An Everything Book: Allowing Life to Enter

With the reviews for The Journal Junkies Workshop popping up on various blogs and on, I've been thinking about what separates the Journal Fodder Junkies' approach from many that are out there. I think it boils down to one thing: We use the journal as an Everything Book. I know that I have brought this up in other posts, but I want to bring it up again. We don't worry about having "pretty" pages or finished pages or deep, thoughtful pages. We merely throw everything in there. It is a place to heap our thoughts, our ideas, our experiences, and our experiments. The depth, meaning, and completeness emerge and develop as the journal becomes that living document of life.

These two pages illustrate that point perfectly. There's the mundane - a key card sleeve from an Asheville Sleep Inn, a Burt's Bees lip balm package, and the doodles. There's the special - a flyer from a friends art exhibit (which I unfortunately did not see). There's the reflective and the deep - the truth quote and the list of reflections. There's the finished and the unfinished.

Many people get caught up in making these finished works of art for each page with deep themes and related imagery, and that's fine. Each person works in the journal his or her own way, but we approach the journal as a catchall - a place to dump ourselves, store memories, and process life. It is a special place simply because there is the freedom to include all of life - a scrap of envelope, a meaningful quote, a photo, or a random thought. And like life, the journal isn't always polished, complete, deep, and extraordinary. It can be messy, random, and unfinished.

So, I encourge people to break out of their normal journal habits, and try something different - try to bring in more of everyday life or try a different media or try a different mode of working. Allow the journal to reflect you and your life more.