Some of the best stuff I put in my journal is the stuff that gets written while on vacation or on an adventure of some kind.
The problem is that by definition, adventure is what a trip turns into when things aren’t going as planned. How to remember to write in the journal under those circumstances?
Heck, even when things are going exactly as planned, how do we remember to write? In the heat of something we enjoy, it’s hard enough to find a spot to sit and write, let alone take the time to do so.
This year I’ve resolved to do a better job. I figure this breaks down into three major parts:
Make sure the tools are there
It’s hard to write in a notebook that isn’t there with a pen that isn’t there, so both have to be there. The good news is that for you folks who share office supply addiction, this is the perfect chance to try new materials. Especially disposable or inexpensive pens, pencils, etc. Not to mention the many paper notebooks folks are coming out with. It doesn’t have to be your main notebook, although if that works, by all means!
Reminders of what you want to accomplish
I usually have no trouble getting the tools along. I’m a packrat when I hike, wanting to be prepared and all that. The big challenge for me is that writing and drawing take time, and are usually an interruption. There isn’t really a trigger for that. State Parks often put up signs warning you to stay on the boardwalk, or throw trash in the receptacle, but they don’t have signs saying “write this down”. I always convince myself that I’ll write about it later.
I need to remember what I want to accomplish. Now, I’ll probably never get quite as good as The Hike Guy (Go look at his stuff. I’ll wait… It was worth a look, wasn’t it?) but that’s the feeling I want. I can’t get there while sitting at my desk or in the car on the way home. I have to sketch a bit while I’m there.
Make it a priority
It has to be something I make time for. I have to tell the family that I want to sit down and write for a while. If no one else is drawing, then it can be pretty boring. This can lead to kibitzing, and I really don’t write or draw well in front of an audience. Particularly an 8-year old one that’s saying “What’s that word?” or “What is that supposed to be?”
I will bring spare notebooks for the kids, along with a few extra pens. I may not get them as engrossed as I will hopefully be, but it should work for a while.
It’s not a perfect plan
I’m still figuring this out, and the only family hike we’ve been on so far saw zero writing or drawing. I didn’t even bring a pen, let alone a notebook. I will have to do better if I want to get what I’m after.
How do you make this happen?