A blank page is full of possibility. It can become your partner in adventure. Filling a page with marks, you become an explorer. Decide a direction and set off on your journey.
I started my first journal when I was 10 years old and our family was traveling to Mexico. The new sounds, sights and smells made it easy to find things to write about. By the time I got home, journaling had become a refuge – a place where I could be entirely myself without edits or shyness. I have kept journals – and they have kept me – for the 45 years since then.
When I say “I have kept journals,” that’s not literally true. In my early 20s, my box of journals was lost in a move. It was heartbreaking at the time, but it also helped me understand that the past is behind me. Each blank book, each blank page, is an invitation to reinvention. Who I was yesterday does not have to determine who I am in this moment. For me, it’s not having the journals, it’s creating them that’s important.
My journals have changed as I have changed. They have become, in turns, sketchbooks and scrapbooks. They have held midnight rantings, pressed flowers and rough drafts. Whatever I can dish out, they can take.
Through journal writing, I encounter my whole self. After my book, Dancing with Monsters, was published, someone said, “you’re so wise!” No, I just publish the wise bits. The whiny, disheartened monster-voices that sometimes need to have their say before I get to any wisdom are left on the pages of my journal. I need that space for processing, tipping the bowl back and forth so the dross runs off and I can see gold flecks.
My friend and teacher, Jamie Ridler, is starting a new do-good initiative called “Give a Girl a Journal.” Jamie helps folks (including me) nurture their creative selves and bring creative projects to light and life. This project will put journals in the hands of girls so they can get to know and express themselves in the safe and sacred space a journal offers. They will be able to discover their own flecks of gold and share them with the world.
This initiative is a triple delight for me: I get to support someone I love (hi Jamie!), celebrate creativity and make the world a better place. Yay!
Give a girl a journal, make the world sparkle!
As I go through my day, I watch for moments when the corners of my mouth turn up and my heart lifts. I note these moments of delight in my journal and consider their patterns here.
I encourage you to be on the lookout for your Delight of the Day.