Monday, October 10, 2011

Monday is Journalling

Ok so you have found a book that works for you, now what?

Now you become a journalist. Like a reporter but you are reporting about your own life and from your own mind not on TV or in a newspaper but in a personal journal

Note: A journal should be your personal playground. You do not have to show anyone else what it contains. It should be a place you feel free to write your most inner thoughts and feelings without censure. The first rule any personal journalist learns is that anything can go on those pages. ANYTHING!!!!!

  1. If you are a journalist from way back but have only used your journal to record your day to day life and challenges let me introduce you to several new concepts.
    • Doodling... Doodling is adding small drawings to your entry to illustrate an idea. When I started doodling my journal contained a number of stick people doing all kinds of things. Do not under estimate the power of the simple symbols like hearts and light bulbs to express a whole world of meaning to you even if no one else understands them
    • Color... The power of color is well known. A simple border around your page of the day can express any number of emotions. Color can also be used to represent a person or place without you ever having to put their name down on the page.
    • Pattern...Like color a whole wealth of information can be called to mind by a wavy line or a jagged one or a bunch of dots. Just as colors represent people, places, feelings and things a pattern can too. For instance when I think of my daughter I picture a whirlpool. A simple repetition of different sized circles on the page tells me this is about her and the chaos that surrounds her.
    • Ephemera (efemera) ... You have probably seen that word in reference to scrapbook pages and other things. Ephemera is simply that mess of papers and other things that you collect during your day to day life like receipts, ticket stubs etc. Even that annoying junk mail may have something in it or on it that means something to you. Cut or tear it out and use it.
    • A journal does not need to be a factual thing. I recently read about dream journals. They do not need to be about a dream you had while you were sleeping. They can also be used to illustrate goals or a fictional place or a real place you think you would like to visit someday
    • A journal can contain your budget, a poem, a story idea, a quote that caught your interest and many other things. Do not be afraid to put anything and everything that goes through your mind down. You never know you might find that you have the next great book in your mind and didn't even know it.

  2. If you haven't had a journal since you were a kid or are brand new to journalism, here are a few things to get you started
    • Choose a notebook or a very simple blank book for your first journal. The reason for this is that too often we are drawn to the book with the beautiful cover and then are afraid to write in it just in case we mess it up
    • If you have been taught to respect books and keep them nice I suggest you check out a book called "Wreck This Journal" and this flickr group. If you can't get the book check out this web site. It is very important that you break this habit quickly when it comes to your own journal
    • That first empty page with all it's white space will seem scary. It has been suggested that an easy way to get over this is to claim the journal. Go around your house and collect as many writing implements as you can (pens, pencils, crayons, markers etc). Open up your book to that first page and write your name on that page and the facing page in as many styles and colors and textures as you can. First name, second name, last name or your initials all together or separately. Just have fun with it. See that was easy two pages done.
    • Still feeling a bit frightened, thats OK it does get better. Need another push write an introductory page for your journal about you and why you choose to try journalism. Glue in a photo of yourself or your personal symbol. For me that is a rose complete with thorns for you it could be anything that describes you as you see yourself. Now you have three or four pages done. Pat yourself on the back!
    • As with the seasoned journalist I encourage you to try different things on the pages. If you are afraid of color leaking from one page to another paint the page with a white acrylic paint or get some Gesso to seal the pages. Let each page dry completely before doing anything else with them.

  3. Below are a few suggestions about subjects you could tackle in your journal:

There that should be enough to get you started. I highly recommend reading Aisling as she has good information for beginners

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