journaling: leuchtturm 1917
It’s late morning, but you wouldn’t have guessed it by looking at the sky. A steely grey, heavy with rain. It has been raining for days, with no intention of slowing down. The wind howls, hurling big, fat raindrops at the windows. The only thing the windows can do is to shiver and shake, the frame letting some draft for good measure. At least nothing leaks this time. There are no unexpected pools of water, no little wet dripping sounds -plop, plop, plop. It is pleasant, the rain feeling like home.
Over the past week or so, I talked with a lovely gentleman who was in need of ballpoint pens. We had a lovely exchange and in the end he said that even though we have our preferences and favourites, the ability to write is the most important thing.
I needed to hear those.
The ability to write is such an important part of life. Mine, and probably yours too. We love writing first, then we love the fountain pens, ballpoints, inks, paper… The writing instrument is a tool, a means to an end and it deserves our love and respect for that.
For me, writing is breathing. If I cannot live without breathing, I cannot live without writing. Even though a part of it is memory of the environment, in the sense that your memory doesn’t only live in your head, it’s also the notebook you write down, the internet you look things up on, the building that reminds you to turn left on your drive home. It is also so much more. Writing is a way of thinking, ordering your thoughts.
Then there is also journaling. Keeping a diary. Chronicling your life.
That’s also important, sometimes because it keeps your head and your heart light, but sometimes it’s a way of saying “I was here.” I was here, I wrote it down. I was here, even when I throw my journals away. I was here, in between the ashes of burned notebooks.
Perhaps, I am still here.
I remember the day I was given my first journal. I always loved pretty, leather covered notebooks. I don’t remember whether I picked this one up myself or it was a gift out of the blue. We were at a mall, sitting in the food court under the white fluorescent lights and the red banner of the Burger King. It was either the beginning of first grade or the end, and I hated writing. My parents thought that a pretty journal would perhaps convince me to like writing. I remember the moment they pulled the notebook out of the bag like yesterday. A chocolate brown, pebbled leather cover, lined cream pages, and a little strap to keep it shut. It’s still here somewhere.
More than a decade -and many journals- later, I kept all of them. All of them are different notebooks, until I found Leuchtturm 1917 notebooks. It suits my journaling the best, even though it took me a while to find it.
Since I can’t “force” myself to write for half an hour every day, but I have to absolutely have to sit down and write when the feeling strikes. So, I carry my journal everywhere. It needed to be durable enough to be carried through multiple bags. Then, I found out about the Galen Leather products, so now they only have to be A5 sized and fit into the lovely leather folio. It gets heavy with a hardcover notebook and a leather folio. It’s okay though. I’m not leaving the house without it anyway. The leatherette cover of the Leuchtturm 1917 is still durable enough on its own. I started the current one in August, though I didn’t write much in it, it’s still less than halfway finished.
Leuchtturm 1917’s regular paper is decent for fountain pens. A bit of ghosting and the tiniest bit of bleed through if you use it with very wet, broad pens. It shows colour good, shading is decent and sheen is nicely present, especially with super sheeny inks. Dries relatively quick too, which is great for scribbling for a while and shutting the notebook. I don’t usually use super sheeny inks or shimmery inks, so I’d say it’s perfect for regular inks that aren’t too harsh. What saves me is that I almost always use finer nibs, the only B or BB nibs I use are from Kaweco, which aren’t too wet.
Lately I’ve been scrapbooking or making pretty collages in my notebook. The paper handles light washes of ink (with sponges or paper towels) or big glops of glue too.
It’s a beautiful thing how a notebook gets thicker while you use it. Even if it’s just ink, it’ll still expand, a keeper of memories. The spine will start to fold in specific ways, cover will adapt to the rough or smooth surfaces you write on.
I have the pretty sage green colour of the notebook and they come in a wide array of sizes and colours. My boyfriend likes using another Leuchtturm for his pocket notebook, with his little brass Kaweco Lilliput. I use my journal for everything, from little pocket scribblings to transcribing songs to writing grocery lists, because the last few pages are perforated to rip out easily. It’s a versatile little notebook.
In short, I love these notebook. I think I’ll keep using them for my journals in the future too. It’s easily accessible, can handle fountain pen ink well, they’re durable and come in a lot of colours. I don’t find myself reaching for another notebook when I have these. I was at a pretty café today, writing this post, so I’m including some photographs from there too.
Thank you for reading and happy new year!