Here I go again. I haven’t given up (yet) on writing regularly in a journal and have that stack of attempts to prove it! (Do I really need to buy a brand new journal when I’m going to try my hand at it again?! I really must stop doing that.)
Anyhow, I recently decided to take this journaling bull by the horns. Before I give up on doing this, I wanted to see if I was missing something. So I went to the library to get some ideas – inspiration – anything! I can’t be the first person who wants to keep a journal, but struggles with sustaining it, right?
So I got on my coat and scarf, because Winnipeg’s winter is on the way, and walked to my neighbourhood library branch. I found out what area these books are in (the non-fiction 808.066 section) and started browsing the shelves. I was quite surprised by the options!
The big question that I needed answered was: why would I want to journal when our life is so busy? Well, Let It Out: A Journey Through Journaling by Katie Dalebout talks about how journaling is a great tool for change, clearing your mind, and helping you to get “unstuck”. Similarly, Keeping a Journal You Love by Sheila Bender and Note to Self by Samara O’Shea talk about how journaling is great for self-expression and also helps you focus on the moments in life that beg further exploration. All three books also provided many exercises, prompts, and techniques to use to get started. Nice!
I also needed to find a way to reduce my self-induced pressure to write a page a day. (This is a biggie!) This quote from Leaving a Trace: On Keeping a Journal: The Art of Transforming a Life into Stories by Alexandra Johnson gave me some much needed perspective.
Who knew that our kitchen calendar that is chock full of writing was “silently recording the heroic of the everyday”? I felt hope and pride start to well up inside of me.
But there was one final thing that I needed to know: can I take a different approach to journaling? That’s when I found Start Journaling: An Art Journaling Workbook by Kristy Conlin. It focuses on the visual journal that combines images with words. Add paint! Add collage! With this approach, I can blend writing with colours and images. I can get creative! How cool is that? Another book that shared the visual approach was Artist’s Journal Workshop: Creating Your Life in Words and Pictures by Cathy Johnson.
So I left the library feeling like a weight had been lifted. Gone is my image of the journal as a book with a little lock and key and the feeling of pressure that I need to fill at least one page a day. Nuh-uh – times. have. changed! I’m feeling really good about this. And even better, I already have some ideas for when I write/draw in my journal tomorrow…