I have kept a journal for as long as I can remember, from the age of 10 or so? And over the years it has evolved from something I did for fun, to something I did purely out of habit, to something that helped me get through some really tough times.
Putting down my thoughts and feelings onto paper made them leave my head. I could see them clearer, and it made them real. Why that didn't always necessarily feel like a good thing, (and I have often questioned whether writing down in painful detail the horrors and the thoughts that torment me, that I am actually making the the problem worse) But, making my problem real meant I had usually made it something I could deal with. Something I could fix. It also meant that, when things seemed bad, I could read back over times in my life that had been worse. And remind myself, if I lived through that, I can certainly live through this.
|My Journals from 2007 till 2014|
The longer I have kept journals, the more they have become an extension of myself. And while each journal has been a true representation of myself at the time, I feel that they now hold a deeper understanding of who I am. From the journal I kept kept when I was 13, in pink, glittery scrawl, written in sporadically, detailing teenage confusion, confusion and torment. (My teenage years were not ones I will ever remember fondly). Or at 18, realizing I could write more than what was only happening to me, but of things I *wanted* to happen to me, to doodle and let myself pour my character onto the pages.
And now, leather bound books full of drawings, plans, ideas, musings, and still of course, a day to day account of my life. I write for about an hour a day, even if that hours writing only culminates in a page, sometimes. When I can't write, I draw instead, or copy down quotes to inspire me and life my spirits.
|2010 - A poem that caught my eye, and a letter from a friend.|
My journal entries all differ wildly, and I am constantly 'stealing' or acquiring things to stick between the pages. leaflets, receipts, photos,menus,place mats! If its paper and I can remove it, its going in my Journal.
Some days, as I said, I cannot write (too tired, too sad, to excited) So I draw, or write down my day's info in a creative way.
|20011 - A scrapbook style day|
|2007 - Magazine articles that are/were relevant to my life|
(Yep, I was a BIG Kate fan....!)
|2009 - Things I picked up at a festival!|
|2014 - Putting down thoughts in a different way|
|I love being able to include photos!|
My Journals are usually hard to close ;) I love filling them! I figure that writing is one thing, but there is nothing like visual prompts to make you remember. I also press flowers in them...... And, beyond a shadow of a doubt, my favourite thing to have in my journals, are notes and letters and drawing by other people. To see their handwriting, the little things they said, that I would of no doubt forgotten. To see a glimpse of someone else's life alongside my own.
But, do not get me wrong, while I love to doodle and draw and create in my leather bound books, 90% of the time they look like this.....
Just alot of very small, cramped handwriting.....!! But I lo be writing these pages even more than the beatiful ones. It reminds me I am writing, and doing what I love!
I have begun to question, what if I took it a step further? What if I wrote about things that are not directly connected to my life, things that not only inspire me, that force me to write about the greatness both inside me, and outside my front door. Things that encourage me to realize that life doesn't have to be sad. That *I* don't have to be sad, or turn every event in my life into one that defines me.
A journaling 'project' that inspires personal growth, and healing. That teaches me ways of writing about my thoughts and events in a positive way.
And so, alongside a friend of mine, I have started a weekly 'Journal Prompt' Project. Each week we take it in turns to choose an idea, theme, question or word on which to write about. In any way we choose to understand it.
I'll write a blogpost each week talking about it is we did, (Though we started a few weeks ago now..) And let you know what the next theme is, if you would like to play along!
Do you, or have you ever, kept a Journal? What did it mean to you? I'd love to hear your thoughts on Journal Keeping! Please don't be shy, leave a comment! :)