I used to carry around a nice journal that I only used to write down thoughts I wanted to keep forever. I avoided writing unworthy things like daily to-dos because I didn’t think I would want to look back five years later and know that on xx day, I had to do laundry.

This ended up being some sort of block that inhibited me from writing at all. As a designer and crafter, I often need to sketch out ideas. If I wanted to sketch something out, I ended up using the backs of junk mail or any scrap paper lying around. My desk and floor became cluttered with these papers.

Last year I started using a crap journal. It was an ugly, lined spiral-bound notebook with the logo of a company that my friend worked for plastered on its textureless bright white pages – exactly the kind of notebook that I’d never buy. 💭 Do all creatives dislike lined notebooks? 🤔

When I started writing in this notebook, I had no idea the impact it would have. Perhaps it’s the idea of how unprecious it was, I became unshackled from the mental block that kept me from writing. I began to write everything down: from daily to-do’s, schedules, goals & accomplishments to notes on new words, random thoughts, reflections on therapy sessions and things I’ve read.

Looking back on this journal, I realized how freeing it was to have a crap journal. I didn’t care that coffee had stained the entire spine. Because the pages weren’t made of fancy paper, no thought felt too unworthy to be written. My chicken scratches deserved just as much space as my detailed drawings.

There are only six pages left in my crap journal. I had intended to throw it out once I filled its pages because another life goal of mine is to have less things. But flipping through the pages, I decided it’s a keeper. What a dichotomy – now that I’m keeping it, I wish the journal looked closer to my aesthetics, but at the same time, I know that if I had started with a beautiful notebook, I wouldn’t have felt as free to write as much as I did.

Having had this journal for almost a year, I think it’s safe to say that I’ve overcome the hurdle of feeling something is too unworthy of being written. Sharing this tip of using a crap journal to encourage more people to write! The act of journaling is so cathartic and apparently has a ton of health benefits!

Drop me a comment below to share your journey in journaling 🙂

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