I packed a quilted, fabric journal that I made during an Artfest retreat. The smaller size fit nicely in my tackle box along with the rest of my journaling kit. I hadn't used this journal for more than 10 years. When I made it my creative life was focused on art. Due to a car accident I hadn't played my viola for nearly 3 years. Depressed, suffering and living in a musical void I longed for happier times. In the first dozen pages of my journal I sketched dreams of health and happiness and musical goals. And then I put it away for a decade. A funny thing happened during that wait. I stumbled across my journal last year, opened it and was astonished to see my dreams on paper. As I turned each page I was more and more amazed--my dreams had all come true!
It seems like this is a magic journal. But I think every journal is magical. Fill one with your dreams and watch them come true. Work through your challenges. Sketch your hopes. Doodle your fantasies. Then watch them come to life. Like Harold and the Purple Crayon, you may be surprised and delighted by what comes out of your pen!
I just read What it Is by Lynda Barry and fell in love. Read this book! It is a fascinating creative journey; a "how to write" manual in journal form. She journals her artistic journey beginning with childhood. We see the dreaming, the questions the self-doubt and eventual confidence played out in her journal. We see her become an artist. During our trip I practiced one of her ideas, "keep your pen moving." I sat under a tree to draw. I drew all afternoon. I refrained from judging my pages; I just drew. It felt good. I experimented with new styles and techniques and had a ball. Barry talks about children's art, "when kids draw they make sound effects or start talking out a story that seems to be happening live." The adult version of this is doodling. "Doodles can be called mindless drawing. It's one of the last places drawing still exists in a person who gave up on art long ago. A place where one line can still follow another without plan."
It turned out to be one of our better camping trips. My take away from this vacation was I didn't have to be in constant motion. It was enough for my pen to be in motion. The last morning of our trip I remarked to my husband, "I've been so content and placid on this trip. I think it's because of all the journaling." His reply? "Don't stop."
Do you journal? If so, share your thoughts. If not, head over to Creative Playground to find out more.