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SOLS: A New Journal 10+

Slice of Life Stories hosted

There has been lots of talk as of late about journals, writer's notebooks, and baskets exploding with notes, ticket stubs, and pictures.  Ruth, Christy, Deb and Jennifer all shared their thoughts and feelings. As great writers do, they got me thinking about my love-hate-to-take-the-time relationship with notebooks.

I love a new, blank, ready-to-write-in journal.  I will buy them just because they look pretty with hopes of writing, holding moments, scribbling notes, describing my hopes and dreams, or whatever my little heart desires. I always have the best of intentions.

Like many others, I eagerly start capturing ideas in my new pretty journal using my just-right-perfect pen. The first couple pages even display my prettiest handwriting.

Days later . . . my pretty notebook sits open waiting on top of a pile on the counter with a few more ideas of stories to share that I managed to jot down in that extra minute.

Weeks later . . . I write a blog post reminding myself that I need to meet up with that old friend again.  Where is that pretty notebook anyway? Oh, I see it nestled in the middle of that pile that's growing on the counter.

Months later . . . untouched and nowhere in sight.  Probably at the bottom of that pile that I've been meaning to organize for, well, months.

Maybe I need to go out and buy another pretty little journal?  Yeah, that's what I'll do.

Repeat of the days, weeks, and months later.  That's the life cycle of my writer's notebook.


In late December, a blog post appears from Mary Lee Hahn from A Year of Reading.

She wrote about a time machine that was a journal.  A 10 year journal.  I know what you are thinking:  That seems like quite a commitment (10 years?!?) when I'm having a difficult time writing for a week in that pretty new journal with that just-right-perfect pen!

But what I love about this journal is that each day offers only 4 lines to record a snapshot of life.  I can do that!  One to two minutes at the end of a day to capture the day's best, worst, or otherwise.  I can really do that! That's why it says it's a tool for documenting life, a.k.a The Busy Person's Journal.  So, I did it.  I purchased that journal "because time flies."  As a newer mom with limited time in the day, this seems too good to be true!

It isn't pretty on the outside.  It's not slim enough to slip into my purse.  But I can still use my favorite pen -- a Zebra SARASA purple gel pen is my current choice.  I'm sixteen days in and I haven't missed a day!

A peek inside my new Journal 10+.


  1. WooHoo. 16 days. That's awesome. I still don't write every day in my notebook. I try, but life happens. I just like to play in mine when the mood hits....

  2. I've become so tech oriented that I've stopped carrying around a notebook (GASP!). I use the notes feature on my iPhone now to jot things I want to write about. Your post is making me think it's time to start writing on paper again. Just need to find something small to tuck in the purse (or the diaper bag - truth be told).

  3. I love reading everyone's process with notebooks as I try to feel my way through this foreign territory. Slowly a process will morph for me. I have to admit I did browse the journal section of Barnes & Noble on Sunday. It's a small step, but at least a step.

  4. Great job! You have nearly made it an official habit. Keep writing. If it weren't for asking my kids to write I might go weeks without sitting down to write myself. I try to follow others' great advice to model so when I my students write I at least start with my notebook. When they read I make sure I carve out some time to be reading as well (and make all the other adults in my room do the same!)In ten years minus 16 days will we still be slicing? You'll have to tell us if you make it.

  5. Neat journal -- a lot like my new one! (I like it for the same reason you do -- having only a few lines to write on makes it seem doable!) I've also written my few lines EVERY DAY so far. Good job on yours, and keep that purple pen moving! :-) My favorite part of your post was the first part though, because I had the EXACTLY the same cycle -- buy pretty notebook and get excited, write for a little while, let pretty notebook get buried on a shelf someone, think that a new pretty notebook will motivate me, & repeat. Great description!

    P.S. My first thought was "OOH, you linked to me!!!" followed by "Did you just imply that I'm a great writer?!" So thanks, although I don't think I deserve it!

  6. I haven't looked at my new writers notebook since I made my list of ideas from my OLW. Hello, I need to read that list over again post something. I'm at loose ends today, so maybe writing will tie me to something worthwhile!!

  7. I just ordered a five year journal that someone posted about recently. In fact, I got one for me, for my husband, and for my mom. I am excited about the possibility of following through. It seems doable. Thanks for the peek inside! The Fault in Our Stars was beyond words, right? John Green is amazing.

  8. Looks great Michele & I'm glad it's working for you. I also have lots of blank journals that have been given to me as gifts (for the future?). But I cling back to the lined & bound cheap notebooks. Hard to break a habit, too, as well as to make one. The thing I like about this ten year journal is you'll be able to look back & see those 'little words' which will bring back "big memories".

  9. I love your notebook. Congrats on being so committed to your writing. I am inspired.

  10. Isn't it FUN? And...DO-able. Just wait until you start your second, third, fifth years and you can look back and remember...start to see patterns in the things you notice at different times of the year. And what a great way to capture small memories of your kids as they grow! ENJOY! Glad my post inspired you!

  11. It should be easy to fill those few lines each day - just enough to jog a memory in later years. I still have Grandma's "daily" journals that she jotted down in "free" little notebooks. Some days were just the weather, others were how she was feeling, but they remind me of who she was. Keep writing - the girls will read those journals one day and say "That's my Mom". Love ya, M


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