Bare all? Thoughts on Journaling

At my fibre arts group meeting the other evening we were discussing journaling.

Some of us do morning pages, myself included.  Others find it not to their liking.  Mine are illegible scrawls half in shorthand and sometimes I can’t read my own writing even that same day.  Periodically I recycle old pages as I feel the need to do that.

I do review them right after writing and  mark anything with creative potential with orange pen. Why orange, you ask?  just because.

If it’s quick to do, “sketch coffee mug in pen and ink,”I put it on my to do list for the day.  Longer projects are noted in a sketchbook, e.g. “make pillowslip with new green fabric.”  If my morning pages have gone into more detail I will photocopy the page and stick it in the sketchbook, “what if I made rectangular blue and green blocks and sashed with peach batik?” especially if I drew a diagram to jog my memory.

One fellow artist shared that she’s afraid of keeping a journal because people might not like to read her opinion of them.  I can empathize with this, and actually recycled all my teenage diaries realizing they could cause embarrassment.  My morning pages are illegible and disjointed with very little narrative content so I don’t think they contain any surprises.

Then I remembered the book Visual Chronicles by Linda Woods and Karen Denino.  One of their central ideas is to develop a personal visual code for people and emotions in your life.   So your unreliable cousin Bert could be a yellow spiral criss-crossed with purple zig-zags for example.  Then when he shows up three hours late for Thanksgiving dinner, you draw a table with a turkey on it, with yellow spirals and purple zig-zags on the tablecloth.  This is just an example, I don’t have a cousin Bert unreliable or otherwise!  I blogged about this back in 2007 here, and here’s one of my visual pages.

However when I clicked on the blog link, the most recent post (January 26, 2011)  by Linda is painfully honest.  I admire her courage in posting her deepest feelings about her mother.  Tried to link directly to it, but the address doesn’t change on their website, so you’ll just have to click on the blog link from their site.

There will be more about journaling in an upcoming post, and some exciting news, so stay tuned.

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