Sunday, November 8, 2015

INSPIRATION A to Z (J - Journaling)

This post is the tenth in a blog series where I’m exploring various aspects of INSPIRATION. When I chose INSPIRATION as my word for this year, my first thoughts were about finding, acting on and (in some cases) limiting INSPIRATION. I also knew I wanted this word to motivate me not only in my scrapbooking and crafting but also in my physical, spiritual and intellectual goals. During my FUN year last year, I published a two-week series entitled Where Does My Inspiration Come From?, which looked at the many different sources of INSPIRATION specifically for scrapbook layouts. However, in this series, I’ll be sharing a word for each letter of the alphabet (from A to Z) that relates to INSPIRATION along with my random and in-depth thoughts on that word and the various ways it relates to INSPIRATION in our lives.

J is for Journaling

Journaling is defined as "the activity of keeping a diary, also known as a journal" and "keeping track of events by recording them in a log." The INSPIRATION for Journaling typically comes from several desires: to capture stories and memories, to understand and analyze feelings and circumstances, to reduce stress, to write, to plan, to create art etc.

The most basic form of Journaling involves simply writing in a journal or notebook or on loose leaf papers. In the technological age that we are living in, many people prefer to type their Journaling into a word processing document or even to publish it as blog posts. In fact, Journaling about an infinite array of topics can be found on blogs.

I've journaled at various times throughout my life, often for different reasons. During a very rough time in my life, the counselor I was working with suggested that I journal my feelings as I struggled with strong emotions and borderline depression. Since I was paying for this advice, I (of course) got a journal and wrote often. It was extremely therapeutic, and I highly recommend it. Although I would caution that this type of Journaling is best kept private for it to be the most effective. Before Robbie and I married, I read through my journals from that difficult time, pulled out a few pages I wanted to keep (like when I wrote about the day Robbie proposed), and shredded the rest.

Julia Cameron's book, The Artist's Way, was my INSPIRATION for trying Morning Pages - three pages of stream of consciousness writing each day. I enjoyed this form of Journaling and have returned to it sporadically over the past few years. It's a great way to do a "brain dump" at the beginning of the day.

I often find INSPIRATION for Journaling from books on writing and have several notebooks with writing based on the suggested exercises, like these pages based on the book Writing Life Stories.

There are a variety of Journaling methods, different ways of recording activities, events, thoughts, opinions, and feelings. The Urban Dictionary defines Journaling as "a hobby that is a cross between scrapbooking, journal writing, collaging, and in many instances, sketching, not to be confused with online Journaling, this sort of Journaling refers to the type that results in a tangible notebook of images and words that creatively depict ideas and events in an individual's life."   

My first attempt at Art Journaling was in late 2010 as part of a class from Jessica Sprague. I used a composition book to begin the journal, which I didn't do much in until almost a year later when I created a few collage style pages. Since then I've added art Journaling pages to that book sporadically, although it is bulging . . . 

. . . because I also use it as a place for mail art, cards, and other FUN items I receive in the mail.

A couple of months ago, I read Art Journal Courage by Dina Wakley. It was filled with INSPIRATION for art Journaling. Since I had checked the book out from the library, I did not have much time to act on all the "fearless mixed media techniques for Journaling bravely" (according to the book's sub-title). However, it was that book that prompted me to put Art Journal Freedom, Dina's first book, on my birthday list. As some of you already know from my monthly INSPIRATION reviews, it's been in my to-read-and-act-on pile for a few months now.

One of my favorite Journaling activities is adding details and stories to my scrapbook layouts. Sometimes I'll include a large block of Journaling that covers most of the page, but most often I'll add a smaller block of Journaling to share an anecdote about the photos I'm highlighting.

Journaling reads:
We were all excited about the Spring Break trip!
Tommy texted Robbie a countdown with this FUN photo from last fall,
and all six of us had a Skype call to finalize our plans!

As many of you know, I am currently enjoying a new form of Journaling - illustrated Bible Journaling, which allows me to capture INSPIRATION from Bible study, sermons, quiet time, and quotes as Journaling in the margins of my Bible. I recently added a photo and Journaling about mentoring in the margin of my Bible in preparation for a recent Bible Journaling Workshop. [BTW - I've added a page to my blog that lists my upcoming classes, including the Bible Journaling workshops I'm teaching at Scrappin' Goodtime and Personal Scrapbook. Check it out HERE!]

There are also books that provide INSPIRATION for this type of Journaling. A couple of months ago, I enjoyed Writing in the Margins: Connecting with God on the Pages of Your Bible by Lisa Nichols Hickman. This book contains examples of various people who have journaled in their Bibles over the years. Each chapter ends with questions and suggested activities, which I'll be working my way back through as I continue this practice of illustrated Bible Journaling.

One of my favorite times to journal is when we're traveling. I like to carry a journal along where I can record the things we do, sites we see, foods we eat, etc. Sometimes I'll create a special journal to take along on a trip, while other times I'll grab a journal from my stash. This little journal traveled with us overseas in 2007 and 2008, and it's so much FUN to read back through my Journaling, see the ephemera, and re-live those trips.

In summary,  Journaling & INSPIRATION are intertwined. The INSPIRATION for Journaling comes from a variety of desires and sources, and Journaling can spark INSPIRATION and ideas that can lead to greater understanding of self, artistic endeavours, and creative expression.

What type of Journaling do you enjoy? Please share your thoughts on Journaling and INSPIRATION in the comments. 

Click HERE to see all my INSPIRATION A-Z posts, or click a letter below to see individual posts.

A(Art)   B(Baking)   C(Creativity)   D(Drawing)
E(Experiences)   F(Finishing)   G(Goals)   H(Hiking)
I(Immersion)   J(Journaling)   K(Knowledge)
L(Learning)   M(Movement)   N(Nurturing) 
O(Organization)   P(Planning)   Q(Quiet)   R(Reading)
S(Style)   T(Teaching)   U(Upcycle)   V(Vacation)
W(Work)   X(Xciting)   Y(Yuletide)   Z(Zzzzzs)


  1. Very interesting read! I tried some art journaling for awhile, but have put it aside for now. I do keep a daily journal, just a paragraph about the day. My travel journals are among my favorites, and the last few trips I've done a much better job of recording our experiences. It reminds me I have wanted to write a couple more posts about our summer trip, and share that journal. Thanks for all the INSPIRATION!

  2. This is a fabulous post. So much to think (and perhaps write) about!!

  3. It's so interesting to see journaling defined like this. I don't think too hard about what I write, or what it is I'm doing, because then I become self conscious. I'm just a notebook scribbler! A great read.

  4. You have really explored journalling of many types and from lots of angles ... And your pages are inspirational in themselves :).

  5. Such an interesting post. I tend to write more bullet points down rather than journaling, but I suppose like you've said here, journalling takes many forms x


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