Archive for the 'journaling tips' Category
In honor of Jack Kerouac’s birthday today, March 12th, here is some good writing advice.
Belief and Technique for Modern Prose by Jack Kerouac
1. Scribbled secret notebooks, and wild typewritten pages, for your own joy
2. Submissive to everything, open, listening
3. Try never get drunk outside your own house
4. Be in love with your life
5. Something that you feel will find its own form
6. Be crazy dumbsaint of the mind
7. Blow as deep as you want to blow
8. Write what you want bottomless from bottom of the mind
9. The unspeakable visions of the individual
10. No time for poetry but exactly what is
11. Visionary tics shivering in the chest
12. In tranced fixation dreaming upon object before you
13. Remove literary, grammatical and syntactical inhibition
14. Like Proust be an old teahead of time
15. Telling the true story of the world in interior monolog
16. The jewel center of interest is the eye within the eye
17. Write in recollection and amazement for yourself
18. Work from pithy middle eye out, swimming in language sea
19. Accept loss forever
20. Believe in the holy contour of life
21. Struggle to sketch the flow that already exists intact in mind
22. Don’t think of words when you stop but to see picture better
23. Keep track of every day the date emblazoned in yr morning
24. No fear or shame in the dignity of yr experience, language & knowledge
25. Write for the world to read and see yr exact pictures of it
26. Bookmovie is the movie in words, the visual American form
27. In praise of Character in the Bleak inhuman Loneliness
28. Composing wild, undisciplined, pure, coming in from under, crazier the better
29. You’re a Genius all the time
30. Writer-Director of Earthly movies Sponsored & Angeled in Heaven
I found this on http://www.writing.upenn.edu/~afilreis/88v/kerouac-technique.html
Do you need a push, a direction, or just plain help when it comes to journaling? I have used my journal for years and still I sometimes like to get some direction with my journal practice. Journaling for me is a tool for my self, for my art, for my personal growth. It’s a record keeper of my life and the milestones of my children. I can’t rely on my memory, so I depend on my journal to keep everything straight. But life is busy and to be honest, journaling often gets pushed aside.
Right now I am actually getting a push from two sources. They are keeping me accountable to my journal and I am enjoying getting back into daily, or almost daily, writing again. I have missed it!
I was lucky enough to win a spot in Stephanie Lee’s journaling class called Shifting Ground. This is a pure writing class and it really is about using your journal to help shift perspective, to find stability within. I highly recommend it and I believe you can still register for the class until February 4th even though it has already officially started.
a journal entry + drawings by my 4 year old
The other journaling push that I have been doing is from Donna Drozda and her blog which follows the moon cycles along with thoughts on following your path in regards to your art and vision. I have been reading her posts for a long time now, but it wasn’t until I started to actually journal along with her in my own journal, that the ideas and thoughts that she puts out started to germinate in my own head. I was able to make connections between her words and my own art path. I don’t know about you, but I think I am still old-fashioned in that there is a disconnect between myself and the computer screen. It’s almost like if I don’t write it down with my hand with pen and paper then it doesn’t fully sink into my brain. If you have a vision for your artwork and where you would like to follow it, I highly recommend following along with Donna’s moon guidance in your own journal. Or at least take a visit to her blog and enjoy her artwork!
An oldie, but goodie. This entry was originally written in 2009, but is something I always done at the beginning of the year.
Keeping a journal can be so helpful towards attaining goals because it allows us to reflect, adjust, and plan accordingly. The beginning of the new year is the perfect time to sit with your journal and envision what you would like from the year ahead. Write that vision down even if it seems far-fetched. The first step to attaining any dream is to actually dream it.
Maybe you want to finally take that dream vacation- where is it, what will you be doing, how will you be feeling?
Maybe you want to finally clear out a neglected room and make it your studio or reading room – what does it look like, what will you be doing in there, how will you feel when it’s done?
Maybe your goal is to feel healthier- how will you feel, what does “healthier” actually mean? What steps do you need to take? It could be as simple as drink a glass of water every morning.
A goal doesn’t have to be bigger than life. It is important to realize and celebrate the fact that achieving a goal is done step by step. After envisioning your dream/goal, try listing steps on how to make that happen. Taking baby steps is much easier than a full long leap. And you will feel more accomplished. You can use your journal as a tool to work things out. By writing it down, abstract thoughts and ideas take on a reality. By breaking it down into little steps, we may actually achieve our goal. Or we can learn that maybe the goal needs to be re-evaluated.
Visualize what you want to do before you do it. Visualization is so powerful that when you know what you want, you will get it. Audrey Flack
For those of you who are more visually oriented:
Do this same journal entry with images. Tear out images from magazines that may encompass your dream. Glue it down in your journal. Or cut out words that capture what you want or that express your feelings.
Here are some examples from a journal I had several years ago when I was envisioning taking the creative path in life.
a collage of different artist’s studios collected from magazines
A dream studio found in a magazine. I intended to fill all the space around the photo with words/phrases that had special meaning for my life at that point. Or words/phrases of things that I wanted in my life.
a designer’s studio and a quote from the article
A coil bound journal like the one used in the above spreads are available in the amanobooks clearance section.
Year’s end is neither an end nor a beginning but a going on, with all the wisdom that experience can instill in us. ~Hal Borland
At the end of each year I have made it a practice to sit down with my journal and reflect back on the previous year. I do this twice-for my personal life and for my art journey/business. Doing this has given me the ability to look back, celebrate my achievements, learn from my mistakes, make adjustments, and look forward to what is ahead. It is always interesting too to try to sum up the year in themes, or by a word. As I wrote I noticed that the two themes that kept popping up were “Acceptance” and “Gratitude”.
What themes come up for you as you look back on 2010?
Another way to tackle this year in review in your journal is to come up with the themes before hand and then look back and find the events that fall under that theme. Make a short list. Or if you are more of a descriptive writer, write little vignettes that illustrate the theme.
a mosaic of 2010 artwork, includes paintings and journals
Over on my art journal blog where I discuss my work as well as chronicle the journey of becoming a working artist, I do a review of my 2010 accomplishments. It’s really been a great tool for me. Here are the categories I use, but feel free to change it!
Learned: This category can be either a workshop or class you took. Or it can be a new technique that you learned. It has always been important for me to keep learning and pushing myself with my artwork.
Shows/Essays/Articles: This is just general highlights or accomplishments of the year.
Produced: This category is an actual number of what I created. It helps me to see the numbers and evaluate what that means.
In less quantifiable terms: This category is broad. Not all accompishments are tangible or can be listed in bullet form. But they are just as important!
The unexamined life is not worth living. ~Socrates
I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practice resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life. ~Thoreau
If you hear a voice within you say ‘you cannot paint,’ then by all means paint and that voice will be silenced. ~ Vincent Van Gogh
We all hear that voice at times. The voice that whispers in our ear things like “You’re not good enough” or “You call yourself an artist?” or “No one is going to buy your work”, or “You have no original ideas”, etc. etc. etc. This voice is the infamous Inner Critic who rears its ugly head right at the moment when we do not need to hear such negative comments.
Our first instinct is to tell the Inner Critic to just go away, or probably we use less polite phrasing. But basically we stuff it down. This is necessary as a means of self-preservation, but really what is essential is to face the Inner Critic and really figure out what that voice is saying and why. Inner Critic work is challenging because it means we have to face the ugly things we say to ourselves.
Get out your journal and try this exercise:
+ Give your inner critic a name
+ Make a drawing of him/her. A collage even.
+ Explore that critical voice- what is it saying?
where is it coming from?
how does it make you feel?
is there a theme?
+ Next time you start hearing the Inner Critic voice, write down exactly what it’s saying. Then respond to it. Have a dialogue with that voice. Ask it what are you trying to teach me?
And why do we need to do this? There are several reasons:
*the Inner Critic is negative energy. By understanding its role, you can shift the energy so it can work for you instead of against you
*understanding the Inner Critic allows you to know it and its dynamics, allowing you to sidestep the roadblocks
*once your can wrap your head around who the Inner Critic is, why it does what it does, you can release that energy. Forgive it and yourself and keep moving forward.
One thing to understand is that the Inner Critic was created to protect you at times. For example, “if I don’t try, I won’t get rejected”.
I did this exercise several years ago and it was extremely helpful. I highly recommend it.
self portrait, Teach Me To Fly, 2005
Some helpful links on the Inner Critic:
Pointed criticism, if accurate, often gives the artist an inner sense of relief. The criticism that damages is that which disparages, dismisses, ridicules, or condemns. ~William Ernest Henley
My friend and talented artist Patricia Anders posted this exercise and questions on her blog. This is a great exercise for us creative types and I challenge you to open up your journals and attempt to answer her questions and really try to see your work with a stranger’s eyes. I did it myself and will share my answers in a few days over at my art blog. If you would like, post your thoughts on your own blog and share a link here. Or keep it private in your own written journal.
Look at the work you have currently hanging on your studio wall or work space or in progress on your easel or your work table and pretend that you are someone else. Someone who does not know you and imagine what they might think of the artist who created it. Write those things down and keep them for yourself, to help you determine whether what you are creating is tied in with who you are or what you want to say or express. Post your thoughts.
Do you find that the statement “You can tell a lot about a person by the art that they make” is true? Does this exercise give you some clarity or ability to see your creations differently? Do you know someone who’s art clearly reflects who they are? Is the work you did ten years ago different? have you matured artistically or just improved your skills? Is there a difference? Is the content or the media the same?
It is important to the exercise to look at your work with a stranger’s eyes first. And then move on to answering the questions.
Art is not so much talent as character.. it’s what you are, the qualities of the person. ::: John Olsen :::
Interesting quote….is this true? This quote may be tackling a whole other issue entirely, but thought it was an interesting one to ponder.
With summer now in full swing, paintings to be made, journals to be bound, a toddler to chase outside, and blog posts to write I have been finding less time to do my own journaling. For these reasons I am going to be posting journaling tips every other Tuesday. I am working on one about journaling with your Inner Critic. Should be interesting…but just need to find the time!
But I didn’t want to post this week without a prompt at least. With the absence of my own journaling these past few weeks, I have asked myself- Why do I journal anyway? I have missed it. The absence of it is very real for me. I have kept a journal since I was a little girl in various ways and forms. But it was only really, the past 7 years that it became a conscious and consistent habit. But why?
…It is testimony, evidence of a life. My life. It is a learning tool. It is Me.
So here is your journal prompt: Why do you journal?
…writing a journal implies that one has ceased to think of the future and has decided to live in the present. It is an announcement to fate that you expect nothing more. It is assertion that you take each day as it comes and make no connection between to-day and other days. Writing a journal means facing your ocean you are afraid to swim across it, so you attempt to drink it drop by drop. It means that you count the last leaves of a tree whose trunk has lost its sap. ~ George Sand
As promised, mixed media artist Seth Apter has been so kind to share a few pages of two of his travel journals as well as his process of creating these treasures. His travel journals are astounding. I always have the best of intentions to create a book like this, but never seem to follow through. So I just had to pick his brain to see how he creates these books.
amanobooks: Do you have a regular journal that you keep while you are traveling and then go back later and incorporate your writing with your work? Or do you work on site?
Seth: I create the structure for my journal, which so far has always been a handmade book, before I leave for every vacation. I often add a color wash to the pages, which typically are either cold-press watercolor paper or blank, vintage book pages. I keep the pages loose on the trip and bind them when I come home after they are all completed. I always pack a small journal kit, which is different depending upon the vacation. But I always bring a selection of makers, stamp pads, watercolor brush pens, rubber stamps, rub on letters, glue stick, scissors, pieces of handmade and found paper, and the like.
While I am away I am always looking out for things to add to my journal, whether it be receipts, brochures, business cards, local paraphernalia. ephemera, found objects, and other souvenirs. And as I am taking photographs I am also thinking about what I might want to put in the journal. I always start to create pages when I am away. I really enjoy taking time to work in the journal while I am actually on vacation and in the place that is inspiring me. I don’t think I have ever actually completed a page while on vacation though.
I also write random notes about the vacation during the trip too. It is the only way I can remember everything and I always look forward to my note writing on each trip. One of my favorite things to do is to give people I visit or meet on the trip a page to complete for my journal. This way I take home a piece of everybody from the trip and they become part of my journal.
When I come home, I print out pictures, gather all the stuff I brought back, sit with all my art supplies, and complete the pages. Then I will bind the book and complete the cover. The journals I have from my trips are really sacred objects to me. Each time I look through them I am transported back and I re-experience the vacation.
Thank you Seth for your generousity and for sharing your creative process in creating these fantastic travel journals!
As summer approaches, trips and vacations may be appearing on the horizon. Our photo albums generally record our vacations for us. We look at a photo and say “I was there on this day and we were doing xyz”. Creating a Travel Journal, however, is a great way to capture more than just static images.
When you bring along a journal and write while on your trip, you are giving yourself a moment to slow down. It allows you to soak it all in. Even while on vacation there is a tendency to to do it all and get it all in while you can. Try taking a moment to just sit and write about your surroundings, your observations, your plans, and your adventures.
+ Write out your itinerary in your journal
+ Collect maps, ticket stubs, currency, matchbooks, found objects and ephemera that capture the flavor of your destination
+ Pack an envelope to collect these various found mementos to add to your journal later
+ Observe your surroundings, capture it in words
+ Bring a watercolor set, or at least a favorite pen, to sketch a scene
+ Write about the people you meet in your travels. Have them write something in your journal!
+ At the end of your trip, create a top ten list of moments you don’t want to forget. These can be pretty funny when you look back. It is also interesting how a short phrase can bring back a flood of memories.
Writer Ann Somerset Miles shared some pages of her journal that she kept on her vacation. Her entries are mostly written and her accompanying illustrations add color and character to her pages. You can get a glimpse ino other aspects of Ann’s work at Wild Somerset Child blog.
Ann Somerset Miles
Writing as you travel will capture as much and even more of the essence of your trip than just photographs. Write during layovers, on a bus, or at the day’s end. If you want to do a more detailed travel journal later with your photos corresponding with your text, you can. But writing down the details while you are traveling helps keeps the memories fresh.
from one of my journals, 2006
leaves I collected on a walk around the B&B we were staying at
Stay tuned for next week’s travel journal post featuring a few of Seth Apter’s travel journal spreads.
His process of ceating a travel journal combines the two approaches- doing some of the journal while on vacation and then finishing it later after the trip.
Who are you? A simple question for a complex answer. Answering this question in your journal could lead to some interesting writing. For a quick and simple way to start, make a list of roles you lead in your life- I am a… mother, father, sister, daughter, friend, scientist, teacher, etc. Move on to characteristics and attributes- athletic, creative, messy, tall, quiet, funny, dreamer, etc. As your list grows, get creative in naming the different facets of yourself.
Tackling this question in list format is the easiest way to start answering this fundamental question.
visual journal entry, 2004
For the visually inclined:
For the above spread, I simply printed out a self-portrait I painted years ago and blew it up to just show the eyes. I doodled with ink around the image and then journaled my list.
+ Print out a photo of yourself and attach to your journal. Journal around your image.
+ Challenge yourself to draw your portrait in your journal before writing your list. If sketching your whole face is daunting, focus on just your eyes. Eyes are the mirrors into the soul, after all…
+ Write your list out. Print a photo or drawing of yourself onto transparency. Attach the transparency on top of your writing.
+ If you are new to altering your own photographs, I highly recommend Karen Michel’s book The Complete Guide to Altered Imagery : Mixed-Media Techniques for Collage, Altered Books, Artist Journals, and More for great ideas on how to use your photosgraphs in your artwork.
The simplest questions are the most profound. Where were you born? Where is your home? Where are you going? What are you doing? Think about these once in a while and watch your answers change. ~Richard Bach
Looking at yourself with honest eyes can be a courageous thing to do. Growth requires self-examination. Using your journal to explore themes of “you” is a safe place to do so. Journaling has not been called a form of “cheap therapy” for nothing!
“Know thyself?” If I knew myself, I’d run away. ~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
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