What's in My Bag

What’s in my diary? — Claudia Dawson

What’s in my … ? issue #126

I am editor of this newsletter and co-writer of Recomendo. I am also the founder and poetry editor of Phantom Kangaroo — an eerie place for poems. I blog at claudiadawson.blog and you can find me on Twitter @clauddaws. Off the web, I live in San Jose with my husband, dog, cat and turtle. — Claudia


My diaries are relics of my past. I return to them when I need a reminder of who I was and what I’ve overcome. The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior and my diaries maintain a continuity that my memory cannot. Over time I’ve perfected my diary set-up and feel like it’s worth sharing!

As far as what’s actually written in my diary is this: imagery from dreams, all of my worries, streams of consciousness, fragments of poetry, gratitude, and descriptions of moments I wish I could live in forever.


Custom Hardback Notebook by Papier ($27)
Over the years I’ve had all different kinds of diaries — Moleskine, handmade, Mead spiral notebooks, etc. — but I realized that my favorite diaries to write in were hardcover. It gives more weight to what I write — literally and figuratively — it just feels more important. Papier has hundreds of designs that you can customize. This link will give you $15 off your order — so thank you!


Uni-ball Vision Elite Rollerball Pens, 0.8mm ($11, 5pk)
I will buy any pen that is recommended to me, but I keep going back to these Uni-ball Vision Elites. The ink glides on to the page — bold and smooth — and never interrupts. I feel like it’s exactly what a pen is supposed to be — an ally to the continuous flow of your thoughts and writing.


Page Anchor Bookmark ($43)
The one downside of writing in hardcover notebooks is holding the book open while you write. This Swedish bookmarks solve that problem and more, because I also use them as their intended purpose. I own three now. They are pricey, but in my opinion worth every penny.


Copper Page Nibs ($20, 50pk)
Another bookmark, but used differently this time. The Copper Page Nibs by Levenger hold my place in books I read, but I use them in my diaries to mark pages I want to return to — maybe a dream I want to revisit, or a to-do list I scribbled out. Like the Page Anchors, these Page Nibs are elegant and elevate my entire writing process.


Colorful Pen Loop Holders ($7, 10pk)
These are self-adhesive pen holders that you can stick onto any notebook. I take my pen in and out of the loop dozens of times throughout the day and it never budges. I put them on all my notebooks, including my work and travel notebooks, so I never have the excuse of not having a pen on hand.


© 2022