At one time, I kept a journal in which at the end of every day I wrote about the aforementioned day in the form of the following lists:
1) What did I do today?
2) What was I afraid of?
3) What did I do despite my fear?
4) What will I do tomorrow?
I did this for well over a year. It became a mental subroutine that, after some time, ran in the background throughout the day and then, rather easily, loaded up in the evening and generated output.
Three things I really loved about this.
1) I felt on top of things. I kept myself accountable. If I didn’t get something done, no worries. I knew that I would put it down in my journal with, more than likely, some thoughts of how to get it done.
2) Fear became conscious. Writing about my fears meant that pretty soon when I was scared to do something I would recognize that fear and think about how that night I would be writing about having felt that fear and how it influenced my actions. I felt stronger knowing my future self would be looking back at my present self.
3) I found having a schedule for reflection very helpful. Otherwise it’s all nostalgia all the time. My mind adores going over the past over and over again. Having a set time to reflect on my day, and its fears and hopes, was freeing.
One day, I stopped journaling. I felt that the sub-routine was so much a part of me that actually writing it all down felt unnecessary. And it was.
But lately I’ve missed writing a journal. I have and still do write all my stories long-hand, but what journaling I’ve done has been mostly in the form of this and other blogs, or notes stored in an Evernote notebook called Thoughts.
It’s not my favorite Evernote notebook.
It feels cumbersome to open Evernote and decided if my thought goes into the Thoughts notebook or another notebook.
Yesterday, I downloaded the Day One app and Vesper with this idea in mind of how to reflect on my life. I could use a notebook, but with my habit, lately, of always moving I am weary of collecting more notebooks than necessary (see above re: writing stories longhand).
Having Evernote, I did wonder if it was possible to have too many note apps. The answer of course is yes. Another answer and concern is that sometimes it feels like downloading apps replaces real action.
In this case, though, I feel like the different apps provide different contexts and so trigger different ways of thinking. Evernote, as some say, functions ike a big filing cabinet. Vesper will, I hope, function as a small notebook that stays forever tucked in my back pocket. I’ll take it out and make notes throughout the day and file the best ones away in Day One, or in Evernote.
And some of those thoughts, however filed, may end up here on the blog. Like this post. Which I wrote a large amount of in Day One when I was thinking of how I spent yesterday.
I don’t imagine that will happen too much.
Also, I’ve been thinking about creating a video blog. Which is a whole other thing. I wonder in what context, I would draft scripts? There’s an app called Drafts I might try.
Using all these apps, maybe I’ll keep my Evernote cabinet, and my mind, uncluttered by shards of half-considered inspiration. Or is that what I want? A cabinet full of the land of was and might be. I don’t know.
I don’t want to be fragmented in an unconscious way. I want my life to be chaotic and tagged, whimsical and precise. We’ll see how it goes.
Happy thoughts, readers.