Oh Great and Terrifying Blank Page…what shall I fill you with?
Pondering the awesome responsibility of writing the first proper article on a blog no-one else will read is indeed daunting. How many big words should I use in the first sentence? Maybe it should be on a light and breezy topic, just in case someone does wander in and a deep and meaningful post would scare them off? Screw it, this is my thingie, I shall write what I want.
I spent last year writing journal entries most mornings and evenings, having reflected upon a Stoic reading for the day. I got my readings from The Daily Stoic by Ryan Holiday and Stephen Hanselman, and the Daily Stoic Journal I completed was also provided by them (PLEASE don’t buy it from Amazon. Find a local bookshop, ethical online seller or travelling salesperson…basically anyone but Amazon). My foray into Stoicism began quite some time ago, before I even really knew it was Stoicism I was veering towards, and I credit it with my having not gone completely insane yet, but I’m not going to bang on about Stoicism. There are numerous online resources for seekers of knowledge, including a Daily Stoic website by the authors above. I haven’t visited it for a while as I prefer a little more diversity in my reading (for the record: there is nothing intrinsically wrong with white male writers, except when they are the ONLY writers). The site may have changed since my last visit, and even if it hasn’t, it still contains words of wisdom. Suffice it to say Stoic thought has informed some of the most effective methods for treating mental health issues, including CBT which it is claimed can cure pretty much everything. I like it because it suits my personality and surely that is the least you should look for in a philosophy?
My quandary now is what to replace my morning and evening journaling with. I wasn’t writing for hours, who has time for that, but the few minutes I did take felt meaningful. I don’t intend to post to this blog daily, that would be a bit of a faff, but I also don’t want to lose those moments of silent thought, so I am leaning towards re-reading my own journal and using that as a prod towards putting pen to paper. It isn’t as if I don’t have enough blank notebooks to fill (Mmmmmm, stationary…..please don’t buy any from Amazon, writing on toilet paper would be preferable to giving them more money) so I don’t need to buy a new diary especially for this.
I used to avoid diary writing, and writing in general, because of my fears about not being good enough, which is ridiculous when you consider the only people who would have read them was me and Cyril, the invisible yet damningly judgemental diary-reader who lived under the bed. As I am now old enough to not give a shit what Cyril thinks anymore, I’m determined to take advantage of anything that helps me balance my mind and find some comfort in this world, self-referencing it is then. Maybe next year the navel gazing will be so absorbing I’ll lose this creeping sense of absurdity.
How did I become a person who uses the word Journal? HOOOOOWWWWW?!