[Random] Thoughts,  Art[sy Fartsy],  Mental [Un]health

pen. ink. paper: journaling as self-care

occasionally i’ll mention that i have a ridiculously poor memory. that i’ve pretty much always had memory problems and perhaps that’s why even as a kid i took to writing in diaries.* in 2002, physical diaries gave way to LiveJournal, which gradually gave way to Tumblr alongside a return to physical journaling in 2013. that physical journaling eventually became the basis of QAC as a YouTube channel and continues to be a regular thing that i do.

journaling has always been a way for me to document my life in the place of what will invariably be a lack of actual memories in the future… which sounds rather sad when i put words to it like that, but alas. it is what it is. having said that, you’d think that i’d be into scrapbooking or something of that sort, but no.

…living in Japan has spoiled me, okay.

pen. ink. paper. these have long since been my documentary mediums of choice, camera and film (and memory cards) aside.

it’s only in recent years that i’ve begun to think of journaling (and photography) as a form(s) of self-care. the physical motions of refilling your favorite fountain pen(s) with your ink(s) of choice; the tactile sensation of a pen’s nib or ball gliding across a piece of paper; the visuality of pigment as it’s left behind drying, in contrast to the paper that has been stained by it… especially for someone who is as tactile a person as me, parking myself in a cafe Starbucks, taking out my book of thoughts / ideas / memories, my favorite [assortment of] pen(s), and scribbling away is one of The Ultimate forms of self-care for me and will never truly be replaced by a keyboard or stylus and LCD screen, despite also being a lover of technology in addition to being a stationary connoisseur.

it’s only in the last two or three years that i’ve taken to scribbling more than just strings of words in my journals. while i don’t fancy myself to be an artist beyond attempts at amateur photography, i’ve always loved line art & illustration in addition to photography and i guess i’ve finally taken the cliche “practice makes perfect” mantra to heart. also, i’ve found that putting ink to paper in the form of random sketches affords me a means of de-stressing that is different from inked words. as embarrassing (and often random) as they are, i’ve occasionally included photos of them in blog posts, and if you follow me on Snapchat, you probably see them perhaps more than anything else– my cat aside.

well, towards the end of 2018 i (invariably #BecauseJapan) got hit with the #Hobonichi bug. for those who are unfamiliar with Hobonichi Techo— which i’m guessing is the majority of this blog’s readership– it’s a Japanese brand of planners / journals with somewhat of a cult following both in and outside of Japan.

unlike Bullet Journals, which some of you out West may have heard of, Hobonichi is most well known for its daily planner in which every day has a dedicated page that you can use in any way you choose, be it as a diary, planner, or otherwise. a quick Google Image search will show you just how artsy fartsy people can get decorating, illustrating, writing etc in their Hobonichi– and while i have no intention being as artsy fartsy as some, i have (for better or worse) been inspired by others’ creativity and have subsequently decided that 2019 will be the year that i take up Hobonichi as a new hobby / means of self-care…

…so, 26 days into 2019, i now have a Hobonichi Techo that i’m trying to (theoretically) update daily, even if only with a quote, a quick sketch of my lunch, etc. that on top of my QAC journal, on top of the QAC YouTube Channel, on top of this blog, on top of various other social media outlets. perhaps i’ve taken this #newhobbies2019 / life documentation thing a bit too far…

a thought.**

that said, the Hobonichi has been great for short-form journaling as a means of practicing yet another hobby for 2019– hand lettering. i’ve only just started with the whole hand lettering thing, but it adds another layer of aesthetic to my book of memories that i like, as well as being yet another means of de-stressing.

as much as i love journaling, photography will always be #1 for me. despite that, my poor cameras (yes, plural. don’t judge me.) have long since been collecting dust from disuse and these hobbies aren’t helping that any. i really should get back into photography that involves more than just my smartphone… maybe Instax would work well with my Hobonichi.

another thought.

now that i have spammed you with this pointless blurb which served mainly as an outlet for my photos and thoughts, what about yourself? do you journal, scribble, write, or anything else involving a pen / pencil / paper as a means of de-stressing, self-care, and / or hobby? and no. you do not have to attain my level of geekery for it to ‘count’. <3

*if only i knew where my childhood diaries were…
i’m really bad at spreading myself thin trying to learn / do All The Things, inevitably becoming overwhelmed and unsuccessful at All The Things. i should stop doing that.

YouTuber and Blogger, Vesper is an American expat currently living in Japan.

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