Saturday, April 9, 2016

Tips on keeping a notebook

Ah, back again is the notoriously infrequent blogger. I was in the mood for a post, and decided to give a few tips on keeping a notebook.

As most of you know, I'm a writer. Actually, that sounds pretty glorified considering I haven't published anything (yet!). I also haven't posted any poetry or prose on this blog before, as I'm shy when it comes to my own writing. I don't find anything worthy enough at the moment to share with everyone.  But, I have been using notebooks to store my thoughts from the very beginning.

So, let's get down to it.


Right. So notebooks with pretty covers are great, but if the line spacing is too wide or too narrow, you're going to have some trouble. Find what you're comfortable with--lined, grid, or blank paper, and use it. Don't sacrifice actual writing for aesthetic.

I purchased a black Midori Traveler's Notebook early February, and have been using it ever since. You can get it much cheaper on other sites--I received mine for a fraction of the cost from Blinq--because in essence, it's a flap of leather with a few elastic bands. But I like how I can travel with it and it becomes marked up with scratches, a lasting memory of places I have gone. I also appreciated the concept of adding and removing inner notebooks once they are completed. I know that some people can get intimidated by a large blank book, so having smaller inserts makes writing easier. I will be using this leather cover for years, I'm sure. My Midori is mainly for journal entries--thoughts throughout the day. I use mainly composition notebooks for serious novels.

So, if you are purchasing an expensive notebook, make sure it's what you really want. I suggest using a regular notebook and getting into the habit of writing until you're sure you want something more luxurious. You don't want to buy something to later chuck away because you haven't been using it (cough cough past self).


You want to write whenever you have something to write. The reason I prefer physical writing over typing is because I can access a notebook anytime. It' also feels much more real. I may not have a Backspace, but it's nice to look back to scrawled writing, crossed out errors, etc.

Therefore, your notebook needs to be available. Make sure it's a suitable size to fit into your backpack or purse. I always remember to grab my notebook along with my pocketbook and a novel when I leave the house because I always have and this dude happened to do the same.


Pretty self-explanatory. If you're gonna write, have something to write with.

Make sure it's something you want to write with, as well. I hate pencils because the scratchy nose and the fact that they become blunt is irritating to me. I use them when I have to, such as on math exams and whatnot, but when writing in other classes I always use pen. I prefer gel pens because I like how smoothly the ink glides over paper.


If you're always focusing on whether or not your handwriting is neat, then you won't spend so much time on your own thoughts. Pretty is nice, but life isn't always pretty. Sometimes you do your best in cursive. Sometimes illegibility takes over.


If you want to develop the habit of writing, then you need to write daily. Some people allot a certain time frame for writing each day, but I'm unable to do that. So I write every day, whenever I have the time. Some days it's only a little, other days it's a lot. What matters is the fact that you do it.


I will be doing a post in the future on why you should write...why it's a good skill to have and what it can do for you.
I hope this post gets you thinking about wanting to keep a notebook, at least! And if you already do, I would love to hear about it.
Also~ can't wait to catch up on blog reading!

Thursday, January 28, 2016

what's on my desk and my mind

Hello, everyone! There's so much to say, considering this is my first post in months, but I want to start off with what's been on my desk...for the past week. Because midterms ended last week, and I finally decided to clear my desk of all the spare mountains of papers. (Problems of being a writer..and dealing with a hell load of assignments)

I stitched booklets on New Year's Eve as I was too busy to leisurely shop for the best planner to use, and I needed something quick and non-bulky to carry in my bag and write in when needed. This notebook size is smaller than a5, and feels fine to write in. 

This was a first page I did..I was inspired by a sketch on Deviantart and decided to freehand a similar one. There's a polar bear in the drawing, which isn't visible in this photo.

Also..I'm taking a Japanese course and we're given worksheets that Japanese elementary school kid would get. They're really cute, but there are so many characters to memorize and there's already so much to do in my schedule.

Ah, every year I've thought about keeping a memory jar, but I either forget or don't have time to follow through with it. I grabbed a mason jar and decorated it a bit on New Year's Eve, including one of my favorite quotes. I've kept up with finding things that make me happy--or just memorable days, scrawling it down on a piece of index card, and sealing it with washi. I can't wait to see the jar fill up over the 2016 year, and to then open each one on December 31th this year.

Also, if you didn't notice the composition notebook in the photo, I'm pointing it out now. That was my book for NaNoWrimo. I decided to follow through with it for November, but you can understand how busy November was..and thus, I was devastated when I didn't finish writing my novel by then.  So, on New Year's, I was frantically trying to finish it. I didn't, and I had major hand cramping. But, I wanted to finish it by January 18th, and I did.

Guys, this is a major accomplishment for me. You may know how much I love to write, but I had never finished writing a full novel. Now I have, and maybe it's crap strewn together without chapters, but it kept going and that's what NaNoWrimo is, sleepless nights with coffee and cramping hands and a book you just don't give up on because you can't. Ah, bliss.

And...I found a few Magnificat books that my mom had. Let me tell you, these books are amazing. There's something about those super-thin fluttery pages and those words, words of God and people inspired by God and this overwhelming sense of inspiration, and books like these calm my anxious mind and heart. I love, love this excerpt from one of Ann Voskamp's books. Her writing is breathless, and I haven't read One Thousand Gifts, but I'm planning on doing so. I don't want that read to be something rushed, I want it to be something I can slowly enjoy. Writing like hers deserves that.

Really, when I cleared my desk and felt like trying to cutely organize my things, even I was surprised. I haven't been into "cute" things for the longest time. Only because there's no time to make stuff anymore, like craft and sew, so I only snatch moments of the day to write.

Anyway, on to the reason why I haven't been posting in such a long time is because I'm indecisive about life, and I'm so stressed and exhausted. That's that in a fishbowl. I could go on, but I have a feeling all my previous posts have been about me feeling stressed and busy and so on. And I know you have your own lives and issues and you feel overwhelmed a lot, too. 

But you know what? I realize that I am breathing today and I can feel myself breathing and somehow this body that will feel crippled or tired or worthless sometimes is fighting to keep me alive because it's reminding me that life is valuable and something to fight for is and I am breathing today and that's a miracle in itself.
Sometimes you just have to breathe and listen to yourself breathe.

with love

Monday, April 20, 2015


I know, I'm sorry. It's been a while. 
It's been busy, but I've found time to craft and make stuff. I've been meaning to blog, I really have. It's just that I'm not sure whether or not I want to blog anymore. See, I wanted to make a new one, but lately I've been so super indecisive about everything, and it's super frustrating. I have a blog name picked out one day, and then the next I just don't feel it anymore. It's really frustrating, too, because I've been meaning to get this done since, like, forever.

So, I'm not too sure about that. But I'll still be around, reading up on blogs, because you guys are what makes this blogging community worthwhile. I just want to say thank you so much for the sweet comments and emails you've sent me about asking how I've been. It's really nice to come to a nice message from someone I've never met before after a long day. you all are the best <3

What have you all been up to? I went to London and Paris last week. It was pretty cool, except for the scary gypsies that got rough with a few of my classmates and my dad getting pickpocketed by three guys. (these made quite some stories for everyone back home!) And I've posted photos on my instagram, if you want to take a look.

And yes, I've been using instagram a lot more lately. Probably because it's so simple to just post a photo, ha ha.

Still suffering from jet lag, I'm feeling so tired while writing this lol. I think I'll take another nap, but I couldn't before typing up this post, to let you know how I've been. In a little while I'll probably read through my blog feed, would love to see what you all have been posting lately! :)


Friday, February 27, 2015

weekend, weekend!

hello hello!

i am so so happy + ready for the weekend! it's been a busy week, but i try my best to get some fun "me" time--either working in my planner, staging photos, etc.--all things that make me happy. 
i'm hoping for a few hours tomorrow to kick my feet up and scroll through blogland...catch up on blog post reading!

love love love! MJ