How I Became a Writer in Three Notebooks by Claire Lordon

In “How I Became a Writer in Three Notebooks,” Claire Lordon shares her journey of discovering her passion for writing through the medium of journaling. Initially, writing was not something that Claire considered herself skilled at or interested in. Instead, she found solace and joy in creating art through drawing and painting. However, when faced with health challenges, Claire turned to journaling as a way to process her thoughts and emotions. Through three different notebooks, each representing different stages of her life, Claire’s writing became an outlet for self-expression and a means of making sense of her experiences. Despite any imperfections or grammatical errors, Claire’s journals became a testament to her journey as a writer.

How I Became a Writer in Three Notebooks by Claire Lordon

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The Orange Spiral Notebook

Journaling as a Creative Outlet

Have you ever used journaling as a creative outlet? Well, Claire Lordon did, and her journey as a writer began with a simple orange spiral notebook. As a teenager, Claire never considered herself a writer. She thought her English assignments were average, and she was not compelled to do creative writing outside of class. However, she discovered that journaling provided her with a way to express herself creatively and find solace.

Claire’s journaling journey started when she was seven years old, with short stints of writing. In eighth grade, she had her longest journaling stretch, writing for a month or two. However, her journaling came to a halt when she was diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS) at the age of fourteen. The diagnosis shattered her hopes and dreams for the future, leaving her too exhausted to continue journaling. But little did she know that this would only be a temporary pause in her writing journey.

Content of the Orange Spiral Notebook

When Claire started journaling again in high school, she chose an orange spiral notebook as her outlet. This notebook became the vessel for her thoughts and experiences as a sixteen-year-old. Filled with everyday musings about school, lacrosse, and friends, the journal reflected the normalcy and challenges of teenage life.

Alongside the typical entries, Claire’s journal also documented her ongoing battle with fatigue and somatic symptoms. She wrote about specific symptoms and how she felt each day, providing a glimpse into her struggles and triumphs. Despite the lack of highbrow writing or grammatical perfection, Claire used this notebook as a creative space free from judgment.

The orange spiral notebook became a substantial accomplishment for Claire as she filled its pages with her thoughts and emotions. It marked a significant milestone in her writing journey, proving that journaling could be a powerful creative outlet.

The Blue Camouflage Notebook

A Break from Journaling

After her experience with the orange spiral notebook, Claire took a break from journaling for about seven months during her junior year of high school. Unfortunately, her health worsened during this period, leaving her confused and scared. However, the gift of a blue camouflage notebook from a friend reignited her passion for writing and marked the beginning of her graphic memoir.

The Beginning of Graphic Memoir

The blue camouflage notebook served as a space for Claire to dump her thoughts and make sense of her body’s changes while striving to be a “normal” teenager. She poured her heart and soul into this journal, chronicling her ankle surgery, school life, and numerous doctor’s appointments. It also became the platform for her first impressions of going to the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota and the devastating diagnosis of a brain tumor.

This journal became the starting point of Claire’s graphic memoir, as she incorporated drawings and illustrations alongside her written entries. The combination of visual and written storytelling allowed Claire to express herself fully and capture the complexity of her experiences. The blue camouflage notebook became a testament to Claire’s resilience and determination to navigate life’s challenges through the power of writing and art.

How I Became a Writer in Three Notebooks by Claire Lordon

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Content of the Blue Camouflage Notebook

In her blue camouflage notebook, Claire wrote about her uncertainties and fears regarding her future and her strength to persevere. She reflected on her potential and wondered if she had the capability to achieve her dreams. Through her writing, Claire revealed her innermost struggles and the facade she put on for the world. Despite the pain and exhaustion, she continued to write, finding comfort and clarity in her journal.

The Orange Perfect Bound Notebook

Parents’ Support and Gift of a New Journal

Recognizing the importance of writing for Claire’s well-being, her parents gifted her an orange perfect bound journal. This journal came with a heartfelt message from her mom, recognizing the value of Claire’s thoughts and encouraging her to keep writing. The support and understanding from her parents gave Claire a sense of validation and motivation to continue her writing journey.

Journaling as an Outlet during a Difficult Time

With her new journal in hand, Claire used writing as a coping mechanism during a challenging period of her life. Her entries in the orange perfect bound notebook captured the turmoil she faced as she left school early for a brain surgery at the Mayo Clinic. She documented her recovery and the unexpected news that the surgery was not successful, leading to a second operation. Writing became a lifeline for Claire, allowing her to process her emotions and find solace amidst the chaos.

Content of the Orange Perfect Bound Notebook

The orange perfect bound notebook contained entries about Claire’s experiences post-surgery and her busy life as she approached her senior year of high school and college applications. It witnessed her growth and resilience as she faced adversity head-on. Claire’s writing in this journal was raw and honest, reflecting her need to express herself and make sense of her ever-changing reality.

Despite not being aware of it at the time, Claire’s consistent journaling in her three notebooks marked her transformation into a writer. Through chronicling her days, documenting her thoughts, and reflecting on her experiences, she discovered her talent and found her voice.

How I Became a Writer in Three Notebooks by Claire Lordon

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Graduation and Reflection

Realization of Being a Writer

As Claire graduated from high school, she looked back at her writing journey with a newfound perspective. What seemed like ordinary journaling at the time turned out to be the foundation of her identity as a writer. While she didn’t consider herself a writer initially, her journals proved otherwise. They showcased her storytelling abilities, her ability to capture emotions, and her dedication to writing consistently.

Amount of Writing in the Journals

By the time Claire graduated, she had written a considerable amount in her three journals. From the orange spiral notebook to the blue camouflage notebook and finally ending with the orange perfect bound notebook, each journal represented a phase of her life and her growth as a writer. These journals contained her joys, struggles, triumphs, and fears, forming a rich tapestry of her experiences.

Despite the imperfections, spelling errors, and grammatical mistakes, Claire’s journals served their purpose. They provided her with a creative outlet, a way to navigate difficult times, and a means to discover her passion for writing.

About Claire Lordon

Background and Profession

Claire Lordon is an American-Canadian illustrator and designer currently living in Vancouver, Canada. She pursued her passion for visual arts and earned her BFA in illustration at the Rhode Island School of Design. Claire’s artistic creations include children’s books, surface designs, murals, maps, and greeting cards, with her work exhibited and appreciated by various companies.

Inspiration and Interests

Claire’s work is inspired by her lifelong spirit of adventure, her love for the outdoors, and her enthusiasm for travel. Her illustrations exude a sense of wonder and playfulness, capturing the beauty and joy of exploring the world. When she’s not creating art, Claire enjoys long-distance running, hiking, and snowboarding, further immersing herself in the wonders of nature.

Claire’s journey from an aspiring artist to a writer through her three notebooks is a testament to the power of journaling and creative self-expression. Through her personal experiences, she encourages others to find their creative outlets, embrace imperfections, and discover their own unique voices. So why not start your own journaling journey today and unlock your creative potential? The possibilities are endless!

How I Became a Writer in Three Notebooks by Claire Lordon

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