Journaling Fail (or, How to stall your journaling journey)

Journaling Fail (or, How to stall your journaling journey)

I have always kept a diary.  Since I was eight years old, I have been compelled to write down my thoughts and worries, dreams and regrets in little and big books, hard backs and spiral-bound, lined and plain.  I did have a few years of non-writing, around the time I was married – there just never seemed an opportunity to sit and pen anything, which seems a shame now as I would like to look back at that time, for all its sadness and loneliness, just to see how I have grown or changed since then.

I’ve started again recently, if somewhat sporadically and have enjoyed “getting it all down on paper”.  But what I have always wanted to do, is create lovely art journals, like the ones I see all the time on the internet and in craft magazines.  I think I have been reluctant to start one because I want it to be perfect and I don’t want to spoil anything by doing a dodgy page.  Which is dumb.  The whole point of journaling is to be free and creative.  Spontaneous.  Spontaneity is not something I am good at.  I can’t just slap paint or paper down and see what happens.  I wish I could – but I’m just a bit too uptight for that ha ha.  I don’t trust my own creative mistake-making process to come up with something I am happy with.  I’ve been inspired by Dianne Faw’s wonderful 30-day journal challenge.  Even if I get panicky thinking about one day of journaling, never mind 30 days of it…

But I have decided to try.  While I am on leave, recovering from my surgery, I am trying desperately to do all the things I never get time for, including art-for-art’s-sake.  I tend to make things with the intent of selling them or giving as gifts – I rarely, if ever, just make things for myself.  My song lyric collage is probably the one thing I have made for me. Just for me.  I love it.  It’s nowhere near perfect or polished or anything else remotely sale-worthy, but I was so happy with it, and its creation was a very cathartic experience.  There’s a lot of meaning in them thar’ words.  Even if only I understand their significance.


So, I have started a little journaling book.  So convinced am I that I will mess something up, I have started in the middle of the book.  I don’t even know why I think that will help.  But it seems like less pressure if I don’t begin on page one.  Page one is…scary.


I started doodling, because that seems to be the start of everything for me.  I really want to add words but have never liked my own handwriting so I am trying to come up with a good font I can replicate that doesn’t look rubbish when I try to, um, replicate it.  See, already the pressure begins!

When in doubt or distracted or bored, my go-to doodling themes are flowers, hearts or stars.  I’m such a girl.  I also do blobs.  Big fan of blobs.  And these weird, feathery swirly designs.  But today I went with a flower because I had seen some similar designs in one of the colouring-in-for-adults books (so awesome!  we have permission to enjoy colouring again! Because it’s mindfulness, not wasting time…) and a flower seemed like something I could do with minimum self-annoyance and judgement.  So I doodled…


…and went a bit squinty-eyed at the detailed bits…


And then I kinda stopped and procrastinated and thought about things I could write.  And then procrastinated some more and went and wrote this post instead.  Sigh.  Oh well, it’s a start.  And a start is better than nothing or, God forbid, a blank page…

Hope you are happy today, doing what ever makes you smile 🙂

3 thoughts on “Journaling Fail (or, How to stall your journaling journey)

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