Monday, March 31, 2008

Writing Monday: Creative Journals

Everybody who writes keeps--or tries to keep--a journal. The Writer has lots of journals for different purposes. Some are on the computer. Some are in handwritten journals. She doesn't write in all of them every day. Some days she doesn't write in any of them. It depends on her particular need that day. Does she need to connect with the character in her current book? Then she will write in the book journal. Does she need to figure out some aspect of her life? She tries to write her way to the solution in her personal journal.

And then there are days when she doesn't want to be The Writer. On those days, she works in one of two Creative Journals. These aren't exactly art journals, which can be intimidating to the non-artist, and they aren't exactly scrapbooks. They're journals with scrapbook-y art that tell an ongoing story.

The first journal is her Journey Journal. In it The Writer is Beatrice, a young woman who has moved to New York City in the late 1930s to become a children's book writer. She sends postcards back home, writes letters to school friends, and keeps her own art journal, sort of a journal within a journal, about her life in the Big City and her fledgling career. The handwritten pages are decorated with vintage-type New York memorabilia and Beatrice's sketches.

The second journal is called Letters to Margaret. It's a series of letters written to one of The Writer's favorite authors, Margaret Wise Brown. The Writer imagines she is a disciple of MWB and writes her letters. Sometimes Margaret writes back with advice.

These are easy journals to create. Just get a spiral-bound blank notebook and decorate the front cover. Then decide who you want to be. Take yourself out of yourself! It's fun and a good way to stretch your writing.

The Writer thinks of more ways to fool around. How does she ever get any work done?


Tarie said...

Oh, these are all wonderful ideas! I keep a Moleskine as a personal journal, inspiration board, and art notebook. This post has given me great tips for stretching the imagination. :o)

ellsworth said...

The Writer has Moleskine journals, too, but she prefers making her own. With spiral, blank-paged journals the book lies flat and you create easier plus decorate the cover. Go for it!