When I was visiting San Francisco last week I met up with some old friends. We went out for drinks and as we were reminiscing about our crazy college years a friend told me: You always seemed to know who you were…..and whether it was good or bad, you were okay with it. When I think back that far, I guess I remember always feeling like I had myself figured out….not that I actually did have myself figured out….but I didn’t worry about little things so much. I think it was mostly because of my art and journaling. It was like a map that always kept me on track. If I did things that were embarrassing….I’d write them down…..and make them into a story. And it was like I released it….it wasn’t a weight anymore. If I didn’t have anything to write about I’d just chronicle some random minutia from the day or tape a receipt on a page from something I bought. I’ve even written things down and sealed them in an envelope until I’m ready to read them again one day. Sometimes, writing “Dear Diary” is just too much pressure…..so I prefer a more free form of journaling: lists, sketches, maps, collages etc.
My favorite form of journaling is when I actually have time to get the paints out and get messy…..check out this process time lapse I made over the weekend of a few pages. Click here to view.
Everyone’s story is worth telling….that’s why I started The Lil Journal Project. Creative journaling has helped me come to know myself better and feel comfortable with who I am. Maybe you’ve always wanted to write a memoir…..or maybe you just want to try and document things about your life for yourself…..or your kids or siblings. I think everyone who is participating has really been surprised at what they start to remember from the prompts……long lost memories that have been unlocked. It’s fun to see all the photos on Instagram (#theliljournalproject) too.
Here are some examples of the prompts from the past few weeks:
Your Life in Cars 1 of 11Make a list of the cars you remember throughout your life.....and then write down those events that come to mind.
Day 7 of The Lil Journal Project.
Just a Sweet Van 2 of 11Not a journal prompt....just my mom's awesome conversion van from the 1990's....I'm getting all nostalgic now.
Your Old Neighborhood 3 of 11Sketch your old neighborhood to see what you can remember.
Day 6 of The Lil Journal Project.
Where it All Went Down 4 of 11Draw the floorplan of the earliest classroom you can remember. Add any memories that come to mind.
Day 2 of The Lil Journal Project.
Your Young Literary Self 5 of 11What were your favorite books as a child? There's a list link to help you remember.
Day 12 of The Lil Journal Project.
Typography 6 of 11Learn how to experiment and alter your handwriting.
Day 5 of The Lil Journal Project.
A Paper Trail 7 of 11Collect interesting tidbits from your life to paste in your journal: receipts, fortunes, packaging etc.
Day 13 of The Lil Journal Project.
Working on Creativity 8 of 11Re-naming colors.
Day 8 of The Lil Journal Project.
Documenting Heirlooms 9 of 11Document jewelry and trinkets that are special to you.....so someday someone will have a record of why.
Day 10 of The Lil Journal Project.
Your Social Network 10 of 11Map out how you know people....a kind of social network.
Day 20 of The Lil Journal Project.
The Lil Journal Project 11 of 11And there's so much more.....it's an ongoing project and you can go at your own pace.
Click here to see the entire project.
Anyway, I hope you’ll join in. Consider it as a family activity too…..I wish I’d had it as an after school activity when I was really young:
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