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Friday, April 15, 2011

More Sanity from the Journal

Loved Kate's last post about the sanity journaling can bring. I, also, cannot imagine traveling without a journal (especially when visiting family!)--it's also my unconditional companion and my solace in any situation. If I am unsettled, or my mind is whirling with thoughts, just opening my journal and putting my pen to the page (even using text as the page design in the absence of anything inspiring to sketch) will ground me and allow me to relax. On a 2-week trip to Florida this winter to visit a relative, I went to bed every night and entered the day's activities in a "calendar"-style approach, so I would have memories of the trip and also be able to process the sometimes difficult differences in our lifestyles. In the seclusion of the guestroom, I could write whatever I wished in small, compact letters and words that would be difficult to decipher by day to anyone looking through my journal. In the dim lamplight, I added simple splashes of color that captured the "feeling" of the day with my waterbrush and travel watercolor palette, and added symbolic objects from memory. By the time I was finished with each entry, I was content, sane, and ready for sleep.


  1. What a great way to capture your day even when you couldn't sketch. Wonderful idea.

  2. I find interesting your idea of small writing to make difficult to decipher your journaling content... A concern for me is always that someone could read my journal entries... the sketches are intriguing, and there is always someone that wants to admire them, and so? how can I write my thoughts on these pages? I feel they are not enough private, and so I keep two distinct book, one for sketches and one for words... but it is not so practical!

  3. Wonderful entry, Maria...the journal is so many things, but it does need to be a repository for our days and our feelings, for most of us. I find I can purge negative feelings by getting them OUTSIDE of me.

    I guess that's the one thing I don't really "get" about some art journals.

    Yes, it's lovely to make art, and absolutely needful, but journals of that type wouldn't function in the same way for me. Mine helps me to process and deal with life as well as create. I want to capture the moment, celebrate, solve problems, give myself images, AND make notes. A recent stressful situation wouldn't have been dealt with NEARLY as effectively without my journal!

  4. I like the idea of writing very small in daily columns to help remember the daily activities... and to do it at night while the activities are still fresh. I wish I'd read this 2 weeks ago when we went on vacation. I wrote in the morning and by then didn't remember much of the previous day's happenings. Writing small with an XS micron pen would do the trick of preventing casual journal purusers from reading the "small print".

  5. Thanks, everyone, for the comments. Part of the fun of this style of entry is to vary the pens used, the lettering style, even the horizontal-vertical approach. It adds playfulness and creativity to the text, and ultimately to the whole page design. And, it is indeed a good way to keep your thoughts inaccessible to the casual viewer with small, tight writing. Sometimes, the "Have-to" voices I hear in my head like "I must do a full entry with elaborate sketch to make this worthwhile" can be silenced by the confinement of a small grid in which to make an entry--it is a guilt-free and economical way of preserving moments, when I don't have the time or energy for those more "worthy" projects. Ultimately, I don't want my journal to hold one perfect entry after another (that gets boring), but more reflect my very individual and idiosyncratic experience from moment to moment. That's far more interesting to me.


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