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.