Friday, May 16, 2008

The power of journaling





A couple of weeks ago I found an empty 1970's gardening notebook in a second hand book shop. It's divided up into sections for each season with gardening information, photographs, advertising, and blank lined pages. I loved the look and feel of it, and it immedietely "spoke" to me and said journal. Just a plain simple journal for writing in, and expressing feelings, emotions, thoughts, ideas and any old triviality that I feel like writing down.


There was a time in my life, through adolescence and university that journalling helped keep me sane in an unhappy home environment. Putting pen to paper forced me to put my jumbled and confused thoughts into some sort of logical semblence, and helped me to make sense of my world. I have about 10 journals from that period, written in hard covered lined exercise books. While I was writing them, I always thought it would be kind of fun one day when I was older to be able to read them and look back, and remember. The truth was that until the beginning of this year, I'm 39 now, I never really went back and read them thoroughly. It was simply too painful to dredge up the past. Now, I'm in a different head space, and I've been doing "work" on releasing and letting go of all the useless baggage of the past - one suitcase at a time :) I've found my old journals have been so valuable in helping me, in some ways to remember how things were and to clear up the mental fog so I can forgive, release and let go.


During my adult life, after university, I only journalled intermittently. About two years ago I started a few visual journals, and although these have been a form of self-expression, they haven't been particularly deep and meaningful, they've been more of a way of having fun with different art techniques, doing collages and playing. In my new gardening notebook, I've been compelled to start writing again, sometimes about emotions etc, sometimes trivialities, some pages I just write on, some pages I do simple art work on as well. I must say though, my hands have become lazier to write after so many years of computers and keyboards.

9 comments:

TattingChic said...

I journal, too. In fact I have about 18 that I've kept since I was 11. Kept me sane through a crazy family life, too. I love your journal you posted about. I've been thinking of doing a creative journal...a "tatting journal" with bit of my hand tatted lace and poetry in it. I'm thinking it's time to start. Thanks.

Bronwyn said...

Nice to hear about your journaling, it really can be a life saver. Good luck with getting started on your tatting journal, sounds like a great idea!

Barb McMahon said...

It's amazing that even with my blogs (I have three) I still keep a daily journal.

Don't do any drawings in it though. I've always loved illustrated journals, but words seem to be my forte....

diana @ please sir said...

Lovely find - and great information. I wish I could keep a more consistent journal...maybe will try again!

Lynne said...

lovely post:)

Wendren said...

What a lovely post. But it made me sad because I can relate to SO much of what you are saying. I also have about 10 journals stacked in my bookcase. They started as almost diaries and then became visual journals with text. They were the one place I could trust to just splurge out my feelings and my troubles also growing up in unhappy spaces. When I do open them the feelings come flooding back and i have to slam them closed and gram them back in the bookcase. It is too painful and too harsh to remember, just yet. I haven't journaled for about a year now and I keep meaning too....I just never seem to have the self-created space to journal anymore. I must get round to it. It is such a personal relief when one does and my creative energies are always more prevalent in my designs when I do journalize - especially visual journalizing. It forces you to take notice, observe and digest sights, things and feelings. GREAT POST!

Bronwyn said...

Thanks for your comments:)
Wendren - it's comforting to know that you feel the same way as I do. Maybe you'll never go back to the diaries, maybe one day you'll be ready, if it's meant to happen it will. And when you're ready you'll find the space to journal again.

kat said...

Hi bronwyn, this is a post I can also relate to - though I've never kept a journal consistenly - at certain stages of my life I've dealt with situations by pouring out my feelings onto paper. I guess a way to work through whatever I was experiencing.

babelfish said...

Thank you for sharing, I have always been fascinated by visual journaling and the thought process behind them...I understand the computers and keyboards vs writing thing :)