Monday, June 29, 2020

Journées sur la Page (Days on the Page)

 cromaconceptovisual via Pixabay
I have been reading the same beach devotional for eight years now and, on this trip, I might just finish it.

If that sounds pathetic, please let me explain. The book in question is devotions for the beach, and I tuck in a drawer at home, saving it to read only when I'm at the beach. Every morning, I read an entry and write in my journal. Some days get busy, and I end up doing this whole process in the evening but, most of the time, it's how I start my days. The condo we rent has a screened-in porch, and I sit out there under the ceiling fan and start the day not with news or social media, but with quiet contemplation.

It's a habit I wish I could carry over into daily life but, journaling in the traditional sense is not a habit I'm able to maintain. I was a pretty regular journal-keeper in my twenties when I was single and living alone (and not writing!) but life is a lot more hectic now. It could certainly be argued that my current life pace is an excellent reason to re-start the habit but it never seems to take.

At least not in words.

As a writer and an educator (and a parent), my days are full of words; contemplation without an element of planning doesn't stand a chance, especially at the beginning of the day. But recently, as I was working on my (endless) inbox reduction project, I came across some sketchnoting videos. In one of them, presenter Doug Neill suggested a keeping a daily sketchnoting journal as a means of developing our skills. I was all over that idea, beginning my sketching at the end of May and quickly filling page after page in a cheapie drugstore sketchbook. You won't find many actual sketches, but I'm having a great time playing with color, space, borders and lettering. I packed my sketchbook and markers and am continuing this project alongside my journaling with words project during this vacation.

It's likely that, this trip, I'll write on the last blank page of my beach journal as well. It's been a journey from the beginning of that journal to now -- from retirement to a full load as an adjunct, and from no novels and two nonfiction books to four novels (two published), three nonfiction books and two gigs as a contributor.

But more on that Wednesday. 

How about you? Do you journal? If so, what do your journals look like?

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