Marissa Lingen (mrissa) wrote,
Marissa Lingen
mrissa

End of an era.

I posted earlier this week about trying to segregate my dealings with politics and do it deliberately and consciously. That's not the only thing I've done recently for the care and conscious maintenance of available levels of Mris. Another one happened as I was packing for Montreal, and it was an odd step for me.

I admitted that I am no longer keeping a paper journal.

I started with my paper journals in 1997, when I was in an Intro Creative Writing class. When I went to pack for Montreal, the suitcase and backpack were pretty full, and I looked at my paper journal and realized that it didn't have any entries for 2012, just for 2011. So that's 14 years, basically. When I started, there were personal thoughts and feelings, there was personal log stuff, and there were lots of scenes and scenelets, lots of pieces of story development, lots of title ideas, things I was thinking about what I was reading, quotes I liked, a hodgepodge of thises and thats. The paper journals went everywhere with me. Seriously everywhere. For awhile I wrote in huge ones because I went through them too fast for the little ones to be economical. I have some fancy ones, some lab notebooks, some hand-painted by me and some by others, some carefully selected for me as gifts and some bought in a panic when I ran out of journal and had to get what I could. All of them were bound books with pages that couldn't be removed. They fill a shelf to slightly overflowing.

As time went on, my use of them shifted. My computer was on all the time, and writing out scenes in them and then retyping those scenes on the computer was no longer a good use of my time, particularly as I became a professional writer. Soon I was composing pretty much everything on my computer, and the journal entries were for thinking stuff through, keeping records--but only the things that weren't public, only the things that wouldn't go on lj. And I started doing that differently too. Soon it didn't make a lot of sense to have my journal with me all the time--it was bulky, and instead of being able-bodied I was a person who was having to deal with a cane some of the time. So instead there would be a tiny notepad in my purse, and the pages of the tiny notepad could get stuck in the journal.

Except a lot of times there's no reason for them to be. A lot of times they can go directly into the story file, or directly into the file I keep for story ideas, or directly into the library list, or the to do list, or...yeah.

These things have a natural ebb and flow to them. My paper journals served me well for awhile, and sometimes when I was particularly stressed I would think, "I should make more of an effort to write in my journal again." Except...whenever I did that, it became an item on the to-do list. It never became a natural outlet for me again.

And so I've let go. It's not a permanent and dramatic renunciation--"I will never write in a paper journal again!" There's room at the end of the last one. I didn't decide that I had to set myself a goal of filling its pages or anything like that. I can pick it up again if I decide I want to. But right now, where I am and who I am right now, it's not the thing that's working for me. It's not the process I have right now. And that's okay. It was good then, and doing without it is good now, and if it's good again in the future, I'll pick it up again then.

I'm just trying to be careful about doing things because I want to or need to or because they're in some way good or useful, and not because I Always Have Done. I'm trying to be careful about watching my habits to make sure that they're there for a reason and not just for inertia.
Tags: at least you can shop there, kasota stone and tornados, state of the mris
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