Sunday, 27 July 2014
Keeping a journal
I'm keeping an illustrated journal for a few months. I've tried this before and it's never really worked out, but this time, I seem to be getting into the habit. I got the idea from an arts organisation in Peterborough. They're encouraging 100 people in the city to keep a diary for 4 months. They are hoping to enlist people whose voices are not often heard, so for example those who are marginalised for some reason. At the end of the allotted time, the journals will be shown in an exhibition in the city museum. I think it's a lovely idea. Now, nobody could say that I don't have a voice, what with a blog, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and regular articles, but it has encouraged me to give it a go and one of the people who is running the scheme was kind enough to give me a journal (I think she could see the look of labrador-like enthusiasm on my face when she was telling me about the plan as I interviewed her for the local magazine).
I'm hoping to use drawing, painting, writing and collage in the journal. I try not to agonise over it, just sit down and write whatever comes to mind. Recently, my oldest friend found a stash of letters that I'd written to her between the ages of 10 and 21. She moved away from my village when we were at junior school but we remained very close, and so I've photocopied some of those letters and included them in the diary as they have been on my mind. I have since found her letters to me, so we now have the complete correspondence. It's hilarious, touching, and also a bit strange, to see them.
Although nothing much happens in these letters, they do capture a moment in time, growing up in the 1970s pre-mobile phones, email, Facebook, Snapchat, selfies and screens. Not necessarily better, but certainly different and I think they show that there was less pressure to grow up quickly, but also just less pressure generally.
Keeping the journal is also a great way of drawing more often, and making time to sit down and write it. I like the ritual of it. It's not perfect, just scribbles and sketches, thoughts, and observations.
Haven't written about quilts yet, but I'm looking forward to writing and drawing that one.
I know there are some other bloggers who are keeping journals, and I've seen some beautiful ones on Pinterest and I have a few books about them too. Has anyone else had a go at this? I'd love to hear about it.