The Not-On-The-Web Log
This year it’s my intention to write a lot more. Not necessarily in public – whether here, on the punch site or elsewhere – but actually to do so more in private.
Having been in the PR industry for nearly two decades, copywriting has been a constant throughout that time. A few years back my days often involved writing articles, features and press releases for clients. Now they tend to centre around crafting client messages, considering how to best tell a story in a presentation and, occasionally, writing something for the social web, either in long or short form.
Whilst I’ve had the odd stab at writing outside of work, the prevalence of writing inside work has meant that I either haven’t had time or have prioritised other things, often to facilitate getting away from the laptop.
Towards the end of last year, I discovered Mind Journals, a product created by a chap called Ollie Aplin, who had discovered that keeping a journal was a good way to better understand his relationship with the world around him, not least to keep himself in good mental health.
I bought one of the last of the initial 1,500 that Ollie made as a result of a kickstarter campaign and have now been using it for a month or so. Whilst the long term goal seems to be to diarise events and the resulting emotions that arise, the MindJournal is set up in such a way that asks leading, thought-provoking questions, to get you started in writing about things that actually matter. It’s also a tactile, well-presented bit of stationary kit.
So far, the prompts have been around subjects such as my relationship with habits, what happiness looks like for me personally and what I want out of life, all of which are interesting subjects that merit thought.
For me at least, sometimes it’s just about ignoring the prompts and simply putting pen to paper regarding an issue that’s on my mind.
What I’m most enjoying about this process is the fact that this writing is not for an intended reader – it’s just thinking and writing – which is extremely cathartic. Moreover, having written through a professional filter for almost twenty years – and solely for the purposes of academia prior to that – I’m finding it particularly liberating to be able to write without worry about a reader’s views.
Over time, I’d love to feel that I can use this to branch out in other directions, perhaps with more of a creative narrative – but for now, the fact that I don’t have to conform to my own self imposed rules is great fun. It’s also been nice to rediscover pens; my inner stationary nerd is definitely bubbling to the surface (although my writing hand is sorely out of practice).
In the last few days a friend mentioned a similar project that’s being promoted by Tim Ferris, so perhaps it’s a trend that’s going to take off.
In any case, much as I can find time for both paperback books and my kindle when the mood takes me, I can see the same being true of both blogging and keeping a physical journal, although only time will tell.
*Above Images, copyright, MindJournals