What the Heck Is An All-Day Journaling Experience?
I came upon it kind of accidentally. A few years ago I was feeling out-of-sorts, bored, and confused about my life. When I feel like that, I know I need to back off “excessive information consumption” and “get in touch with my inner self”. I decided to take a day off screens and use my journal as the only entertainment and diversion for that day (in the snatches of time that come between the tasks of daily living). I don’t remember if I had any kind of epiphany, but I felt refreshed at the end of the day and had added some interesting things to my journals, which would not have come to be if I’d spent yet another day consuming the internetz.
I have done this a few times since then, and will be doing it again on Saturday, October 7. I thought I would use this as an opportunity to show you, (if you are new to the everyday memoir type of journaling) the variety of fun and useful entries you can make in your journal. Think of it as a kind of immersion session into a world where your journal is a true companion.
The things that I’ll show you from my journal (in videos over the next few weeks) won’t necessarily be what I did on a previous All-Day Journaling Experience, but I’ll choose my favorite examples of journal work and hope you find some things you’d like to try or modify for use in your own journaling.
Q: Do I really need to be journaling ALL DAY? Is this a “retreat”?
A: Not at all. First and foremost, this is a time without all the electronic bombardment we are so used to. We just use our journal to fill up the spare moments in that day, rather than social media, or news or some other online “content”. During a journaling experience, we “disconnect” and allow ourselves to meander on the page. We jot down old memories, draw the paper towel holder in the kitchen, or write the most mundane of grocery lists. If we have maybe a full hour to set aside, we can do some deeper writing or planning, or we can spend the whole hour drawing curlicue flowers or writing our name in bubble letters.
Q: Is this an “interactive” experience at all?
A: Not on the day of The Experience, since it’s an offline day. I will have a Facebook Live the day before and the day after, where you can ask any questions or comment about your day of journaling.
If you want interactive, in the somewhat DISTANT future, I am thinking about starting a Natalie Goldberg-style writing group to take place on Skype group chat or something. Maybe an hour where 6 or so people do timed writings together, and then read their writing to the group.
I will be talking a bit about timed writings in the videos for The Experience, and I hope you will put a few in your journal on that day. You can learn a lot about yourself (and also practice your wordsmithing) by doing a timed writing on a deceptively simple subject.
Q: What supplies do I need?
A: I like a medium-sized journal with a fairly thick, toothy paper. You will probably want something that’s called a “sketchbook” and not a “journal”, maybe with paper that is billed as “good for mixed media”. It’s nice if your paper can handle some water eventually, but not necessarily on the day of The Experience. I do most of my everyday journaling with just my notebook and a Pigma Micron pen in size 05. It is satisfying and freeing to work within that limitation, especially for a person like me who suffers from paralysis by analysis.
Q: I’m interested! How do I make sure I get the videos and any other stuff leading up to the All-Day Journaling Experience on October 7, 2017?
A: All the videos will be public on Facebook, and there will be a link to at least one PDF. To make sure you hear about those things the day they go up, please subscribe to my Rough Edges Life Mailing List!