I’m a saver. As a kid, I had stickers with my name on them that I rarely used because maybe there would be a better use for them down the line.

To this day, I still have notepads that say “A Big note from Sara” that I got when I was maybe 10. Saved. Then not really of interest. It’s become scrap paper.

I bought this journal in the spring of 1993 when I was studying in Italy. It’s still empty.blank journal—what will you write?

When I bought it, I was in the middle of another journal, so I set it aside to use later. Except when I finished that journal, I didn’t pick up the pretty marbled one.

Saving it.

Over the years I intended to use it as a travel journal or fill it up with quotes I love. Didn’t happen.

Since I bought that journal, I’ve filled up steno pads and spiral bound blank books, composition notebooks and clearance rack journals. I wasn’t quite ready to use that book. It seemed too pretty, too expectant.

That marbled book from Italy is up next. I’ll launch it with a carefully chosen pen and neat writing, and then I’ll hop into bed some night grab the crappy ballpoint that doesn’t really flow. I’ll scrawl out my frustrations and scribble out the wrong word. And it will be okay, because those words—mundane or wise, well or ill chosen—matter.

I have years of words journals and notebooks. There are places where I tried to hard or was too tired or couldn’t quite find the words I wanted. Within all that are the stories that make up my life, the moments that crushed me or held me afloat. Within the pages of my notebooks and journals there are patterns that show the parts of me that stay steady and the slow, incremental changes over time.What will you write today?

Do you have a journal that you aren’t using? Start filling it up.

Sit for 15 minutes and write about what you see right in front of you or daydream about what you’d do with a day all to yourself or list places you want to visit. Make a grocery list to prove to yourself those blank pages aren’t sacred. And then start filling them up with your ideas and observations and memories and dreams. Your words and ideas are worthy.

Grow is an online writing retreat—www.sarabarry.comIf you’re looking for some inspiration to fill up that journal or want some encouragement getting those words out on paper, join me for Grow, an online writing retreat, this April.

We’ll write regularly, make space for things you love, take time to really notice the world around and within us, and build deeper connections.

Come write, come grow with me!