Thursday, June 16, 2016

Journal as Playground

My latest journal entry is online (click here to view the .pdf), and contains a celebration page for a sewing project I started back in April and finished yesterday, a bit of whining about the challenges of cooking when I don't know who I'm feeding, a sketch of an idea for a hanging office organizer, more work pages on setting ideas for my next freelance series project, and work & fun to-do lists.

Journals can be playgrounds for endless ideas. Some of my best story ideas begin as sketches or pictures or random thoughts I jot down to get them out of my head. When I use a picture I find online, I also add the URL with it so I can go back and find it again -- this is important if you don't want to print out 37 pictures of an interior, or a character model. Saving the best pic, and then going back later to the URL to look at the rest while you're writing, saves wear and tear on your printer, too.

Playing with ideas in your journal isn't limited to your writing work. As an idea starter one of my Etsy sellers sent me a photo of an organizer project she made, and I sketched an adaptation of it that I'm going to make for my home office. Now that I've finished my rather complicated tote project I also wrote up a list of fun things I can do in my spare time this week. Making time to have fun isn't the problem; deciding on what to do with it is. Having a list handy of stuff I want to do helps me not waste it.

You may notice that a lot of my notes on my setting ideas pages don't make much sense. They do, but only to me -- I use my own shorthand for what I'm thinking about work stuff; all I need are a couple words to nudge the right thought when I look at it again in the near future. It also makes idea play more efficient because I'm not writing out everything in dense paragraphs which, let's face it, are boring to read. When you write in a journal regularly you're almost guaranteed to develop a personal shorthand of your own.

Image Credit:


  1. I was surprised that your handwriting is so similar to mine. I tend to scribble more when I'm in a hurry or my hand cramps, but when I write like a proper human being, our hands are similar.

    re: taco meat
    Sometimes I make too much--or we don't eat as much as I expected. When that happens, I save the seasoned meat for the next day and scramble it with some eggs. My guy loves it. If I know we won't eat them right away, I freeze it. I can nuke the little bag of meat in under a minute then scramble them into eggs.

  2. I am really enjoying reading the journal entries.


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