How to Journal

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Posted 1/25/2014 by minna40 in General Scrappin'


PeaNut 508,291
May 2011
Posts: 555
Layouts: 24

Posted: 1/25/2014 10:08:02 AM
I want to journal, but I have never been much of a writer. I can't seem to get more than the basic, who, where, etc. How can I inspire myself to put more meaningful journaling on my layouts? Does Glitter Girl has a video for this?


PeaNut 427,211
June 2009
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Layouts: 53
Loc: in my scraproom in PA

Posted: 1/25/2014 10:29:15 AM
Jill's workshop will be a great class to take to help you break out of your comfort zone and get words to paper.


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PeaNut 114,614
November 2003
Posts: 22,668
Layouts: 499
Loc: Ontario, Canada

Posted: 1/25/2014 11:03:06 AM
I agree, Jill's workshop is a GREAT way to re-think, improve or just inspire your journalling and journalling techniques.

I think a lot of adding meaning to your pages involves thinking about what your pages are lacking now (to YOU) and once you've identified that missing element you can work towards finding a way to add it! What makes journalling feel meaningful to you.... Is it adding in emotion, details that can't be seen in the photo, a perspective of memory that comes with looking back and appreciating something about that moment in time you don't want to forget?

Do you red journalling on layouts by other people -- and if you do, what kind of writing makes you stop and say, "wow"? Maybe if you can note what you like about other people's writing, you can try to emulate that same approach or feeling in your own writing.

Journalling is hard. Really hard, at least for me. I struggle with it much more than the page design or pattern paper selection. But for me, in the end, that is why *I* scrapbook. For some people, scrapbooks are fancy photo albums that tell a story. For me, I want my albums to be story books with photos and fancy paper.

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PeaNut 563,248
August 2012
Posts: 2,663
Layouts: 0
Loc: Florida

Posted: 1/25/2014 11:04:52 AM
I used to have the same problem. Until I started to think of it as telling a story. The picture may not say a whole lot but the story linking to the picture will. It hit me after watching nicolejones911 on youtube


PeaNut 18,334
July 2001
Posts: 38,143
Layouts: 15
Loc: State of cultural confusion. Yeehaw and Aloha have collided!

Posted: 1/25/2014 11:24:46 AM
I think about why I choose those photos. I write that down. Then I give the page to someone who wasn't there. I write down the things I feel compelled to tell them or the things they ask me about. When I can give a page to someone and not feel compelled to tell them more about that day/event because it isn't in the journaling then I know my journaling is complete.

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PeaNut 110,614
October 2003
Posts: 9,115
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Loc: Ã…rhus, Denmark

Posted: 1/25/2014 11:50:37 AM
My approach to journalling (and layouts in general) is to ask myself what I want to have recorded. If I lost all my memories tomorrow, what would I want to know?

Journalling gets easier. The more you do it, the easier it becomes, and funnily enough you'll find you remember more and have more stories to tell. I highly suggest trying a writing or journalling course (or make one up for yourself using a variety of prompts) that requires you to write a little bit everyday. Writing, like anything, requires practise. You don't have to write volumes, you just need to do it frequently.

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PeaNut 217,769
August 2005
Posts: 1,056
Layouts: 18
Loc: NY

Posted: 1/25/2014 12:19:56 PM
I used to be the same way. I remember being at my first few Creative Memories classes and the instructor telling me I had to journal. I had no idea what to write. Weren't the pictures self explanatory? Why did I have to write anything?

It wasn't until I had kids that the words just flowed. What did I want to remember about this picture and moment? How did I feel? What did they say? I now find it hard to not write journaling a mile long. I have to pull it back.

I've never taken a workshop, it's just something that clicked with me one day.


PeaNut 18,334
July 2001
Posts: 38,143
Layouts: 15
Loc: State of cultural confusion. Yeehaw and Aloha have collided!

Posted: 1/25/2014 12:52:04 PM
I think the hardest part of journaling is getting past the subconscious aspects of this being a school assignment that is going to be graded.

It doesn't have to be creative. It doesn't have to be researched and footnoted in an approved format. No one is going to grade it with a red pen or judge your use of language and grammar. Journaling is simply you talking to your future generations after you are gone. What do you think they want to know about your life? What would you want to know about your grandma or grandpa's life before you were born?

What Your Kit Lens Can Do For You

Canon 60d, Canon 24-70mm 2.8L, Canon 70-200mm 2.8L, 50mm 1.8, 28-80, 75-300mm and Tamron 90mm 2.8 macro

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PeaNut 210,654
June 2005
Posts: 5,221
Layouts: 207
Loc: Connecticut

Posted: 1/25/2014 5:05:14 PM
I will be honest, journaling has never been a problem for me. I don't always feel the need to be verbose, but I do usually have the journaling in my head before I even start the page.

I always think if I wasn't here, what story would I want the person looking at the page to take away. And then I write that story down. Even if I'm going to type it up, I write it down first. I do better at getting the story down by hand. The flow works better for me that way.

That's not to say that my journaling isn't sometimes just the facts, but sometimes the photos need words.


I just don't see why people think I'm too patronizing (that means I treat them as if they were stupid.)


PeaNut 580,255
February 2013
Posts: 455
Layouts: 3

Posted: 1/25/2014 6:43:08 PM
Sometimes when I'm showing someone a page I start to say something about the photo or the event or the actual page. I jot that down and that becomes my journaling.

Some events are easier than other.


PeaNut 269,269
July 2006
Posts: 811
Layouts: 0

Posted: 1/25/2014 7:15:40 PM
I didn't read the responses yet, so I apologize if I am repeating, but here's what I do. How to journal: On a piece of scrap paper, write down the easy, obvious stuff about the photos/story - who-what-where-when-how. Get that out of the way because that's the stuff that comes easily. Write what you would ordinarily write - the fluff stuff. This is where many would stop. Here's the trick to journaling: When you are done what you would ordinarily write, and you've gotten it all out, write some more. Push yourself. Dig deeper. What else could you say about this? It can be anything. How did it make you feel? Was it a "first" for something? Was it a "last" for something? Did it remind you of something else? Did it represent a change/growth/step forward? Backward? Now look at what you've written on your scrap paper and choose what to add to your layout. If it all fits, great. If not, put the most important words on your layout - chances are it'll be the words you wrote last, not the fluff. If you must put who-what-where-when-how on your layout, you can always put them on the back if you've taken up all of your journaling space with "the good stuff."
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