Confession of a Journal Slacker

unused journal

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).

non-journal method of journaling

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 journaling. I can slap together a collage and that gives me the silly idea that I could (in the optimistic land of Some Day) create some kind of visual journal. Hah. Mostly I savor the beautiful journals shared by folks online. Go ahead, search using terms like “visual journal” or “art journal” to sink into some pure aesthetic pleasure.

I also keep accumulating books that inspire. Most of them are much too daunting, with artistry well beyond the hopes of a simple cut and paste girl like me. But I have to admit 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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Creative Commons image credits

leather journal

art page 1

art page 2

art page 3

About Laura Grace Weldon

Laura Grace Weldon is a writer and editor, perhaps due to an English professor's scathing denunciation of her writing as "curious verbiage." She's the author of "Free Range Learning," a handbook of natural learning and "Tending," a poetry collection. (lauragraceweldon.com) She's working on her next book, "Subversive Cooking" (subversivecooking.com). She lives on Bit of Earth Farm where she is a barely useful farm wench. Although she has deadlines to meet she often wanders from the computer to preach hope, snort with laughter, cook subversively, talk to chickens and cows, discuss life’s deeper meaning with her surprisingly tolerant offspring, sing to bees, hide in books, walk dogs, concoct tinctures, watch foreign films, and make messy art.
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3 Responses to Confession of a Journal Slacker

  1. Jay.me says:

    Hi, great post! the art journal pages look like a-lot of fun. I am going to have to try one. :)

    Like

  2. (Only recently found your blog so this is a late coming reply.) I am totally your sister in being a Journal Slacker. I actually used to journal when I was in the single digits and into my very early twenties. Then not. I turned to the same thing as you – the non-journal method of journaling (I laughed seeing your photo – it could have been from my counter). My difference? Only that I don’t then create a blog or other writings from those notes.

    I pine to make those arty journals. I want to join your get together with fellow slackers! Have you done it yet?

    Like

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