Wednesday, October 2, 2013

What I write about in my journal

Again and again when I post pages from my daily journal I get comments about all the writing. I also notice it when I show the actual journal to a person in real life or write in public. For all those who keep wondering what all that writing is actually literally about, this post is for you!

People are forever fascinated by writing, especially if it's done by hand. For me this really odd, since it's the most natural thing for me and I can't imagine not writing. Really, I mean it. I don't know how all you non writers manage to stay sane. Writing helps me to get my overflow of thoughts out of my head, structure my ideas, set my priorities and know what I'm actually all about. Through writing I get to know myself.

That doesn't mean that the writing in my journal is profound and deep or even interesting. It can be, but most of the time it's repetitive, everyday drivel, complaints or just boring. But that's not the point. The point is in the writing itself.

I will not get into my ideas about writing here, since I did a huge tutorial on it a few year ago which you can find here.  What I do want to do today is just give you some details about what I write about, because I know you're all curious about it (I have the comments and mails to prove it) and I want to dispel the myth that journal writing needs to be deep and interesting. So here are a few pages from my current journal The White Book of which I will tell you what the writing on them is about.

They are just a few random spreads I've already shown you and I have no intention to translate them word for word, just to give you a little idea of what's on my pages when it comes to all that writing.

Here we go!



This spread was written on Friday July 12 at 7:25 am. (I always write the date and the time I start writing)
I start by saying it had been a strange workweek since I'd only been in the office for one day and had to go the main land for work related meetings the other two. I also contemplate whether I can still consider my workweek a workweek since I only work three days a week now. I talk about phone calls I had to make to a person who is rather hard to catch on the phone and about the details of my two meetings. One was to a historical center and it was really fascinating. Then I talk about the coming workweek and how I hope it will be quieter and more regular (I'm really bad at things that take me out of my regular routines). And finally I talk about having almost finished canceling all the things I wanted to cancel to save money and my plans for the coming day starting with my morning walk. 



This spread was written on Friday August 2 at 7:50 am.
It starts (as many of my journal entries do) with the weather, stating that this is promising to be the hottest day of the year and how I'm bummed about it, because on really hot days my studio gets too warm to work in and I just had this great idea for a new journal. I talk about this idea and what inspired it. I talk about my use of colour in general and how I intend to use it in the new journal and go deeper into my ideas about the journal in general. Then I talk about working in the Compostion Book and how much I am enjoying that and why. Furthermore I talk about a tutorial I saw on YouTube by Jennibellie (who also gifted me the images on this spread by the way) about making paper beads and how inspiring that was and how I'm considering giving that a shot.



This spread was written on Sunday August 11 at 7:15 am.
Again I start with the weather. Apparently it was a gray day. ;-) I talk about the long hike I intend to make across the island that morning and about the walk I took the day before. Then I talk about a recurring theme in my journal which is the lay out of my days and how I always struggle to get some rhythm into my days. Then I talk about finishing the watercolour sketchbook and which book I have picked to be its successor. Next I talk about working on the patterns in my Moleskine sketchbook and how much I love how that book is starting to look with all those colourful patterns in it and how I love doodling and patterning in general and why. I also talk about some small changes I made in the studio so my acrylic paints would be better organized and to make it easier for me to find the different colours. 



This spread was written on Tuesday September 10 at 8:25 (this was in my vacation)
This very much starts out with complaining about how so far this vacation is not what I intended it to be and how it is making me restless. Because of all the appointments and the painters around the house.  I talk about the book club meeting the night before and about having slept badly. Then I talk about how I have to go to the farmacy for the second time, because my medication hadn't arrived the day before and complain a little more. After that I talk about my plans for that afternoon when I want to go to main land and visit the library and do a little shopping and how, if all goes well on Wednesday I might actually have a whole day to myself. Then I talk a little more about more appointments for that week and my upcoming visit to the dentist which makes me nervous and then I complain how the painters are making a ton of noise with their sanding machine. 
(This last spread makes me laugh in hindsight, but I remember being really annoyed when I wrote it.)


Well, there you have it. That's about as representative as it gets actually. Mostly I either write about what my day was like the day before, about my plans for the coming day, about my art, about the weather or I complain about stuff that's bugging me. No poetry there, no masterpiece,  just actual everyday real life thoughts and that's all your journal really needs to be: REAL!

I hope I have demystified my writing a little now. Of course there will be sessions every now and then when I will do some deep thinking, but mostly it's stuff like the above. I write it because that way I can look at it and get it out of my head instead of turning it over and over inside my mind.

I truly believe writing should be for you and no one else. I do show my spreads and I don't mind if people read them, but I show them for the visual aspect more than the writing. However the writing is an essential part of my journal and I might as well share that with you as well.

I also want to encourage want anyone who wants to write, but doesn't because they think they need to write important prose to get over it and just write for writings sake. It's good for you, it really is!

Wishing you all a wonderful and artsy Wednesday!

16 comments:

  1. Well, thank you so much! I always wondered what you were writing about! Gives me hope since I am only a painter and not a writer at all. Although I consider my blog a diary of sorts. When it comes to my blog I could write all day but give me paper and I am stumped.

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    1. You're welcome Roberta. Writing comes real easy to me no matter what medium I use, but I know that's not true for everyone. If your blog is your diary that is just great. I think in the end the most important thing is that we have a way to express ourselves.

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  2. Wow, this was so helpful for me to read. I agree with you that just writing is good for a person, but until I heard you say it and share your own mixed bag of observations, I think I felt that... well, if I'm writing just complaining or recording what is going on, then it was maybe a sign that it isn't a "quality" process. Of course, I don't believe that! I agree with you!! So I needed to read your words.

    Another thing I really needed to see is that your layouts don't necessarily have a thematic connection with what you write. Some deeply trained and obedient part of me said to me "wow, I'm allowed..." you can just imagine!!!! So yes, I guess I can do art in the way I'm pulled to, and journal in the way I'm pulled to and no, they don't have to be well thought out and connected in intricate and sophisticated ways. It will still be good or even great for me.

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    1. Thanks so much for your comment Judith, because it states all the reasons that I wrote this post. I'm glad my meaning came across. Always do your journal and your art your own way, it keeps things authentic and real. Enjoy!

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  3. Thank you for being so honest and generous with your heart. It was good for me to read as well. I used to write in a journal daily. Now, I'm learning to express myself with color and form. I love how you've combined art and words. Enjoy a wonderful day! :)

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    1. I need to write a lot AND I love making pretty layouts, so I have no choice but to combine the two. :-)

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  4. Hahaaa... een verwante ziel! Nee, je hoeft mij niet uit te leggen waarom je een 'journal' bijhoudt en wat je dan schrijft... wij zijn wat dat betreft precies hetzelfde! Ik snap inderdaad niet hoe mensen het volhouden als ze alle gedachten de hele dag maar in hun hoofd houden en niet 'uitgieten' op papier... ik schrijf niet heel veel in mijn 'chronicles' maar in mijn 'schrijfboek/dagboek' des te meer - schrijven houdt me inderdaad 'sane'... happy writing dear one!

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    1. Dank je Marit. Van tijd tot tijd scheidt ik het vele schrijven wel eens van het visuele (begin dit jaar nog) masr uiteindelijk komen ze altijd weer bij elkaar in één boek. En inderdaad: hoe dóen die niet-schrijvers het? Haha!

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  5. Thanks for the insight into your writing, Caatje! I'm with you on the importance of putting pen to paper to sort out my thoughts. I have so many different notebooks and pads of paper where I capture ideas from my day, my thinking, the things that I'm reading. It would be a great idea for me to prepare pages like you do, and actually use them to capture my thoughts in a more artistic and beautiful environment!

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    1. Thank you Andria. I think the only downside to my 'method' is that sometimes I will forego the writing because I have no pages prepped. I'm trying to get over that now by doing a few really quick elements, but it remains a challenge.

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  6. I admire that you art and journal, on a regular basis, and don't self edit to stop yourself from actually doing. So often, I get caught up in editing myself, and that often stops the creative process.

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    1. It helps me a lot that I do my writing in a different setting and at a different time than the decorating. I just write what's in my head and don't think too much about quality or whether it fits the theme of the spread. As for the visual part it becomes just another decorative element or part of the background. In the end it's just thoughts on paper, and I don't know about you, but my thoughts are usually all over the place. :-)

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  7. Thanx for sharing! Ik ga maar eens bij je tutorial kijken, ben stiekem wel een beetje jaloers;-))

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    1. Hihi, nergens voor nodig hoor. :-)

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  8. I agree with you about writing keeping me sane. It anchors my free-flying thoughts and impressions to my cranium and my surroundings. I appreciate your entry today, and for sharing with others. I also LOVE your photos from your walk. If I could, I'd transport myself to your inspiring surroundings.

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    1. Thank you Raye! Ah yes, when are they finally going to invent a teleporting device outside of star trek? :-)

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