Follow-up: Leuchtturm 1917 Some Lines a Day

By Tina Koyama

It has been more than a year since I reviewed the Leuchtturm 1917 Some Lines a Day five-year diary, so I thought it might be a good time to check in and let you know how I’ve been doing with it. 

Distressed at the time about some negative thoughts and feelings I had been having, I intended with Some Lines a Day to focus on writing at least one kind thought about someone each day. On most days, it was easy to think of at least one person to think a kind thought about. Often it was related to a kindness someone had shown me. But occasionally I was so angry, sad or despondent that it was a challenge to pull myself out of my own head to think about someone else – and having the diary to write in gave me a reason to do so. 

I didn’t always have perfect attendance; some days I left blank, but I rarely skipped more than one day. After about half the year, though, I fell off the wagon completely and wasn’t sure if I’d ever pick up the five-year diary again.

Since I had begun the book on my birthday in November 2020, a year later on my birthday I started reading some of those early entries. I was surprised to find it gratifying and sometimes moving to be reminded of whoever I had thought and written about each day. Reading made me realize that now the book would have two rewards: Thinking about something positive and also recalling whatever positive thought I had had a year prior. It had become a “memory book” and not just a diary.

In November 2021, I started writing in it again with a more general theme of gratitude and appreciation. Most of my entries are still about people, but now I also acknowledge situations or events that are not necessarily associated with specific individuals. As I read the entry for the prior year on the same page, I see the full value of keeping a diary in this format: Without having to dig through my shelves or closet to look for old journals, I can see in an instant whatever or whoever I was thinking about a year ago. Yes, it’s only a few lines a day, but that’s all I need to pull myself out of my own head to recall a good moment.

According to one source, 68 percent of resolution-making Americans will break them by Feb. 1. Although I don’t make New Year’s resolutions, I’m here to say that it’s OK to fall off the wagon and then get back on again. Just because you’ve abandoned a diary, a sketchbook or whatever you had committed to using doesn’t mean it’s forever. If it gave you joy then and might give you joy again, just start again.

Tina Koyama is an urban sketcher in Seattle. Her blog is Fueled by Clouds & Coffee, and you can follow her on Instagram as Miatagrrl.


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7 comments / Add your comment below

  1. I started my Some Lines A Day on Jan 1, 2020. I have to say it’s become a favorite part of my daily ritual. The longer you keep with it, the more gratifying it becomes because each day when you hit something down, you can look back and see where you were in previous years…I love it

  2. I too started with this Some Lines a Day journal on 1/1/2021. Since beginning and enjoying this journal immensely, I have given copies to people in my life that I think would enjoy the habit of recording a few lines of what they have been thinking each day as much as I do. I am reminded of the Merleau-Ponty quote – “My own words take me by surprise and teach me what I think.”

  3. I started mine in 2020 and I like seeing reminders of things I would have forgotten about otherwise. One memory that stands out was going to see a comet and sharing binoculars with a mom and her son that didn’t have any. That was pretty much lost to me til I saw it in the journal!
    Thanks for this lovely review.

  4. We are in year 5 of our Some Lines A Day. It has been a pleasure to write; we rarely miss a day and it is wonderful to look back to see where one was two or three years ago. We put the morning temperature upper left and then tell the major personal occurrences. Politics? Rarely. It is for us. (Minor complaint: it is not really fountain pen friendly.). It really repays continuing!

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