Our Peek Inside… series takes a look inside people’s journals to celebrate their imagination and inspire others. This week we are happy to welcome Julian Herzel, a self-declared “Poet of the Soul” and urban planner with a particular focus on active cities, change management and international and holistic approaches to city design to solve the challenges of the third millennium. Julian has been using Paperblanks journals for a long time and has filled up 18 journals so far. We are grateful to know a bit more about Julian and how he uses Paperblanks for creative writing and to record wishes, goals, quotes and observations, among many other things.

A little bit about myself

I’m a child of the universe – my belongings are in seven moving boxes stored in my childhood bedroom. Currently I keep my eyes and mind open and my soul in tune to where I am drawn next. One can feel lost within the small borders of a nation, but one will never be lost within the infinity of our planet.

I would like to call myself a “practical dreamer.” I enjoy reading Ende, Pullman, Coelho, Allende or Flaubert; and movies such as Wonder, Avatar, Dune or The Place Beyond the Pines. Other interests include cycling – doing bike trips for holidays, exploring cities, and photographing beautiful doors, travelling, writing and painting.

For me the potential of the mind and innovation is infinite. Some of the most important topics that I want to dig into more often are:

  • Rainforest foundation in Chiribiquete, Colombia and the strengthening of indigenous tribes, to protect and promote the unique treasure of nature for humanity
  • Plastic- and emission-free societies
  • Vertical farming, active/resilient and livable cities with connected places
  • The connection between nature and cities to keep us connected to the essence
  • The future of mobility and the interconnection between well-being and the design of public space and architecture

Why I use Paperblanks

I truly felt the need to have a safe space for all of my thoughts and inner observations. I had some other “ordinary” notebooks in the past but in Paperblanks I found the right unique pieces of beauty that would resonate with the essence of my soul and the craft of writing/a creative being.

Right now I’ve filled 18 journals but I did a calculation that estimated how many days I will live and, at the pace I’m writing, I can fill 1,000 of them. In 68 years (based on an expected life span of 100 years) 167,000 filled pages would mean to bring 7 to life each day.

I’ve also developed an appreciation (infinite process) for developing the beauty of my inner self and my sensitivity, to lay down layers of insecurity and anxiety and to step boldly into the natural state of my being with courage and belief.

What I like about Paperblanks

I truly like the bindings, the hard or soft covers, the mid- and full-sized pages, the number of different covers with fine details as well as the explanations of their origin. I like the paper as well as the consistency of the pages. My two favorites are Klimt’s Portrait of Adele and Lindau Gospels. After years of experience and daily use it truly makes a difference using a Paperblanks over a simple notebook. I especially see this in how the ink flows on the paper. I would say that the notebooks truly allow me to let my soul’s words flow in harmony and synchronicity with my intuition on the pages.

Inside my Paperblanks you can find prayers, gratitude lists, short stories, poems, novels, ginkgo leaves, wishes, dreams, blessings, travel stories, goals, quotes and observations; cinemas, mountains, sacred pyramids, libraries or ancient places from all around the world; birds, butterflies and plants of Colombia; paintings, sketches, photographs, lists of movies, books, artists, personalities, synergies and companies I’m going to work with.

How I use my Paperblanks

I give it a number and the start date, sometimes a title, put in page numbers, sometimes a table of contents and embrace the unknown of the blank pages. Sometimes I rip out pages to note things, write letters or small things of attention to people (my soul truly hurts).

Here are my five basic tips:

  • Trust the process and your intuition and the growing of seeds you put into them.
  • Integrate the notebooks into your daily life – make them visible on your nightstand, the desk; wherever you go, use them as a powerful anchor of meaning. Mine accompanied me to Machu Picchu, thousands of miles by bike and hundreds of miles by foot.
  • Allow yourself into the process of fully dreaming without borders and limits – with my Paperblanks “impossible” is not more than the concatenation of 10 letters.
  • Truly be creative – or “connect the dots” as Steve Jobs would say.
  • Know that you are working together as a miracle worker with every single person using wishes and dreams, no matter how isolated you think you are.

My advice for those who want to start journalling

  • Go, have courage and believe – allow yourself to make mistakes but let it flow.
  • Use your journals as something you continuously work with – in mine you will find blurred letters with the traces of rain-, coffee-, tear- or red wine-drops.
  • Always wear your “everything is possible, dreams do come true, miracles become reality – I am the one responsible for my life and everything that happens to me” glasses as you write and work with them.

Some last words

  • I truly hope that Paperblanks notebooks will be in stores especially in South America and Africa within the next couple of years, as it would allow more and more souls all around the world to love themselves more, to connect with their higher self and to create their ideas from scratch to reality without the limitations or disruptive noises of the outside.
  • For me, Paperblanks notebooks are treasure boxes that work with the universe. Instead of gold, shining diamonds out of smaragdite, sapphire, they keep the sum of what was once imagination but sooner or later will attract all of the before-listed and manifest within reality.
  • I encourage everyone to write or to develop a similar unique way of saving snapshots of the preciousness and gift called life as each of us human beings is waking up each day with a new possibility to change our planet for the better, to cultivate our connection, our awareness and our magic skills that were put deep within our souls and heart. I truly believe that within the next decades we as humanity will step into a new age of flourishing and creativity.

Thank you, Julian, for sharing a peek into your notebooks and your creative process!

We are continuously looking for People of Paperblanks to feature on this series. Please send us an email if you have a project that you would like to be featured.


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