Beautiful blank journals await my pen. These ornate books with their untouched pages seem too daunting to open let alone abuse with my prose.
I write all the time. I scribble ideas on envelopes and the backs of receipts. At a stoplight I might excavate my purse for a piece of paper to write an idea, still writing as the light turns green and my eyes are on the road (which accounts for the barely readable appearance of my notes).
This method gives me results—articles, poems and an upcoming book. Still I continue to hope that I’m a journaling sort of person.
Some of my well behaved writer friends swear by a method called “morning pages” popularized by Julia Cameron’s in The Complete Artist’s Way: Creativity as a Spiritual Practice.
Every morning before doing anything else, the writer produces three handwritten pages. This is supposed to spark creativity. These friends fill journal after journal with rants, wonderings, hopes and big ideas. I don’t kid myself. I’m pretty proud that I manage to floss my teeth but that’s it for daily rituals. Okay, I lied, I don’t even get around to flossing daily.
I’m particularly interested in arty styles of journaling. I can slap together a collage and that gives me the silly idea that I’d be likely (in the optimistic land of Some Day) to create some kind of visual journal. Hah. Mostly I savor the beautiful journals shared by folks online. Use search terms like “visual journal” or “art journal” to find blogs or Flickr images and sink into an hour or so of pure aesthetic pleasure.
I also keep accumulating books that inspire. Most of them are much too daunting, with artistry that’s well beyond the hopes of a simple cut and paste girl like me. But I have to admit that I find three books particularly accessible. How to Make a Journal of Your Life by Dan Price, Everyday Matters by Danny Gregory, and An Illustrated Life: Drawing Inspiration from the Private Sketchbooks of Artists, Illustrators and Designers also by Danny Gregory.
My newest journal-related idea? I’m envisioning a get-together with fellow journal slackers. We can bring our sadly unused journals and pent-up verbal sneezes. We can bring every bit of ephemera that might be fun to cut, paste and color onto the pages. And then we can turn the quiet, reflective practice of journaling on its head while we scribble and talk and laugh and collaborate and finally, journal.
Got a better remedy for a journal slacker?
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