Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Winter Projects: Journaling

Peacock blank writing journal, on eBay


I like to constantly do projects throughout the year. That way my life does not solely focus around work and housekeeping, but also so my life has more fun things in it besides my beloved friends and family.

I like to do some things just for myself, too. In summer it's difficult to drag myself in from the outdoors, so I do most of my projects during cold, dark, rainy winter nights.

Enjoy writing? One possible project you might begin this winter is journaling.


Journaling can take many forms - diaries, letters, writing exercises, fan fiction, recording dreams, and travelogues.

It can serve many other useful purposes, as well - spiritual discovery, memoir development, writing improvement, grief recovery, healing, catharsis, life planning, record of cooking experiments, family history, creative stimulation, or confession.

Your journal can be in an old notebook, a beautiful hardbound leather blank book, a blank journal you've creatively decorated, or it can even be a blog on Livejournal or Blogger.

You can also just write using your word processor or the old fashioned way: an inexpensive pen and a paper college-ruled notebook.


I am very bad at remembering to journal every day. I tried techniques like keeping a hardbound journal next to the bed or in my purse. Neither worked, so now I've given myself permission to write only when I feel like it.

I've found if I create a fun project to write about, I'm extremely more likely to actually write in one of my journals than if I just sit around waiting for inspiration.

Alphonse Mucha blank writing journal, on eBay


If you don't want to record the banalities of your daily life, diary-style, try something more creative. For example:

  • Write a fake diary pretending to be a celebrity, then write about your fictional experiences on the set of a nonexistent movie.

  • Write an "Edward and Bella" Twilight fan fiction story, starring your teenage niece, and send it to her. She'll be embarrassed, maybe; but she also might get a kick out of it. Or write in the universe of Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings, whatever your teenager is into.

  • Develop a travelogue to somewhere you've never been (Use the Web for research to make it more accurate). Write a journal from the viewpoint of a time traveler, sharing your wild experiences as you visit different eras. You could write a journal as though you're an employee at a fancy hotel in Paris (even though you really aren't) making up stories about all the weird rich people that stay there overnight.

  • Write a pretend letter from one fictional character to another. Or from one historical figure to another. It's fun to mix and match people who couldn't actually have known each other: Have Neil Armstrong write to H.G. Wells, for example. Or have Jane Austen send a witty letter to fellow author Danielle Steele, just for fun.

  • Write a diary from the perspective of Snow White's stepmother, or Cinderella's stepsister, if you like fairy tales.

The idea isn't to lie to or defraud your readers (if you choose to share your journal). Rather, it's just to have a little fun and be creative. I never understand why people get so riled up over fake celebrity weblogs - they're obviously works of fiction and fan fiction. If you're writing a diary pretending to be Paris Hilton, you're not trying to trick anyone, you're essentially writing a series of fictional (and possibly slutty) short stories in the first person perspective.

Gratitude Journal, at Paper-Source


If you enjoy writing, make time for yourself to write in your journal as often as you feel like it. Treat that time as sacred, and make it known to family members how important it is to you to have that fifteen to twenty minutes to yourself uninterrupted. Turn off your phone, log out of Facebook, and turn off the TV.

You might have to actually remove yourself from the house once a week to a coffee shop to get your writing time in, if you can arrange your absence.


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LOVELY BABY: The Tea Collection

I just discovered this children's clothing store online. I'm so enamored of their Art Nouveau and Arts & Crafts inspired clothing. Lots of gorgeous florals, paired with stripes, for girls; and the Old World Hungarian Holiday collection for boys is just so adorable. They use soft, interesting colors that I find a welcome relief from the typical pink-and-blue palette for babies.


This is a website you can join to access their archive of over 60,000 inspiring home-decor photos. I'm more interested, however, in their daily blog, which features gorgeous finds and ideas. They're currently discussing tables set for entertaining, when to prop pictures instead of hanging them, and a report on 7 home trends from the High Point Market. I think you'll get inspiration from looking at the photographs here!


Lovely Shopping Tips: Safe And Easy Gifts for People You Don't Know Well (Lovely Living Archives)

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