Completed Journal

I have always been fascinated with writing things down: lists, filling out surveys, emails, you name it. I've also journaled on and off my entire life, but I've always been a strict journaler. If I didn't fill a journal by writing--and only writing--then I felt like I really didn't fill the journal. Because of that restriction I placed on myself, I don't have many journals I've totally filled. When you own as many journals I do and have carpal tunnel, it's pretty difficult to fill them with just writing.

One of the things I've been teaching myself to do over the last couple of months is pretty simple, but something I have never done: I've been learning to paste stuff into my journal. I've always saved various bits and bobs thinking I'll scrapbook them "one day," but I actually get very little scrapbooking done. Training myself to let go of my "only writing counts" rule is taking some time--I've somehow allowed it to become very ingrained in who I am as a journaler!--but the more I paste things in, the more I enjoy flipping back through the journal, which is something I never did in the paste. The mementos or funny things pasted in are eye catching, which is far more likely to trigger a memory than flipping through just written pages, which often times pass in a blur as you quit focusing on the actual words written down.

I'm also using things I paste down as writing prompts. Here, I pasted in a few images from the USPS catalog that goes out, so I wrote a few things about postage stamps and why I prefer to use something a bit more fun than just generic stamps.

I have also enjoyed flipping through catalogs and pasting in things that have caught my eye for various reasons--it can be kind of a way to window shop, as well as a great source for inspiration. Here, I have pasted in images from the Victorian Trading Catalog that may give me ideas for future craft projects.

Have you ever seen a completed journal, just with writing? It's amazing how just pen on paper can fatten up a journal--the subtle swirl of lines and paragraphs of words slightly indent each page, making the once-flat journal become thick--in the physical sense, I mean. So if ink on paper makes journals fat, imagine how fat pasting in images and photographs makes the journal. Sometimes you use only so much of the journal before you can't keep the covers close together anymore and you realize if you keep going, the thing will be nearly impossible to stay closed, even if rubberbanded.

This past year when I did a complete overhaul of my room, one of the things I did was downsize the journals I had written in. I never feel right about going to finish a journal I abandoned in high school or college when I've written in 15 or more since then. It sort of messes up the time sequence, but also doesn't make sense--I'm not the same person I was when I picked out the green and blue journal with red pom pom cherries on the cover at Claire's in high school and, quite frankly, my adult self doesn't want to write in something like that anymore. I don't even like cherries!

So, to save space, I cut out the blank pages in some of the journals I had written in--in some cases, I had written in the journal so little, it was easier to cut out the pages written in and save them in a zip lock bag. So it was an easy decision to do the same with this journal, especially with my new-found love of pasting things in. Today it got to a point where I decided it was time to cut out the unused pages in the back of the journal and move on to a new one. There's a lot of sad stuff I'm leaving behind in this journal, that I still have to carry in my Hobonichi that I've committed to using until the end of December, and I think I'm ready to use a new one now. I haven't picked out my next journal yet, but whatever it is, I hope it can handle all the mementos I'm going to paste in!


  1. I hope your next one is filled with happiness!



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