Trips to the Interior: The Journal as a Radical Act

In my work as a bookbinder, the most common thing I hear from people about a journal is, “I wouldn’t know what to do with it.”

Fear of the blank page is a very real thing. Though I like to think I’m over it at this point, some days I sit down to write, and I still have to push back against the anxiety.

What if I can’t find the right words? What if it’s bad? What if I’ve run out of things to say?

I would argue that these fears have roots in the capitalist system in which we all try to swim. Capitalism tells us every day, in ways big and small, that our value is in proportion to how much we produce. At work, at home, at rest. If we are not going hard, if we are not hustling, we are falling behind.

But I want to tell you that this isn’t true. Our value is inherent, non-negotiable. And I want to tell you that keeping a journal can be a radical act of reclamation: not just of your time and energy, but of your inner life as well.

I don’t tell you this to sell you something. Buy a journal I’ve made or don’t. But do write. Find something that works for you and stick with it for a while. (One dear friend swears by composition notebooks; another uses loose-leaf printer paper and stashes the finished pages in a desk drawer.)

Just sit down, preferably alone, and write. Write with no thoughts of an audience or publication or the dishes waiting in the sink. Just write because it feels good to spend time in that space.

In our free journal meet-up each month, Trips to the Interior, I will give you some strategies for how to begin. And then I will give you the space in which to explore your inner life and to reclaim some provinces of it as truly yours.

 Our next meet-up is Saturday, June 22 from 2:45-4:00. Bring your journal and writing instrument. I’ll bring the prompts and the tea. (If you do want to purchase some special supplies, all workshop participants receive a 15% discount on purchase made the day of the event.)

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