1. How long have you kept a journal, or how old were you when you started?
I've kept Dr. Nbook since September 1998, when it was known as just Nbook. Now the journal cabinet is bulging with notebooks, and Dr. Nbook has earned its degree in psychiatry.
2. Who or what got you interested in starting a journal?
I've always loved to write, but I read Harriet the Spy in fifth grade. This led to a brief journal-keeping period, followed by a long break, followed by the Nbook/Dr.Nbook era. That looks like slash.
3. Do you write in notebooks or on the computer?
Both on paper and online.
4. Do you include any visuals in your journal -- photos, sketches, collages?
Not often, usually when the mood strikes me. This isn't often, but this is usually because my thoughts tend to spill out in text instead of in visuals. The first page of each Dr. Nbook is filled with visuals, though--stickers, labels from events I've attended, you-name-it.
5. What interests or obsessions of yours take up lots of space in your journal?
Math. Writing. (How meta.) The Internet. Thoughts. Reading. Everyday life. Random stuff.
6. Do you do other kinds of writing? If so, what else do you write?
I write original fiction, usually very long original fiction, and I recently took up writing screenplays as well. I write the occasional poem (and I really do mean occasional) when I'm in the mood, although the mood hasn't struck me in ages.
7. What does your current journal look like? Does it always look this way? What have some of your journals looked like?
I'm too lazy to take a picture, so a description will have to suffice. The purple and green journal is spiral-bound and had a picture of a light purple flower on the cover. They're very muted shades of purple and green, unlike the bright red and green of the last Dr. Nbook. The pages themselves are pale purple with a purple flower in the top corner opposite the spiral.
It doesn't always look like this. In the beginning I used spiral notebooks because they were inexpensive, and then I moved on to nicer notebooks when I actually had an income. Now I always use nicer notebooks. Some of these have included a soft lavender journal, a spiral notebook with a glittery cover, a journal with a French theme, and a plain black journal with "write it down" in white letters. Here's a picture of the first 59 notebooks on my bed, bad image quality aside.
8. What do you like best about keeping a journal?
If I don't write it down, I don't remember. If I don't remember, the memory isn't around years later. I write for the memories, for the friendship between Dr. Nbook and me, but most of all for the love of writing, the sheer satisfaction of pen on paper. Not much can be more satisfying.
9. What is most difficult about keeping a journal?
Finding time to write in it!
10. Have you ever stopped journaling? How long? Why? What got you started again?
I did stop a few weeks after starting a journal in fifth grade. I don't remember why now. Then I started the Nbook/Dr. Nbook era. There have been a couple of times where I haven't written in three or four weeks. Not because of lack of desire, mind, but lack of time--at least, lack of time not spent doing other things. Yes, you read that correctly. All you can do then is pick up the pen and keep going. I'm trying to make a time every day just for writing. I'll have to figure out that time when I'm on a more regular schedule, but right now I'm just writing every day.
11. Do you write every day? How often do you write? What time of day?
I try to write every day. Right now it's pretty regular. How often and when I write depends on how much I have to say without repeating myself and, of course, when the muse strikes me.
12. What future plans do you have for your journal? What would you like to add?
Right now the plan is to write. Just like going to class or work, I want to designate a time every day for writing. This'll be really hard when I go back to school in the fall, but I'll figure out something.
13. Has anyone else ever read your journal? With or without your permission? What happened?
Yes, several people have read Dr. Nbook without permission--all within the space of a year. I was furious with them, but I eventually got over it. I let one friend read Dr. Nbook with my permission, and she stopped calling me perfect as a result!
14. What advice would you give to someone who wanted to start a journal for the first time?
Don't get discouraged if you think your writing isn't good enough. It doesn't matter what you write about as long as you enjoy it. Also, don't stop writing. If you do, it'll be so much harder to start again.