We have so many vague feelings of hurt, envy, anxiety, and regret, but for the most part we never stop to make sense of them. It’s too un-comfortable and especially difficult because we are so often busy and frazzled, hyper-connected yet a bit lonely. To really understand what we feel and think, we must turn away from distractions, common sense, and other people’s opinions. We need to develop intimacy with ourselves.
Our un-thought thoughts contain clues as to our needs and our longer-term direction. Writing them out is key. Through writing, we recognise patterns to observe and, perhaps, outgrow. We can strategise – a remarkably neglected task. We can ask ourselves why we make the choices we do. We can question faulty narratives and create new ones. We can consider ideas before we commit to them, and reinforce good ideas we already know.
Writing is ultimately the task of discovering and developing what we think. There could hardly be a more important personal goal.
A5 Linen bound notebook | 210 x 148 mm | 192 pages | 100grm Munken paper with printed dot grid
During the day, there are so many distractions: a spread sheet, the laundry, the news, rushing from one thing to the next. But at night, when the rest of the world is quiet, we at last have an opportunity to restart a conversation with a very important person we have neglected for far too long: ourselves. We can let what we really think emerge. The night is like a sheltered cove where our more tentative, precious and important thoughts can shelter and gain strength. Sitting up late in bed or on an armchair, the sensations and ideas we don’t usually have time for have the chance to come to the surface. Is this relationship a big mistake or are the quieter signs of love getting missed? Is our career about a longing to impress, a desire to fit in or a fear of failure? We might relive a childhood holiday or an argument, which we’d hardly thought about for years. We can reconnect, in our imagination, with a friend from way back, who brought out a new side to our personality. In the deep privacy of our minds, we can circle round the big questions: Who am I? Where have I come from? Where am I going?
Our night thoughts might sometimes sound weird. They can be tricky to share with friends or family; they need us to be a certain way. We don’t want to frighten them, yet at the same time, we have to give our deeper selves some attention too. We need a journal to hold the wayward, peculiar yet important parts of our minds, so they are waiting for us when we are next ready for them. In the morning, we will be – once more – well-meaning partners, devoted parents, diligent colleagues. But the record of our nocturnal thoughts will keep us safely connected to our more complete and sincere selves.