Finding Comfort in Writing: A Personal Look at Personal Writing

When I was in third grade, I started writing in a blue journal with a fluffy kitten printed on the cover. I loved writing in it because that kitten was so cute. The more I wrote in my journal, the more often I would get to look at that kitten and smile. Even at the tender age of eight, I could understand that personal writing often needs to be a sensory experience. My journal was smooth, small, with a false gold lock that opened with a delicate click. The pages were lined, which was a benefit for my untrained hands. It was a joy to have something to myself, something private and (to an eight-year-old) beautiful.

Fifteen years later and I still feel the excitement from writing in a beautiful book. I am more encouraged to write when I know the experience will be a positive one. Now that my life is more hectic and busy, it has become a treat to sit quietly and write for myself. Most of my writing these days is academic, sort of boring, and without much relevance to my personal life.

I use my free time in personal writing to contemplate my future, to silently complain about my relationships, and to get excited about all of the great things that are happening in my life. All of this is done in a beautifully hand-bound, brown journal with soft beige blank pages hand-pressed from tree bark fibers. With so much structure in my life, I love the lack of lines in my journal. I doodle, I make notes, I write down quotes in the margins of my writing, which slants always upward to the right.

Although a lot has changed in my life since the third grade, I still find a great sense of comfort, joy, and release in writing for myself. I still keep to the same notion that what is privately mine should be appealingly attended to. I have found no better way to do this than to write in a book that suits me, that I am proud to own and hold that keeps my thoughts safe, no matter my age.

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  • kainat says:

    I love this entry because I can totally relate to it. There really is something soothing and therapeutic about having your own little space to just unwind and just let everything come out–especially when we are required to make everything we write nice, pristine, flawless everywhere, the opportunity to have to structure and make a complete mess of a page with our thoughts on a page is something to cherish. I completely agree with the blank pages (no lines) because it really reemphasizes that freedom that writing in a journal, just for ourselves, gives.

  • Janet says:

    This is beautifully written. I have a one line a day journal that I write in each day. Tonight I will be writing your line: “What is privately mine should be appealingly attended to.” I always put a credit line so 100 years from now if my great-great grandchildren find this journal (yikes) they will read your words.

  • Vanessa says:

    I, too, love getting pretty, new journals (and who doesn’t love fluffy kittens?). This makes it seem so poetic, and is exactly the reason I always wished I could experience what you’ve described–the detail, the beauty, of a handwritten journal. And while I did have trouble keeping up with my pretty books for writing, I have filled up many pretty sketchpads, so it’s a feeling that, at least in some sense, I can still relate to.

  • Julianne Candio-Sekel says:

    I think we don’t emphasize the point of writing for ourselves enough. I like that now you branch out more with your unlined pages and wish I had the motivation to keep a journal like this. As an undergraduate, I had to keep an idea journal for a course in idea development. Although I did some writing in the book, some that was required and some that wasn’t, I often found myself ripping pages or pictures out of magazines and gluing them into the book. Sometimes images or doodles can help you express yourself in a way that words can’t, and other times it’s quite the opposite. But I do think the bottom line is that it’s important to have a space of your own to vent, to scribble, and to create.

  • Connie says:

    I have read so many articles concerning the blogger lovers but this piece of writing
    is actually a good article, keep it up.


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