I bought a journal yesterday. Another one. I say that as though I went out with buying one in mind – in fact I went to an electronics store to poke around the tablets (I’m fighting the urge to satisfy my tech urges and replace my first generation iPad) – but I inevitably ended up in the stationery isle of the nearest supermarket, staring at all the pens and notebooks like usual.
I’ve been at university for the past few months, so all my writing has been done on the fly, hammered into MS Word or scribbled into the margins of my lecture notes. When it comes to sitting down with my leather journals and my fountain pens, like I could when I had a bedroom at my parents’ house, there’s no chance. No time, no space.
Looking at those cheap faux-leather A5 specimens in the bargain isle, I was mesmerised. It all came flooding back. I had to write, really write – feel the tactile sensation of nib scratching against paper. I snatched it up and took it home. Cursing the day’s remaining revision until it was complete, I then set to the crisp paper of my new journal with zeal.
Now, I’ve already got a pile of the things, most of them half-full of notes and odds-and-ends. But this was new, and pretty, and it had been calling to me since I laid eyes on it up on the top shelf. I can’t put into words how relaxing it was to sit down with my favourite pen and start writing, longhand. Nothing in particular, just writing.
Sometimes I wonder whether I was really meant to be a writer. But other times, journals call out to me, and I get that funny itch in my fingers, and I know I couldn’t be anything else.