Once upon a time, I kept a diary. Reading this diary a few years later, I realized that I didn’t really care about the fact that Amanda didn’t sit next to me at lunchtime or that I had a peanut butter sandwich for breakfast. This got me thinking about the reason for which I write – am I writing my diary to engrave every little detail of my (quite average) life into written form? Am I writing for others or myself? Am I writing for the present me or the future me? How do I write about things that I will actually care about in a few years?
After much pondering, I found my answer: the Everything Book. I’ve received quite a lot of questions about what exactly it is and first off, I just want to say that there are no precise rules and regulations. I think that the defining thing about it is that each Everything Book is personal and therefore unique to its creator. It’s more of an abstract malleable concept than anything. I will, however, give you some ideas of how to keep your own Everything Book based on my own.
- An empire state of mind: don’t fall into the trap of only writing about the good or only writing about the bad. Of course you are going to have moods in which you will be more motivated to write. But maybe writing when you aren’t as inclined to, will in bad moods help you vent or reflect upon your situation and in good moods give you some nice memories to reminisce over. In my opinion, it’s so interesting having an extensive log of states of minds.
- That being said, don’t ever force it. It’s not worth writing a couple of empty lines just for the sake of writing it.
- Writer’s block: whenever I’m stuck in a rut of things to write, I always turn to prompts and work off them. Prompts can range from words, quotes, current issues, basically anything to get you inspired and writing. (Here are a list of my favourite websites for prompts: here, here, here)
- Lists: they are such a simple way to organize your thoughts and perfect for when you’re feeling lazy. I have lists of what I want in my future house, things I’m looking forward to, cafés to visit, I even have a list of the lists I want to make! (For more list ideas: here, here)
- Creative juices: get them flowing on to the pages! I do whatever I’m in the mood for (mostly poetry, drawing/doodling and painting).
- Get sticky – stickers are your new best friend and if it doesn’t stick then make it stick (glue, patterned tape, the fruit sticker of the apple you just ate). Anything from plane tickets, to birthday cards, to secret notes passed in class, to a fortune from a fortune cookie – the thicker your book becomes, the better!
- Write for yourself – last but definitely not least. My early diaries were mainly just me dictating every single thing that happened in the day. Now, I do still write about events, but I tend to focus more on my feelings and opinions – I want my writing to reflect me rather than the situation.
I use this large, blank soft moleskine for my Everything Book. It’s absolutely perfect – big enough to fit in all my babblings and my bits and bobs. It’s also a soft cover so it’s less bulky and I found the perfect bag in which it fits in perfectly! The fact that it’s a soft cover also gives you some leeway in terms of its ability to expand which means you can stick as much things as you want in it. The pages are a lovely cream colour which is perfect to write and draw on (though water colour has proved a bit more unsuccessful on it – the paper is too thin and doesn’t absorb the colours properly). I use this pen for most of my writings/drawings. It glides so satisfyingly across the page and I also use it for revision notes, exams, basically everything else.
Anyways, there you have it, a comprehensive guide to my Everything Book! Hopefully this answers most of your questions but if any still remains just ask!