The Decomposition Book

I admire anyone who can journal or blog or write in a diary every single day. I know a few people who do it, and I wish I had such discipline. I had a friend tell me once that he had kept a diary every day of his life since junior high. When he passed, I asked his executor if I could have his diaries but they were never found. He had either lied, or he destroyed them. I like to think it was the latter.

This year I’ve been keeping a physical log book. But even it has had its mundane days, particularly Mondays it seems. (Mundane Mondays? I like the sound of that.) As someone once said to me in regards to my lack of enthusiasm and attachment to my cell phone, “You must not be very popular.” Truer words were never spoken.

But just the discipline of writing something in it every day is not easy. I tend to record movies watched, books I’m reading, music I listen to, or things I want to remember later. I write down quotes, or interviews I hear on NPR. Anything that is special to the day or that I want to possibly investigate further later on. I try not to record food I eat because even that will get repetitive and boring. And I certainly try to avoid things like: Woke up. Went to work. Came home. Went to bed, although like I said, that could pretty much be every day if I let it.

I’ve kept this blog for over 10 years now, but it’s not the same as physically writing words down on paper. What I publish here is just out there. It’s digital. It doesn’t feel as personal as a physically kept journal. At least not to me. Plus, this blog has become a mosh of just stuff: random thoughts, stories, reviews, pictures. Still, it’s a collection of me. It’s a part of me. It’s portable. (Portable Me. I like that too.)

Like any writer or literary creative, I love ink pens and blank notebooks. Mead journals and Moleskines. Nothing makes me happier than the notebook and ink pen aisles in an office supply store! At a trade show last week, I picked up a free blank book called Decomposition Book. They are made by a company called Book Binders. I certainly didn’t need another free notebook. I have a stack of Moleskines at home that I picked up from other trade shows over the years. But what’s one more?!

Rather than add this new notebook to that stack, I decided to make good use of it. Like every time before I’ve thought of keeping a journal, I thought about where to start and what to write about. I decided to start making lists. I even named it The Book of Lists last night, using some letter stickers that came with my logbook. There’s always a list to make. We think of a list usually as things to do. Then we throw the list away once it’s become things we’ve done. But what if we switched those roles and made a list of things we’d already done?

Here are some I started:

  • Pets I’ve Known and Loved
  • Movies I Loved
  • People I Want to Learn More About
  • Good Childhood Memories

That’s a challenge I’m sure many of us face. When we write, we don’t want to be boring (or mundane). So I think I’m going to start, or at least attempt to start, keeping journals and devote each one to just one topic or one thing. I have a journal devoted to lists. What’s next?

Do you keep a journal or diary? If so, how long have you kept it? And…what do you write about?



  1. I write about what I did and how I felt that day, how I can do better, what I should stop doing, and how I’m feeling at the end of the day.

    Having a journal is cool. You can literally look things up from the past. Make sure you date all of your entries though, otherwise it’s pretty much useless.

    • Thanks for sharing. What kind of notebook do you prefer to use? And do you write it out or just do bullet points, like micro blogging? Just curious. I’m always intrigued by platforms people choose to be creative.

      • I write in my laptop, I stopped writing in a paper journal a while back, because it’s not fast enough. Typing is much faster

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