Looking Back, Looking Forward

Lately I have been using composition notebooks as my primary notebook. This was more a fallout from an after school sale than any other factor, buying a stack for the year at 50¢ a piece.

An investment well worth the cost.

These notebooks, for those who haven’t used one in a while, are stitched in the center, and folded. And here, on this center spread, I’ve formed a new habit.

When I get to these pages, I use both sides and write a journal that is themed ‘Looking Back, Looking Forward’. I write about my goals, how they are doing, how they are progressing, things like page counts and monthly challenges.

I write about the stories and poems themselves, which are working, which are falling behind. Which ones I should be focusing on, and which need to rest a while?

Then I look forward. Do I want to keep all the goals? Should I try something new, or return to something old? Which things are going to be my focus, and which things will wait?

I fill both pages of the spread with this self-reflection, taking just a few moments of time. But important moments.

The good thing about this reflection is that it comes not at a calendar moment, like the new year, or my birthday, but at an unplanned one, just when the center of the book is reached.

I reached the center of my notebook last night, a center that took longer than expected to reach. Still, a moment of reflection found that the time had been well spent, spread over several notebooks now, instead of one.

Realigned, reflected, ready to write.

Author: jake

poet, editor, kilt wearing heathen. he/him