety – … so I don‘t even see the point in trying. That’s where I’m currently at with the very broad topic of ~journaling~.

Journaling/writing/reflecting with pen and paper, whatever you want to call it, means something different to everyone who actually journals/writes on a regular basis, I’m sure. It‘s very personal so there are obviously things I don’t want to and won’t share … but what to talk about then?

journaling – how, what when?

I don’t have a journaling “routine” – when there’s one thing I want to be when it comes to journaling, it’s intuitive and spontaneous. I don’t do ”morning pages” or set myself goals like “one page a day”. There are sometimes 10 days in a row where I don’t write a single word and then there are other times when I write five pages a day, it just depends on what’s going on.
I always try to keep my journal handy. I have to have it with me or near me at (almost) all time. I don’t bring it when I’m just running errands or something, but when I’m on a day out, going to a café, having time on my own, traveling etc., it’s always with me.
I also tend to miss my journal when I haven’t written in it for a while … like you’d miss a friend you haven’t seen or talked to in some time. That actually might help explain what/how I journal. I don’t recap the happenings of every single day – that’s how I journaled as a teen and there’s nothing wrong with that, let me tell you. In general, however you choose to go about your journaling – as long as it’s right for you, it’s the right way of doing it.

Anyways. I sometimes simply brain dump a lot of random thoughts in my journal. For example when something annoying, frustrating, out of the ordinary happened that I want to move on from. As soon as I’ve written it down, it doesn’t bother me as much anymore.

I also do a lot of reflecting through writing in my journal. When I’m faced with a problem or a challenge, I sometimes have to discuss it on the page with myself so that I can find out what’s actually at the core of it. When I can’t seem to let go of something – writing about it helps me a lot too. I feel like I can leave it inbetween the pages of my journal and don’t have to carry it around with me anymore.
I also turn to my journal whenever I miss my mum and wish I could talk to her, which is daily. I just write in my journal then as if I were talking to her directly and although I’m not getting any answers, it actually really helps. I sometimes think of things I wish I could ask her – things that aren’t clear to me in hindsight, things I wish we had discussed when she was still alive. Carrying those thoughts and issues around can feel devastating. So I write them down and I always feel a bit lighter afterwards. Actually – … comfort is probably at the core of my motivation to journal or is the reason why I journal.
A big part of my journaling habit … or ~routine~, also entails re-reading sections and small parts of my journal whenever I feel like it. I often sort of absentmindedly leaf through the pages of my journal until something catches my attention. A word, a sentence, something I’ve maybe glued on the page… Being able to look back on my thoughts from a few months ago or from last week, helps me realize how much I change and grow or what issues keep on coming up or what situations keep on reoccurring. It’s also genuinely lovely to be able to look back on memories. Even sad ones. Those actually help me realize how even the worst times pass and how time actually heals.

scrapbooking? sort of?

Speaking of memories: I don’t solely write in my journal, but also use it as a scrapbook. Not extensively, because I do carry my journal around with me a lot and don’t want it to get too heavy and thick. But I usually dedicate at least one page to collected bits and pieces from trips, special events etc. All sorts of tickets, maps, selected receipts or business cards usually find their way onto one of the pages. The things don’t need to be very pretty or special, as long as they mean something to me and are linked to a memory I want to hold onto. My mum once sent me a little valentines package, so I glued a piece of the ribbon she used into my journal with a little note of the date/occasion etc. Just little snippets, honestly, that remind me of something and make me happy.

pens and paper

I usually have one favorite pen I use to write in my journal. They do change from time to time, but I actually have dedicated pens that I almost exclusively use for writing in my journal. They aren’t special as such, but they’re special to me. One I got at a museum gift shop in Vienna for example. It could be considered tacky looking, but I absolutely love it. Another one is a really cheap pen you can buy in bulk that I got for free on a very special trip to the UK.
I do realize that I attach a lot of meaning and emotional worth to seemingly meaningless ~things~ but oh, well, that’s who I am.

Speaking of ~things~ and stationery in particular: I’ve used a huge range of different kinds of notebooks as journals over the years. Especially as a teenager, I just used any random notebook I had on hand or bought something fairly affordable. In the last couple of years however, I kind of found and settled on a favourite notebook, which is the large Moleskine with ruled pages. Before that, I used the medium sized ones, but found that I needed bigger pages for aforementioned scrapbooking. What I like about the Moleskine (#notspon by the way) notebooks: The paper is neither too thick, nor too thin and the lines of the ruled pages are of a light grey colour, which I love. This might sound ridiculous, but I’ve had journals I couldn’t continue writing in, because the (almost black) colour of the lines on the paper distracted and irritated me. 🙃

also …

My journal isn’t messy, but not extremely neat either. I always start by writing the day and date but then just let it all come out. I sometimes lose my train of thought or stop writing in the middle of a sentence and don’t know what I was going on about a few minutes later, when I’m coming back to it. So I just leave it at that. I always, always remind myself, that no-one will ever read my journal, that the thoughts in there are just for me. There’s no shame and no judgement inbetween those pages and I don’t hold back. Maybe someone will read my journals one day, maybe when I’m dead. But then I won’t care anymore anyway.
I remember that, as a teenager, I used to really make an effort to write deep, interesting and coherent stuff, imagining that someone would find my journal one day and publish it as some kind of literary masterpiece – yeah, right … 😏. Today I honestly just don’t give a shit anymore. My journal is my journal and I write whatever I want in there. And that’s the end of it. Quite literally.

Well, I hope you found something useful somewhere in there. Tell me about your journaling habits in the comments or over on instagram if you fancy! Thanks for joining my on here and have a good one!


  1. Ein sehr schöner und informativer Post! Darf ich fragen, wie du auf deinen Blognamen gekommen bist? :)

    1. Danke dir! Marylebow? So heißt eine winzig kleine Kirche in der City of London – an der kam ich ca. 2008 zufällig vorbei und sie hat mich sehr beeindruckt. Man nennt sie auch Bow Church. Außderdem heißt es, dass nur Menschen, die in Hörweiter der Bow Bells geboren wurden, echte Cockneys sind. ;)

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Lovely journals! Is this the size moleskine calls extra large? (In other words, not the A5?)

  3. Sorry so late: yes, it's the one that's bigger than A5 :)


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