Have you ever put together a zine? Do you even know what a zine is? A zine should be creative with art too. Maybe some fiction or cartoon drawings. Personal essays and rants and artistic commentary all belong in a wide variety of zines I have seen and admired. If you were going to take on the experiment of publishing your own zine, what would you make it? Once you pull together a plan think of a great name for the zine. You may never actually put together a zine but you could take an hour to imagine yourself as a trendy, arty, underground or indie publisher of a zine.
Category: "Journal Writing"
Most people who keep a diary / journal write with an audience in mind. They write to someone, even if they don't ever plan to let anyone else read what they have written. Try writing a diary entry about your day, or pick an average sort of day to write about. Choose who your audience is. As you write change your audience to someone else about midway through. How does this change what you write and how you are writing it?
Daisy Yellow is an art journalist with regular posts with Creative Experiments, and Art Journalling 101.
Use familiar stuff in a new environment This is easy. Take your show on the road. If you draw mandalas at night before bed, draw at a cafe. If you mostly shoot photos of your kids, photograph iron gates or weathered doors. If guitar is your thing, get friends together to play at your house. Use new stuff in a familiar way Build on something you know how to do. If you paint flowers with watercolors, paint the same subject with acrylics. Shoot a roll of black + white film instead of digitals. Sketch with thick markers rather than a black pen. Make orange-spiced pecan muffins instead of blueberry-walnut. Use familiar stuff in a new way This means playing with your materials! If you know do mono-printing with a rubber brayer, use a brayer to make an art journal background. If you embroider on aprons, try stitching on an art journal page. Explore completely new stuff What sparks your curiosity? What would you try if failure was irrelevant, just to try it? If knitting is your passion, experiment by making a bracelet with FIMO polymer clay. If you design digital graphics, try pottery or learn to knit a scarf. If you usually play guitar, try painting with watercolors. For me, freestyle embroidery was intriguing yet out of my comfort zone. You can also pursue this idea by taking a class ~ you can find a course (web or live) in hand dying fiber, photography, photoshop, watercolor, ceramics, jewelry making, sewing, guitar, sculpturing recycled junk, making bread.Read all the posts from past Creative Experiments on Daisy Yellow.
What to Write
Any time you are not sure what to write or just can't seem to get started - read back your last post to the journal and comment on it. Did you meet any goals, achieve something or did the day you expected turn out completely different from what you had written?
Write with Pen and Paper
Take a break from the computer, sit in a different chair and use a different table when you write your journal. Buy yourself a paper notebook with blank pages for you to fill. Pick a pen with a nice flow and even a pretty colour of ink to write with. (Blue ink can be pretty - there are all kinds of shades of blue ink in pens once you try out a few of them). There are endless books created to be journals. You can go to a book store and look at a display full of them. Pick something appealing to you. While you're there pick out a bookmark too. Not that you really need one but it's nice to have something to mark the page you last wrote and the new one where you will write again. There is a nice feeling when you actually write with a pen on paper. Plus you will be practising your penmanship. keeping cursive writing alive and working through writer's cramp rather than losing those muscles and that hand dexterity.
Writing Every Day, or Not
There are those who believe a journal or diary must be written in every day. That's a lot to stick with. I know from my own experience how tough it is to stick with a schedule/ plan like that. However, writing everyday does give you writing discipline. You can get into the habit of writing each day and then it does become easier. You will even find yourself composing your daily journal entry as you get up in the morning, on the drive into work or while you're doing something routine like brushing your teeth. Then all you need to do is sit down long enough to write it all out. Putting thoughts on paper is a great way to sort out all the stuff going on in your head. We think about so many things, get so many ideas and plans and then poof, they're gone as we get busy with something else. Keeping a daily diary is a good way to keep track, solidify, and give more respect to your ideas, thoughts and plans. As you sort out and give some real space to everything in your head you will find your mind become a little better at organizing everything going on in there. You can define your thoughts as you have to work out just what they are and how they could work in order to put them on paper. Of course, there is no law saying you have to write in your journal or diary every day. So don't take it so seriously you end up not writing at all because you feel you haven't done enough with keeping the journal. It's there, waiting for you, when ever you come back for it. A journal is just a notebook, a collection of pages, it doesn't blame you or want you to feel obligated to it.
To Edit or Not to Edit
This is such a tricky thing. I did go back and edit some of my old diary posts. I regret it and yet, those edits are part of the history of my diaries now too. I still feel I should have just left them as I originally wrote them, however. I can never go back in time and be the person I was at the time I wrote them. It seems just a bit snarky to criticize or correct myself in any way. Of course, some of what I wrote were not so much edits as comments based on how things turned out as time went by. The comments are pretty cool really. Now, even more time has gone by and I have yet another perspective on both the original post and the comments I made on it somewhere in between then and now. One of the good things about keeping a journal/ diary on paper is that you can't so easily delete your old posts. Online you can make a quick decision to edit or delete something and it will be lost and gone forever.
Extra Tips for Diary/ Journal Writing
If you've been keeping a journal. or diary, for awhile it can become a little stale just talking to yourself, the same monologue. Here are some ways to perk your journal writing back up and make it something you can look forward to again. Start with a diary you like. Shop for a pretty or interesting blank book or make a cover (and even pages) of your own. Or, you might use an online diary and begin on a site like Open Diary, LiveJournal or Blogger. If you really want to write every day, do it. Keeping a writing schedule is a great way to boost your creativity and discipline yourself to write. If you don't want to be a disciplined writer versus a creative writer then don't push yourself to write ever day. Whether you write daily or not, don't always write a long post. Give yourself quick days so you don't feel chained to your diary. Then, when you have something to say and really do want to write about your feelings, thoughts, ideas and happenings in your life, do so. Give yourself all the space you want to explore your own self. Have fun with your journal. Draw in it, sketch, stick souvenirs or stickers inside the pages, Turn each fresh page into something uniquely you and don't be too timid about trying something new. This is your diary, your journal, all the rules are your own to set, or even ignore when you choose to. Be emotional. In life we are told to be nice, not to be too sensitive and not to get so angry. However, in your diary you can vent, you can pour out sadness, grief, envy, anger, bitterness, jealousy, loneliness, hopeless feelings - any and all feelings can leak out from your fingers, into your pen or your keyboard and onto the fresh white page. This is your place to be emotional and not be judged or told what you should feel.
Always remember this is your adventure on paper. Write it your way.Don't always write in the same place or at the same time. Take your diary on the road. Go out to the coffee shop, the mall food court, anywhere you can find a decent place to write. Don't always look for quiet and solitude. There's something kind of special, romantic and even mysterious about being a writer right out there where everyone can see you. You don't have to use your best penmanship. As long as you can understand our own grammar, spelling and punctuation, that's all that really matters. (Maybe some day your diary will become a big, best seller) but right now it's all just your own message in a bottle to yourself. Make mistakes, get messy and don't go back and fix everything. If you write with paper and pen take some time to try a few different kinds of pens. Experiment with ink colours, thick or thin nibs and different kind of grips on the pen itself. It's really nice to have a pen that completely suits your writing style. Write with pencil if you find yourself wanting to sketch or go back and fix your spelling. Not everything in your diary has to come from your own brain. If you come across a quote by someone else stick it in the pages too. Write about why you like it, what was special about it for you.
Inspiration, Prompts and Articles for Diary Writers
- Online diary - Wikipedia
- An Introduction to Journal Writing | D*I*Y Planner
- Writing The Journey: Online Journal Writing Workshop
- Scribe Time
- The Center for Journal Therapy
- Journal For You!
- Inspired To Journal
- Daydreaming on Paper
- Journals | BellaOnline