My Name is Kate, and I have Journal Anxiety

Hi my name is Kate and I have journal anxiety. Read more at

I’ve been flip-flopping on writing about my journal anxiety for a while. Part of it was the shame of feeling like a failure.

But when I was talking with former Inkette Jessica Corra, I found someone who felt the same way.

What I Mean When I Talk About Journal Anxiety

Journal anxiety is the profound feeling of unworthiness that comes when one writes in a ‘nice’ journal. The benchmark of what constitutes a nice journal differs from person to person.

I find myself paralyzed when it comes to using journals that are leather or faux leather, Moleskines or comparable style and quality like Leuchttrum1917s, or any really pretty journals.

I don’t want to write in them. I have the journal, I own the journal, and I carry it with me, but I don’t feel that my words or ideas are worthy enough to go into the journal.

Even when it a pretty journal is the only journal I have with me when an idea strikes, I will weigh between spoiling the ‘perfection’ of an unmarked page. Half the time I’ll pull out my iphone and put the idea in the notes section (you know, that abyss where ideas are never found again).

The only reason I was able to complete my February Freewriting Challenge was because I had a journal I didn’t feel like I had to ‘respect’. Even as I write that, I am berating myself “You’re respecting an inanimate object?!” Yes, internal dialogue, I recognize you as depression and anxiety. But you’ve persisted so long I don’t recognize you until later.

I Basically Collect Blank Journals

I get journals as gifts–a lot of them. I buy journals. I have a thing for stationery. I write letters and I never like to use the last sheet in a set because I want to keep an archive of all the prettiness that has come before. I love quality gorgeous journals but I just can’t write on the pages.

I occasionally want to cave and buy crap notebooks to just fill them…but the draw to the pretty is too strong…and too counter-productive.

So, please tell me I’m not the only one with a major case of journal anxiety but the irresistible draw to them.


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  1. I used to do that. All the time. Now I’ve trained myself to pass over the ones that are fancy to the point that I’ll have trouble writing in them. The ones I get now are mostly gifts from well-meaning people. Sometimes, I take the front page and write a quote or do an ink test – something to break the ice. But that still doesn’t work all the time…

    1. I tend to do ink-tests in the back page. And I leave the first few pages blank “In case I want to do something with them.” O.o

      I’ve been trying to train myself with a more BuJo philosophy in which everything does in the journal and it gets indexed, but I’m still having issues finding a journal type, binding, and paper thickness/line-type that works the best. Sigh.

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