Creative: Journaling

How many of you keep a journal? For those of you who do, kudos. For those of you who don’t, why not? Journaling is addictive, but it’s also fun, strategic, helpful and therapeutic. I started a daily journal in the summer of 1993 after finding a book about Peter Beard in the Phoenix Public Library. My books do not resemble his, at all, but they serve many of the same purposes. My book isn’t really a photo journal. My books are primarily about thoughts, ideas and the written word, intermixed with images, drawings, Instax, scraps and ephemera of life. Journaling is like yoga, no longer an option because they are so much a part of my daily routine if I don’t do them I feel incomplete. You don’t need anything fancy. Just buy the cheapest notepad and pen/pencil and write like you have never written before. The key with journaling is honesty. If you journal for notoriety, and I know a few who do, then you aren’t really journaling you are marketing. Journaling is about writing as if NOBODY will ever seen the words you put down, otherwise you aren’t truly benefiting from the process. Good luck.

12 Comments on “Creative: Journaling”

  1. I’ve never journalled in mixed media, and I have to say I admire the multimedia randomness of journals like yours. Mine are all scribble, and the occasional ink blot when I fall asleep during late nights and drool all over the page…..

  2. Been journaling for quite a few years already and i gotta agree it is really therapeutic. I don’t have a fix schedule with it, sometimes daily, sometimes weekly, sometimes I’ve taken a month break … But i keep doing it. From all writing, to scribbles, to sketches, to a bunch of Instax Wide or Mini, … Depend the moment, depend the situation I’m in. I specially like the instant film for traveling journal, so every day i try to do a recap of the day and attach some photos from that day.

  3. I’ve tried to keep a journal in the past but get annoyed at my awful handwriting – and if I make a spelling mistake I tear out a page, then tear up the journal. Due to your influence I’ve started to keep one again; this time writing in block capitals and leaving space for instax prints (when I finally but the printer). I’m going to keep it up this time.

    1. Mike,
      My handwriting is HORRIBLE. So bad in fact I’ve had people ask me what language I’m writing in. Don’t sweat it. Remember, the book is for you, not anyone else.

  4. This journaling…between you and Austin Kleon…I keep giving it a try and I keep never staying with it. I like to think of my weekly Saturday blog post – Visual Week In Review – as my journal. What I did that week via snapshots, then links to cool stuff I found.

    1. Mark,
      That’s okay. The only thing to keep in mind is the journal is for you, only you. A different freedom comes with this reality. There are no good or bad journals.

  5. Pingback: JSP Visual Week In Review ~ 06.24.17 | JerseyStyle Photography

  6. I keep a journal on compositional rules. I try to figure out and sketch out how to maliciously obey the rule or how to break them in an interesting way, I also take notes on how other photographers do this.

  7. Journaling is like running, some get it and most don’t. 😄 My question to everyone is “how did it begin in your life?” For me it started with grief. You’re so right Dan, honesty and not worrying what you write is key.

    1. Kevin,
      It started for me in the Phoenix Public Library in 1993. Finding a book by Peter Beard who is an unreal journal keeper. Once I saw his work I knew I had to try something…..

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