Sunday, July 24, 2016

Alexandra Zurbrick: A Purpose for Each One

Like many other writers, I have this feeling of desire and inspiration when I come across journals. No matter the store, I always end up finding the notebooks. So, when I say that I “collect” journals, I am really expressing that I have little self control when it comes to purchasing them.

I love receiving journals as gifts because each gift notebook has even more meaning to it. The question that then haunts me is: What should I use this journal for? I always fear that the contents I choose to fill it with could somehow destroy the aesthetic.

I consider myself rather creative, but to make such important decisions, like what to write in a journal, I cannot brainstorm alone. I then turn to my friend, Pinterest. While there are so many brilliant ideas on this website/app, it is from my experience, I have learned it is no fun to just copy the ideas displayed. Instead, I allow them to get me motivated to act on my own ideas, so that they represent me!

There are no rules when it comes to keeping a notebook, which is part of the writer’s block that comes with each new journal at times. I recently sat down with all my journals and stared at them. There were so many; what was I going to do with them all? One was from when I was 10 and used it as a diary. Another was and still is being used as a diary. Okay… two down and many more to pick fates for. After much thought, I put sticky notes in my journals to designate a purpose for each one and to feel ready for the journey with each one.

Here is a list of the different types of journals I am keeping:
Diary Style
Photo Journal
Future Journal
Question Journal
Adventure Journal
Prompts/30 Day Challenge Journal
Short Story Journal

By listing these variations without much explanation, it allows your imagination to wander and create your own variations of these journals!

An Exercise:
Sometimes when you are just getting started in your notebook, you begin to feel pressured to fit everything in. Especially if it is diary style! If you wish to try diary style journaling, start by bulleting the things you want to be known in your diary. For example, if you want to run through the day’s events, bullet them. This way, if there is an event you want to give more information about you can refer back, but everything is in there. 

Some people say that after keeping a daily diary, it begins to feel like a job. You CAN avoid this, just keep it simple and keep your diary the way that works for you!

Here is an excellent Pinterest page to inspire any writer!

Alexandra Zurbrick is a 2016 graduate of Orchard Park High school. She will be attending SUNY Oswego Fall 2016 to study Journalism and Creative Writing. Alexandra has written for the Buffalo News and was Editor in Chief of her school’s newspaper. She is on the path to become a fictional author as well as a magazine journalist, hoping to inspire other writers. 

In honor of Alexandra's sharing here, Sharing Our Notebooks will send a copy of one of her favorite books,  WRITING FANTASY AND SCIENCE FICTION by Orson Scott Card, Philip Athans, and Jay Lake.  Please leave a comment, including a way of contacting you should you win, by Sunday, August 28, to be entered into the drawing.

Please know that Sharing Our Notebooks welcomes all kinds of notebook keepers - of any age and interest - to open up their pages and share their process.  At the present time, I am accepting all notebook entries and am especially hoping to receive some entries from boys and men who keep any kind of notebooks.  If you are interested in writing in this space, please contact me, Amy, directly.

Please share a comment below if you wish.


  1. I have recently begun prayer journaling. I am enjoying this very much and it is helping my spiritual life. I am considering keeping a loose leaf notebook for recording my inspirations during the day. Maybe I should buy a small one to carry about with me. This is an especially great time for back-to-school bargains.

  2. I am a journal junkie as well. I have a basket full. I love the flexibility of your notebooks. Sometimes my notebooks cross over into each other's territory. I try not to get too upset with them.


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