Q&A: “What Should I Do With This Awful Gift Diary or Notebook?”

JournalTalk Q&A Podcast Logo with Heather SeversenIt’s gift-giving season, and those well-meaning friends or relatives know full well that you enjoy journal-writing. But they might not understand your personal style enough to give you the perfect journal notebook!

Has this ever happened to you? Someone gives you a diary or journal, maybe one they spent some thought picking out for you, but you just don’t “get along” with it?

Jenny asked for some advice on how to accept the gift, without accepting the pressure that comes when they start wondering why you’re not using it!

Fuel the dialogue: Have you ever received a gift journal notebook that you hated? Was it from someone who keeps pressuring you to use it? What did you do with it? Can you tactfully turn it down? What’s the best way to be honest without “looking a gift horse in the mouth”? Post your response at the bottom of this webpage, in the comments section.

You may send your own journaling question to be featured on a future episode of JournalTalk. Or, pick up the telephone and leave a voicemail with your question at 1-805-751-6280 (only normal toll charges may apply). If your question is featured, we will send you a thank-you gift for sharing your voice! (JournalTalk Q&A, Episode #19, December 30, 2014)

Audio Editing: Netrix Marketing
Music: Pond5.com
Voiceover: Thomas Gerrard

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5 thoughts on “Q&A: “What Should I Do With This Awful Gift Diary or Notebook?”

  1. Virginia Allain

    I’d tell the gift-giver that you are saving it for a special project and that you already have your journal for this year. Later on you can give it to a child or teen to encourage them to start journaling.

    1. Nathan Ohren Post author

      Great suggestion, Virginia! Thank you for sharing. If “honesty is the best policy”, then your suggestion honors both the gift-giver, and your own style of journaling.

  2. Paras Mamania

    Hi Nathan, Happy New Year!

    Great post! I have never received a gift journal notebook so can’t tell if I hate it. heh!


  3. Fiona

    Someone gave me a small blank book once, a very nice red leather one. Red is my least favorite color and I have a hard time writing in bound notebooks (I use junior 3 ring paper and binders), so I use this notebook to collect my favorite quotes. It stands out on my shelf so I can take it down and flip through the pages when I need inspiration.

    1. Nathan Ohren Post author

      Great way to improvise, Fiona. Rather than using the gift journal as your primary writing pal, you chose to give it a special purpose that filled a different need. And how nice to be able to tell the gifter that you’re grateful for the journal, and have put it to good use. Honest. Simple. Everyone ends up happy! Thanks for sharing.


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