Ink and Paper Brain - Intro

This post began in ink. Lately, many of mine do. The borders of the WordPress text editor are only a pixel wide, but they’re still substantial enough to box me in, so when I feel a post coming on, I increasingly turn first to this spiral-bound notebook, “Whitman College” stamped on front in green foil, to lay it out. Ink lubricates my thoughts.

You have, I’m sure, heard me wax poetical about my love affair with pen and paper. One of my Blogathon posts last year was a love letter to letters, and before that, I penned an ode to a missing pen. My affliction has even worsened in recent months: I’m now the enthusiastic owner of three fountain pens, and I have nearly 1,000 blank pages of empty journals on reserve. I’ve even been considering memorializing this passion on my body with a tattoo, which should surprise anyone who knows me.

But clearly, this isn’t a new condition. As I looked back, pen in hand, at my life so far, I realized that I’ve had ink in my veins since elementary school, when I’d fill speckled composition notebooks with fantastic stories about my friends. What’s more, each notebook has something to say about who I am or was. Although I originally intended to write a brief history of my journals, by around page 11, I was beginning to realize how unlikely that was. By page 19, I’d decided not to lump them all into one post, but to spread all these stories out across multiple entries here on the blog–a wise decision, if I do say so myself.

When I was all said and done, I wrote about 15 different “journals”, for lack of a better word, and how they fit into my life. I’m going to be posting them over the course of the next week. The posts vary in length–most are about three paragraphs, some are much longer, and a few are even shorter–but all of them, I think, provide an interesting look at how I use pen and paper in my life. All of the posts have been categorized under “ink and paper brain“, and there’s also a list at the bottom of this post.

Hope you enjoy this glimpse into the various blank pages I’ve filled with myself!

Personal Journals

These are the books that hold my “innermost” thoughts–whatever that means.

Daily Carry Notebooks

All-purpose books and memo pads designed to capture all sorts of information.


A thought a day, every day.

Artistic Things

The books whose contents are less blather-y, more creative.

Grand Projects

All aspirational and shit.

Organization and Other Mundanity

I tried to make up for these journals’ mundane purposes with mildly interesting commentary.