Tuesday, March 11, 2008

More about Creative Journaling

One of my favorite kinds of journals is a collage journal. Begin by collecting interesting images from old newspapers, magazines, junk mail, etc. I prefer to use a blank book without lines for this type of journal. arrange your images into groupings on the pages leaving room (little spaces) to write. Feel free to combine your memory book or scrapbooking techniques with journaling. You may want to add fabric elements like ribbon or lace, mementos like movie ticket stubs, stickers, canceled stamps, personal photographs, drawings, feathers, silk leaves or dried leaves (warning: some things may not be archival), etc. Craft stores sell many archival glues you can choose from. The writing should be inspired by the visual elements. This is not a traditional dated journal/diary. Move back and forth in it adding new words and pictures over time. Let it inspire you-- maybe you will write a poem on one page and a dream you remember on another. Maybe you'll write a letter to someone living or dead, perhaps someone you admire from history like Lincoln or Dr Martin luther King. Feel free to include quotes from movies, books, and people you love too. There are no rules! Be creative!
Another favorite journal I always keep beside my bed is a Dream Journal. When I wakeup from a particularly memorable dream I quickly write it down before it fades. When I read through my dreams later it is very interesting to try to figure out what my subconscious was working through. Dreams are generally wishes or fears. Look for the dominant emotion you felt in the dream (this emotion is often very exaggerated). Now, look over your own day time feelings over the last several days. When did you feel that same emotion but less intensely? That will be the key to understanding the meaning of the dream.
I collect dozens of blank books, of all sizes and types, so I'll be able to select the perfect one when I want to start a new type of journal to process something like the loss of my beloved cat, notes and insights from reading several self help books with a common theme, jotting down ideas for improving society, story ideas and a list of names for characters, best memories of my life (good to reread when depressed), etc. I also cut or tear out images I like whenever I'm reading something I'm going to recycle. I have a 3 in 1 color printer so if I have a photo or an image in a magazine I want to use in a journal but I don't want to use the original I make a color photocopy.
If you like the ideas I have offered about collage journaling you'll want to read one of my favorite books: Soul Collage by Seena B. Frost. I took a series of classes on the Soul Collage process and created a collection of "soul cards." I then made color photocopies of my "soul cards" and made a journal. I created a slip on fabric collage cover for my journal and now it is a real work of art.

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