Back in June of 2011, I had typed up a post about journaling for Pentel’s blog. It was posted on Pentel’s old blog and can be found HERE.
I think it is a relevant topic and since I’ve found myself in a journaling rut, I’m reposting it here with hopes of reigniting my journal spark. Enjoy and be well.
Keeping a journal can be a very rewarding experience. Many people get hung up on expectations and perceived boundaries. They feel a journal should be a specific type of thing, containing mandatory elements. With such limitations, a journal often sits abandoned on a shelf and collects dust rather than achieves its full potential by becoming an extension of its owner.
Don’t feel restricted by materials. If you feel like gathering random bits of junk mail, punching holes and adding a binder ring, go for it. For some, a five-year leather bound expensive journal and a fancy fountain pen is the answer. For others, a fifty-cent special composition notebook from the back-to-school sale is perfect. Digital journals are also a possibility. Don’t feel you have to live up to anyone else’s standards. Journaling is individual and should match your needs and personality. Since there are no rules for your journal, you can do whatever feels right. Change things up and play around. Heck if you want four journals going at one time, by all means give yourself permission. Dating pages might be helpful but it isn’t mandatory, nothing is. Toss every rule and regulation out the window. By ridding yourself of all preconceived restrictions, you will be able to get to the heart of what journaling is truly about – YOU.
Colorful pens, crayons, markers, paints, etc. can be great tools to help you loosen up and let go of your inhibitions. The content of your journal can be as unique as your imagination. Glue in bits of ephemera from your days, document your life hour-by-hour, record dreams, keep lists, draw doodles, and scribble song lyrics. A journal can help you vent frustrations, work out problems, make difficult decisions, expand on new ideas, refocus your energy, keep track of events and act as a stand in for your best friend. It can contain any combination of writing, drawing, scribbling, or coloring. The important thing is to give yourself an outlet.
“But I can’t draw.” Tie this excuse up, cover its loud mouth with tape and send it to sleep with the fishes. Don’t pressure yourself with hopes of a final masterpiece. The process is key. Draw basic shapes or stick people and enjoy yourself. Doodle a border of daisies around your page, color them and have some fun. Journals don’t pass judgment. If you don’t feel comfortable creating your own designs, print out coloring pages. Grab your crayons, markers, highlighters or colored pens and then glue the results in your journal. Some days you may just want to collect bits of inspiration by pasting pieces of magazines or catalogs in your journal. Remember, anything goes.
I am no stranger to struggling with keeping a journal. I found writing every day wasn’t a good fit. By allowing myself to explore possibilities outside the “Dear Diary” realm, I’m now more eager to journal. I’m open to experimentation and have tried a lot of different approaches. I’ve collected bits of my day and glued them on a page. I didn’t write one word but the mementos act as a reminder of that day. I’ve depicted an entire day with doodles. Some days my journal entry only includes words, filling multiple pages. Other days lack a single complete sentence. I find stream of consciousness writing helpful when “writer’s block” strikes and doodling patterns is helpful if I can’t think of anything to draw. Some pages inspire me to share them online or with friends but I’ve also created pages that will never see the light of day again.
I feel that the sky is the limit since I’ve left all the rules behind. Sure, some pages might fit better in a sketchbook or planner but they are all important parts of my journal. There is a great deal to gain; I hope this inspires you to adventure into the world of journaling.
Very few things in life seem to go as planned.
My surgery in October went well but there were some complications discovered. I’m lacking cartilage and my ankle has healed in a bone-on-bone configuration. That explains the excruciating pain and inability to gain a lot of stamina. Physical therapy and time has helped me get moving again and come to terms with the fact I will never be the way I was pre-collision again. I pretty much take it a day at a time and try not to get frustrated with my limitations.
I had planned to return to blogging to celebrate Finnegan McFluffy’s first birthday which is estimated to be on March 23rd. Unfortunately, things again did not go as planned.
Wednesday, March 19th, we took Finnegan McFluffy to the vet. He was looking bloated and his activity level and playfulness had decreased in the last week. Needless to say, I was concerned. Unfortunately my ginger kitten has Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP). The vet estimated just 2 months.
I adore this kitten. He is a dream come true. I’m still trying to wrap my mind around this all. Please keep him in your thoughts.
The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.
Here’s an excerpt:
The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 40,000 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 15 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.
It hasn’t even been a week since surgery. I think I’m being too harsh with myself. I didn’t expect any unforeseen issues with my cartilage and neither did my awesome doctor. I need to step back, relax and let myself heal. Life is full of the unexpected. I know this well. Life should be full if kindness and understanding. I’ll try to refocus and breathe slowly. No point in berating myself when I’m already knee deep in the unexpected. Right?
Another week has come and gone. I cannot believe it is the 21st of October already. My indecision about my 2014 planner has ended. I bid and won a RED Moleskine horizontal weekly planner. It is a 2013-2014 version so I can start transferring information over as it arrived on Saturday. Thank you Journaling Arts! (There is also a store you can buy from here.)
I really loved this Paperblanks planner. It’ll be hard to say goodbye but I am looking forward to the slightly larger pages and the bold red cover of my new one. Now if only I could convince the paper to be as nice….
I love Halloween. I love autumn and crunchy leaves under foot and crisp cool breezes. I splurged a bit as I have mentioned and this week I decided to start using my new Halloween stickers. They are small but perfect for my planner spreads. Isn’t the witch, werewolf and scary tree amazingly awesome? All of them are fun and cute and make me smile. I’ll be using more for this new week.
I’m still up in the air about my 2014 planner. I keep bouncing around ideas. I have a couple personal sized Filofax binders. I’d need 2014 inserts or a punch. I’m afraid personal would be too small but that A5 will be too large. I’m toying with the idea of another Moleskine weekly planner. I really liked the week on two pages that was 5.5 inches by 8ish. I do have Levenger Circa, Rollabind, Staples Arc discbound supplies. I could DIY a junior sized planner or buy refills. I could buy or DIY some refills for my faux-Midori Traveler’s Notebook that I got from Davis Leatherworks. Another idea is to have a new “Everything Book”. I’ve had one before and it worked well. I could DIY one of many unused journals from my stash into an Everything Book or do a more organized planner style layout. I’m trying to keep my out-of-pocket costs very low. Sometimes having too many options is a bad thing…
Anyone already know what planner they are using for 2014? Feel free to share in the comments. I’d love it!
Take care and be well.
Today is October 9th which means yesterday was October 8th. I had thought about it as it approached but I guess it slipped my mind when it actually came to be “today”. Yesterday was the 2 year anniversary of a big day in my life.
The car collision that broke all three of my ankle bones was on Saturday, October 8th 2011 around 3:15 in the afternoon. I remember some parts so vividly but others have faded with time. That’s a good thing. That means I’m healing in a lot of ways.
I went back and reread some of my blog posts from the time of my surgery and all the recovery I went through. I have come a long way which makes me very proud and thankful. I’ve had so much support and it has meant the world to me. I’m also saddened that I’m not back to my normal life yet. The tendonitis that developed last year is still impacting me a lot. I’m having surgery in 3 weeks to remove some of the hardware in my ankle. That will help with some of my symptoms but that finicky tendon worries me.
If I can find some sparkle in every day, then I’m doing alright. I may not be walking miles but I can still smile and enjoy life. Thank you all for your support.
Take care and be well.