Above is a photo of all the journals I’ve been writing in since about 1981. I think I have more from high school and earlier, in a box, in my dad’s attic.
Austin Kloen, author of “Steal Like an Artist” has a helpful video on journaling to capture your creative ideas. Its great for poets, writers, designers, painters, or anyone setting up their creative day. In a minute, I’m going to share my personal favorites of his journaling ideas.
When I was 14, I would journal about my crazy emotions regarding boys, and all about my best friends and our insane gossip and worry about everyone. When I was 18, I started trying to write poems, copying everything by Jeff Jewell and the Beat poets–not a single original thought or image in my head. When I went to college, I used journaling to process heady, philosophical thoughts, and liked to pretend I was an intellectual. In my mid-20’s, I used journals for annotating every book I read. There were a couple of travel journals in there (England/Scotland), full of terrible but memorable little drawings.
By my 30’s I was back to annotating books, capturing favorite quotes, and writing out lists. Ah lists. This is now my drug of choice. I first make a book. Then I start making lists. (I’ll have to post on the coptic stitch books I’ve been making). (Now on the list). Making inspirational lists I can never complete is so fun and tickles my ADD bone so hard, that’s its unlikely I’ll ever stop. Austen Kloen’s book just gave me fodder and royal validation.
Here’s a few ideas by Mr. Kloen on using a journal to create ideas:
write down 9-10 things you’d like to learn to do
write something to cross out. That’s right, get used to generating ideas, not necessarily ones you’ll keep, but that keep you generating ideas
doodle until you get an idea (I like to think a word is a doodle)
write what was the best moment, day or month of this past year and why
sit in your studio or office, look around, write about the most interesting thing you see
write about the sublime and the mundane…what are you taking care of? Diet? Pets? Scraps on the floor?
hang onto scraps of paper, mementos, cards. Use a little envelope glued to the inside of the back flap to keep these…later they generate ideas
Become a journalista, have fun