Rediscover Your Story: A Journal for Creative Exploration
by Drew Kimble
I’m going to have to make this quick; because I have writing to do.
I have writing to do because this book inspired me to do it.
I am a writer, both a blog/ranter and a novelist; I am also a full-time high school teacher, because my vocation doesn’t make me money. I struggle, constantly and consistently, with keeping my passion and focus as a writer, because it is so easy to let the writing slide off to the side, to tell myself that I “need” to do work for my job, that my job is “important” and “valuable” and “worth spending time on.” It is even easier to find things that are related to writing, but not actually writing, and do those things in my free time; that way I can tell myself that I am writing, without actually doing too much of it. And of course I have to put aside the actual writing until later; I am too busy, and too tired. I don’t have time.
I’m not going to say that this book changed my life, because I’m not done working with it: I haven’t written out all the prompts, haven’t answered all the questions, haven’t examined and reflected and interacted with all of the inspirations inside. (There is one that I immediately want to turn into a piece of art – which I will do myself, though that scares me – and hang on my wall. It is “The unfed mind devours itself.” Page 134. Though in looking back through the book to find that one, I saw three or four others that I want to give the same treatment – “Do not dare not to dare,” and “Great things are done by a series of small things brought together” leap out at me. It may not sound that impressive that I want to make art of these quotes, but you have to understand: I have never been a visual artist, never made anything other than words on a page – and I’m married to a prodigiously talented illustrator. The bar is high, and I have never jumped. But I will try.) I don’t know that the book will change my life when I’m done interacting with it, though I think it likely if I can focus on small changes, planted seeds, an idea of old habits I would like to replace with new habits. That change, I think is pretty likely.
Because Mr. Kimble knows how to do this. The prompts are varied in style, ranging from internet quiz-style questions (Don’t scoff; we all take them.) to soul-searching checklists and life inventories. The types of prompts run the gamut, and the depth as well; I think that everyone will be able to find something useful in here. The quotations which appear in between each prompt-page are fascinating, also showing a wide range of focus and depth, some about the slow march of particulars, some about leaping to the stars. The book could easily be written in, or one could take the prompts and re-write them and one’s responses in a journal, which is what I will be doing; not that there is anything wrong with writing in a book, but I have all of these excellent journals. Though maybe I’m wrong: maybe I should do something different from my usual habit. Maybe I should write in this book.
I think I will.
One last comment: as a teacher, I could definitely use these as journal-writing prompts for my students. Particularly the prompts that push one to search for and define one’s self, one’s identity – and the ones that get you thinking about your future, too. Those would be good for my high school English classes.
This is a good journal. If you’re looking for one, this is a good choice.