1.31.2011

Journaling Your Journey

Hello all!  Make sure you check our list of winners from our blog hop and contact Rachel with your mailing address!

I'm back to share with you one more of our design team's tutorials using the Reflection kit contents before we jump into Vulnerability tomorrow! 

Before I go into the full-blown tutorial, I have to mention that we have so many more great tips, tricks and full-blown tutorials in our community.  I have not been able to share every one with you here (although I want to, and will strive to do so next month), so please, please, please, if you haven't already, join the Inside Out community and see all of the great inspiration that arrives on our message boards every month.  And inspiration does not come only in the tutorials, we all share ideas, thoughts and feedback with each other.  I love that!

Without further ado, here is our Felecia and some great tips on journaling:

Journaling Your Journey

It seems like I’m always saying to myself, “I’ve got to write that down.”

And I usually do.

I’m a journaler by nature…I write things down. I would like to tell you that its because I’m so efficient and organized. I’d like to tell you it’s because I have a plan and I’m working my plan. I’d like to tell you that it’s because I feel like I've got a fantastic idea to share. But NONE of that is the reason I journal.

Back before there were computers and smart phones and even word processors, my grandmother Dorothy was a writer too. She wrote down recipes. In those spiral-bound index card books, she would write down recipes she either wanted to try or had already tried. There was NO rhyme or reason. She wrote them down as she came across them or used them. She would make comments about how she had changed the recipe, whether or not it was good, what she thought of the ingredient list. And when she died, I received one of those little spiral-bound books as my inheritance. It is one of my most precious possessions.

I write things down because I believe in two things: 1) I will forget it if its not written down and 2) the things I write down will be precious to somebody some day. I don’t know who and I don't know when, but somebody someday will treasure these things I write.

Journaling isn't as mystical as it seems to be when I read about it in magazines and on message boards. The key is creating the right kind of attitude and environment. If you are all about detailed organization, then by all means journal that way. If you are more free, journal that way. The point, I guess, is that failing to journal is the only wrong way to do it.

1) You don’t have to have any special type of journal and you don’t have to have just ONE journal. I use a combination of date books, notebooks, journals, moleskins, scrapbook pages and my computer to do my “journaling.” How do I keep track? Well, basically, the right kind of “journal” is located where ever I’m likely to do the kind of writing that goes into it. Prayer journals are where I say my prayers. Book journals are with my books. My process is not at all scientific, just practical for how I live my life. Don't think you have to write in any particular type of book with any particular type of pen in any particular type of room. Just find something that works for you.




2) You do not have to write every day. I did a class once called “The Artists Way” based on the book by Julie Cameron. She advocates writing three pages long hand every morning as a way of “emptying the well.” I did this for the 12 week duration of the class. Then I scaled back a bit. I probably journal on average twice a week. There are days I have the time and space to write and days I don’t. I journal on the days I have the time.


3) Let your mind wander. A lot of my good journaling comes from letting my “to do” list languish and relaxing a bit. The good stuff comes from a brain at rest, not a brain on the run. The upside down journaling of this layout was a total mind-wandering experiment. I had all my pieces cut and ready to assemble as a NORMAL reflection with a page title of just “Backward.” But while it was on the table, I let my mind wander a bit about what it would look like if I turned a part of it upside down. After a few minutes of playing with it, I got the elements balanced and *POOF* it was the way you see it now.



4) Write when you are inspired. When we find out the theme for each month at SFTIO, I sit myself down and look at the dictionary and thesaurus and I let my brain sort of run wild with the topic. The ideas are written down immediately, with little notes next to them like “title“ and “journal about this“ and “definition“ and “quote. “ I use these inspirations to drive the journaling on scrapbook pages. When I took photos of my boys for a different project, I got to looking at the photos and thought “Wow...they look so much alike…and they have my nose. “ The inspiration carried me through journaling the whole piece. Go with your first impression of photos, inspiration over a product or the way a title makes you laugh. That first inspiration can carry you a long way.



5) Which brings me to the most important point of journaling: Be as honest as you can bear to be. Find a clean page (or open a new word document) and just write honestly. If it’s too raw or too honest or you would be embarrassed by having it seen, just delete or destroy. I jotted down “Mirror Mirror on the wall” in a journal when we found out about the theme “Reflection.” Instantly, I realized, “I hate that phrase” and wrote that down too. I had an urge to just toss the page, but chose not to. When it came time to put the journaling together, my original inspirations were there to draw upon and it led to some very deep journaling. Its very honest and open...and I’m glad it’s out there in the open.


6) Lastly, edit. I never have just the right amount of words. There are always too many or too few. Editing lets me expand or collapse my journaling to fit on my pages, to make the story clear, to make the point. The words from this piece are edited significantly. Believe me, you don't want to read the whole piece!



As I’ve said many times, journaling takes practice. The more you do the better you get at it.

Scrapbooking is about the photos to be sure, but the pictures, no matter how many words they convey, don't always tell YOUR story. Your words do that. Journaling is the way we get the whole story of what things mean to us out there on the page.

Happy Scrapping!!!

Such great ideas!  I used to be quite the journaler and my biggest problem is "downsizing" my full story to the great bits included on a layout.  So that last tidbit about editing... I think I need to work more on that!

By the way, I think I have the photos fixed on our previous tutorial about Smooch Spritz.  Please check it out and let me know!  And as Felecia said, Happy Scrapping!!!

1 comment:

Patty said...

Such a therapeutic thing to do at the beginning or end of your day!