In March, I filled out seven notebooks. I’ve never filled so many in one month. They were filled with a huge mixture of topics, genre, styles and methods. A lot of changes occurred in March, from my Bipolar mood shifting to a gentle change in focus for my book. It was also a month when I started to dip my toe back into being more visually creative, more ‘arty’. It was also the month where crayons, yes – crayons, made a come back into my life.
If you’ve ever wondered what people write in their Morning Pages, here’s an example. This is page two and three on a particular day. I’ve been doing Morning Pages daily for about four years, so on most days what I write is not as disjointed as they used to be when I first started. I do know I am having a really off day when the topic flitter between sentences. It’s a great health-meter for me now.
The above was a trial thing I did for few week, where I logged the same set of information everyday. What I ate, how my body and mind was, my random thoughts and the chain list. It worked well in getting me to note down things I would’ve not otherwise for a while. However, my creative energy shifted earlier this month and this practice was subsequently dropped.
The above pages are notes from my creative coaching session with my coach Jamie Ridler. Normally her sessions are so intense, it’s very easy to forget what we talked about and what I should do in the coming week. I write random words that she says during the session so I have something to look over afterwards.
As I write about journaling, I make lots of notes about my own journaling practice. The above is about how I changed over from a Moleskine softcover to a much cheaper Muji notebook. I wrote about what I was struggling with in the Moleskine and what I hope the Muji will solve.
These pages hold some of the experiments I did to prepare for an art project. It’s a long term project involving sending handmade postcards to three very close friends. Here I was testing different paint mediums and testing them by dipping them into water (in case they get rained on during delivery).
I closed up one book I was writing for another book this month. It’s not an entirely new book, just a gentle shift in the goals of what the book should achieve. As a sign of this shift, I taped in all the cards I had in my deck of words (an idea I picked up from a highly inspirational course, The Conscious Booksmith by Christine Mason Miller) into my journal for archiving.
I have two handwritings. The neat handwritings for most of my journaling, then there’s this wild handwriting for when I am generating ideas, generating writings. I love both my handwritings, but this one really excites me because I know something new is being created. In the above pages I talked about how you don’t have to journal everyday to be a ‘good journaller’.
This is a mind map I created for my book. It was another exercise in the Conscious Booksmith course. Drawing mind maps wasn’t new to me, but the shapes of the bubbles she drew was! I love these leafy shapes she uses. It’s like seeing a tree grow by growing new leaves, one leaf at a time. Somehow this made mind maps refreshing again and I drew about ten mind maps in one afternoon.
Here’s another wild writing session. This time I went so wild I wrote across two pages as one. This was the first time I wrote in such a way and I liked it. It worked with my big handwriting.
Here’s the moment my new book was born. Barefoot Journaling. It’s a movement, it’s a philosophy. I want all of us to be freed from arbitrary rules we’ve absorbed through our lives and hand fun in our journals. Enjoy our journals for the sanctuaries that they are. Have a little fun.
Crayons have entered my journals this month. It was suggested by my creative coach Jamie (honestly, if you are stuck, get Jamie to help you). At the time I hated her for suggesting such a thing, but I am so thankful to her now. It has opened up a whole new way of journaling for me. For a start, I have started putting more colours in to my pages. There are now shapes, my shapes, floating around too.
I’m also finding crayons to be a great therapy tool. If I am hurt or angry, I’ll take the crayons to my journals and furiously scribble until I feel better. As you can see above, I wasn’t in a good place when I started this particular crayon therapy session. A few pages later, I worked out my anger and could focus more on what I needed to do (as seen below).
I’ve filled many pages now with crayons. I never thought I would. I thought I’d hate it. They have been a great tool for me to feel more free on the page. For a start you can’t stay in between the lines with a crayon. So you naturally become less constrained, both physically and emotionally.
I’ve been following the works of two lovely ladies at a year to inspire for sometime now. Since I have a huge pile of magazines from doing the Dictionary of Me, I decided to follow their year of art journaling everyday they did last year. I did a few, I enjoyed it, but then for some reason dropped it again. I will try and do more of them in April.
The above page isn’t really a collage but it did play a huge role this month. It’s an article about the On Kawara exhibition at the Guggenheim museum in New York. Long story short, I felt a thick connection with his work and it has since spawned my very first art project.
Dictionary of Me
After February’s Dictionary of Me, I decided to do another one for March. I am enjoying having an entire notebook filled with inspirations edited especially for me. It’s like having a custom made magazine just for you.
This was my favourite spread. I interpretively danced ‘YES!’ when I found the image on the right. I adore the turquoise and magenta all over this photo.
We did a week-long trip to Kyoto and Nara at the start of the month, which filled a whole journal of its own. The above is what I do every time I buy new washi tapes. I will tape samples of the bought washi tapes together with when and where I bought them. You know, because you should take up every excuse to use washi tapes.
I love putting envelopes in my journals. I don’t know why. I just do. The above is a paper envelope that came with a roll of washi tape I bought at a cute little cafe in Kyoto.
Entrance tickets to a temple in Kyoto. This temple (Keninn-ji) has the most spectacular ceiling painting of two dragons. It’s in very central Kyoto (in Gion) so highly recommended if you find yourself in Kyoto.
This was an idea that was suggested by saankusa on Instagram when I was experiencing a journaling block. Make a mind map of the day you had. What a brilliant idea! I will be doing this from now on for every travel day.
I think it’s fair to say I had a intense month in terms of journaling. There was a lot of self-inspection, changing, growing. I’m not sure if I’ll ever fill as many notebooks as I did this month, but that’s okay. It’s not about the quantity. Nor is it about the quality. It’s about the doing.