Of the many goals I have this year is to keep an old-fashioned, honest to God, journal made from paper and actually write with a pen—a fountain pen, no less.  To keep me inspired, I am following the prompts from A Year of Writing Dangerously: 365 Days of Inspiration and Encouragement by Barbara Abercrombie.

I read ahead in December and forgot I had the book on the Kindle so I started late last week. So far some of the topics I’ve written about, but I  look forward to waking up every morning and reaching for my red moleskine journal, the fountain pen, and ruminate about the day’s prompt and note about whatever is crashing around in my head.

Sometimes, my musings are short—less than a page; other times they can go for four or five pages. Although it’s still early to tell whether this might turn into a lifelong habit, I am enjoying the experience and relearning the joys of writing in longhand.

The one aspect I love is watching the pen’s ink flow onto the page and forming each of the letters. There are days that my handwriting looks more like chicken scratch and other days the cursive look so feminine and delicate.

I feel more creative when I write longhand. I’m free from the dictionary and thesaurus. I don’t care if I cross out words or if the ink smudges. I spill my guts and write, not caring at all whether it’s eloquent, funny, or witty. It’s just me, the journal, and the fountain pen.


  • I’m enjoying Abercrombie’s book, too. Thanks for mentioning it. While I am not writing in a physical journal, I am  writing in my Scrivener journal and using her 52 prompts at the end of the book. I adored the first task. “What is your metaphor for fear of writing that first line? Imagine a landscape or animal or weather or music or whatever springs to mind.”
    For me it isn’t so much the first line, but returning to my memoir wip. I eventually settled on a stalker because that’s what it feels like, being pursued relentlessly and being terrified of confronting it.. Anyway, it’s one of those books that’s germane each time I pick it up.
    So, tell me, where do I find the daily prompts or are those the daily readings?
    Also, I love the look of your blog these days. Very nice.

    • @scmorgan Duh, I didn’t notice the 52 week prompts at the end of the book! But they’re great for blog topics. I’m using the daily readings for the journal and interpreting them as how it applies to my own writing and life in general. Patience was a good one for today because I want to finish the novel, but I see I still have a long way to go to improve it. Thanks for the compliment, I’m learning some more neat tricks in Photoshop. I stumbled across the lettering by accident and started fooling around with it. I like this look a lot.

  • I kept a journal — sometimes sporadically, sometimes faithfully and daily — from my teenage years until my forties. I remember I seemed always to write a long entry on Dec. 7, the anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attack, although it has no personal significance. My inspiration was the historical novel Desiree by Anna Sachenko. I think you’ll like doing it.

    • @cecilieaux I used to keep a journal when I lived in San Francisco, and for a period of time when I lived in the city. But someone started poking his nose into it and made me very self-conscious, but also violated. So I stopped. Now I don’t care if he reads it. If he wants to venture into dangerous territory he’s goes at his own risk.