Do you write in a journal? If so you’re in great company. People as diverse as Kurt Cobain to Leonardo Da Vinci were great keepers of journals. The list goes on, Ernest Hemingway, Thomas Edison, Albert Einstein, Isaac Newton, George Paton and my personal favourite, Pablo Picasso. Picasso used to do preliminary sketches of some if his most famous works in his small notebooks and he would personalise them too, wrapping them in fabric or painting stars on the cover.
And of course there is me! I’ve always done it; the family used to call my ramblings “the secret papers” although there was nothing very secret about them. I did ‘go digtal’ for a while but there is nothing like putting pen to paper and I soon reverted to my notebooks. I collect them and I’m always on the lookout for unusual covers and designs but my weapon of choice is the simple moleskin made famous by Hemingway.
The practice has saved my bacon on more than one occasion too. I’ve got a pretty good memory and can recall nearly all my (mis)adventures all too clearly. But on some of my more demanding adventures, when survival is uppermost on your mind, it’s easy to forget the tiny details that complete the story.
Here’s a screenshot from my journal I made when running across the Pyrenees. As you can see it’s a jumble of notes and sketches all of which tell a story to me and allow me to recall the whole day as if it were yesterday!