Bright ideas

I love journals.

They are to me what window treatments and countertops are to an interior decorator. As a writer, journals are more important than the duvet in my bedroom or the table-cloth in a formal room.


Last March I bought a journal the day after my birthday at the New York Public Library at 5th Ave & 42nd Street. The experience was meaningful because I have always wanted to tour that library. The journal was a nice takeaway.

A few of the features I liked about the journal is that it has an old-school ink typewriter on the front. Second, every page has quotes from the Classics in the margins. For example, Henry James in the Portrait of a Lady writes, “Under certain circumstances there are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea.”

The quotes were a nice touch of inspiration as I turned and filled every page with my own words. My words, much less lofty, but written with great effort  and love of the game showed how much I care about writing.

I didn’t write my first entry in the journal until December 22, 2015 right around the time I started this blog. As of February 21, 2016 every page is full, filled with scrawls, both wild and controlled, ramblings and important notes. At times, I’ve underlined and written in all CAPS. I’ve used Crayola markers to make pertinent ideas stand out. I’ve let my kids draw in it. I’ve tucked and taped sticky notes to various pages.

Last week when I noticed the blank pages of my journal dwindling, I went to a specialty stationery shop, dedicated to the paper and writing experience, with one goal in mind — to buy a new journal. I took my time and looked carefully at the choices and touched the many journals in my hands to see if they would suit my taste.

I didn’t bother focusing on price or considering that I might find a similar journal on Amazon or a big-box store. I focused on the buying experience and how ceremonious it felt to me. Lately I have realized I am an impulsive shopper and buy stuff that I don’t need because it gives me a quick fix. Since realizing that, I have tried to curb my spending habits aside from the necessities, like groceries, and only spend money on things that bring me joy.

Selecting a journal felt joyful and sacred. I took my time. I considered the color, shape, features, size, thickness, and stylistic features of each journal.

In the end I bought two — one for longhand writing and one for “Bright Ideas.”


The Bright Ideas journal was an immediate must-have. The pages, divided by colors, represent different themes.

  • Red Hot Ideas
  • Blazing Breakthroughs
  • Rosy Outlooks
  • Twilight Insights
  • Silver Linings
  • Deep Reflections
  • Blue Sky Brainstorms
  • Evergreen Inspirations
  • Freshly Minted Inventions
  • Sunny Thoughts

For an eternal optimist and dreamer like me, the journal practical jumped into my hands and walked me to the cash register. As I paid I felt good about supporting a local small business owner.

I am happy with my choices. The bigger, notebook style of journal is going to work sufficiently for long entries. The Bright Ideas journal will be great fun to tote around in my purse. In fact, I might even find myself reaching for it over my wallet when I feel impulsive and want to splurge on something frivolous, like a pair of jeans or something from Target that I don’t need.

I think my husband would say I’ve had a “Blazing Breakthrough.”

4 thoughts on “Bright ideas

  1. Journals are incredibly important and personal to me. Love the idea of the Bright Ideas journal–I’ve been using the same type of notebook for the past few years after there were a bunch on sale at Office Max. The colors must be pretty inspiring.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I started consistently journaling in May 2014. When my first therapist finished her internship, she gave me a book and a journal. It’s a big hardcover one with a floral pattern, and she wrote a note to me in the back. I’ve filled that and another, and am about halfway through the third. There are a few more of the same kind in different patterns waiting on my bookshelf.

    Liked by 1 person

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