by Stuart Lennon

Unless you're new here, you already know that I keep journals. Lots of them.

This year, I began a new one. My OYNB journal.

OYNB stands for “One Year No Beer.” I have elected to take the challenge, and drink no alcohol for a year. Fortunately, I chose a quiet year, with no real stressors at all.🙄

Joining a group like OYNB provides me with all sorts of support and structure. Each day, I get an email linking me to a short video related to the challenge.

Part of my morning routine is to watch the video and write a note or two. Sometimes, it’s a couple of lines, sometimes a couple of pages.

The videos are very short, and each, prompts me to consider something. Hardly rocket science, but for me, useful. The journal is my thought-camera. It takes a snapshot of what I was thinking at a particular moment, or in “self-improvement speak”, “at a specific point in my journey.”

Whether I succeed or fail on the challenge, the journal provides an archive of those thoughts, an archive that will outlast me.

Quitting drinking has all sorts of connotations for people. I catch plenty of my peers looking sideways at me. Some feel threatened or judged. For my generation, the phrase “I don’t drink” almost always prompts the question said, or unsaid, “Why not?”

Sometimes, I ask myself that question. Why don’t I drink? To date, I have 100 pages on it.

Now - stationery. I use a Rhodia soft cover lined A5 with vellum paper and a rotation of my fountain pens. Currently my Sailor 1917 with Kaweco Paradise Blue ink and my Kaweco Brass Sport with summer purple cartridges. Just the chance to use those tools every day is reason enough to quit drinking, don’t you think?

Oh - and the answer to the question - “Why don’t I drink?” I’m going to use the journal as the basis for a short e-book over on So I can’t spoil the ending.