A few weeks ago, one of the incredible women in the Painted Steps Writers Group mentioned that she keeps a journal about her work in progress, a place where she can jot notes and write out ideas even when she can’t get to the computer to write more formally.  My new WIP Journal

The beautiful Elora Nicole often shares the pages of her incredible journals on her Facebook page.  She paints in the pages, glues in images, makes them profoundly rich with color and language.

A former student of mine introduced me to Wreck This Journal, Keri Smith’s book that encourages people to tear pages and write in crooked lines and just generally be as creatively destructive as we desire.

More and more, I want to create my own journal out of the inspiration of these women, and I’m starting now. (Be right back.)

So I just dug through my blank journals – I have at least 5 – and chose one.  This pretty turquoise book with the owl that my mother-in-law gave me.  I’m going to use it to record my thoughts on the 3 projects I have going.  (3 projects – agh!)  I’m going to copy down quotes and paste in images or flowers or leaves.  I’m going to add some color, too, although I feel myself resisting that idea even as I write it down.  I’ll probably explore that resistance on the pages, too.

Just now in my life, I’m pretty scattered both in my mental state and in my time allotments.  I have two real estate transactions to maneuver and a house to pack.  Plus 30 animals to move to their new homes in just over 2 weeks.  So I’m finding it challenging to put myself at the desk for long periods of time, even as I push myself to keep writing in the midst of all this.  I need to write, especially when stress levels are high.

So this journal will be my respite.  I’m going to carry it – and a great pen with blue ink – with me everywhere.  And instead of using my phone to fill those dead minutes, I’m going to spiral out words and images on these pages.  I’m actually really excited about the idea.

My hope is that this little bundle of pages will keep me engaged with my words, even when they are not laid out in lines here on this machine. May they be my freedom, my discipline, and my solace.

I’ll keep you posted.

What about you? Do you journal? What form does your journal take? How does it feed your writing practice?