I love journals!  I love them as a place to keep ideas and lists and important moments and small moments and drawings, generally the stuff of our lives.

I have piles of notebooks and journals around the house.  I started with sketchbooks back in my architecture days filled with drawings and observations of buildings I saw in my travels and explorations of my own designs.  I moved on to writer’s notebooks a la Lucy Calkins when I became a teacher – those composition notebooks with the collaged covers.  It is fun to think about the hundreds of notebooks that my students launched into the world during my 20 years of teaching.  That led to my “adult” journals, the ones I still use.

For me, the tactile page is important.  I obsess over what type of pens to use – the right one, the one feels good as it touches the paper, will keep me writing.  Recently, inspired by my architecture days, I am including more drawings and color with my entries.  I also find that I am using strategies and ideas I taught my students.  On a recent trip to Jamaica, I knew I wanted to capture the atmosphere, the spell Jamaica casts on me, so I set up a page before I went using Georgia Heard’s 6-room Image poem exercise.  I used this exercise every year with my students to prepare for poetry writing, or as a way to revise and enrich their prose writing with sensory detail.

Today I hope to finish my page about Jamaican food and start on my page about the Great Houses of Jamaica.  I also need to do some writing based off of my 6-room Image poem.

It strikes me that the “Slice of Life” writing is a form of journal writing.  The sharing of it makes it a little different from my own journaling, as does typing into a blog.  But I’m sure these entries will accumulate and form inspiration for future writing.

A page from my journal.

8 thoughts on “Journals”

  1. I admire that you faithfully reflect when writing. It is so easy to just read one’s own work, pat yourself on the back and move on. I plan on using what I read today as a reminder to reflect in my own writing as the months goes on 🙂


  2. Your journal page is beautiful!
    I think I know the 6 room image exercise but would you share it in a future post?
    Looking forward to hearing more “word journeys” suggested by Jamaica.
    I am pondering your thought that this SOL writing is like journaling. It is for me, but more finished, more polished. And it is not kept private- it is put out there in the public. This is a very friendly, warm public, but having others read and comment is such an important part of this March writing to me. I’m thinking and writing more about that myself.


  3. I am trying so hard to keep a notebook. I plan to slice about some entries in hope of motivating me to keep it going! Beautiful journal page


  4. I also love journals and have to use just the right pen when writing! I actually made a special trip to Wal-Mart this morning before school because I needed a certain pen:) I look forward to your future slices!


  5. Wow! Such a beautiful journal entry! So cool to think of all of the journals out there due to your teaching. I’m inspired that you actually use some of the strategies you taught in your own journals. I somehow forget to apply them in my own journals.


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