Hello, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to 2014 and our brand spanking new blog schedule!  *fanfare* *trumpets* *elephants peeing* (elephants always end up peeing at the wrong time).

Over the last few years, I have taken a lot of workshops.  I love workshops.   I love learning new things and getting excited about new techniques and adding more ammunition to my internal army.  A lot of the workshops I have taken have been art journaling workshops.  I don’t love art journaling.  I love the techniques and the mixed media joy, but I usually just focus on that part and ditch the journaling.  I don’t love all of the self-affirmation.

I take that back:  I love self-affirmation.  I think it’s great.  You should totally sit in front of the mirror and tell yourself that, doggonit, people like you.

That is awesome.  Go you.

HOWEVER.  I feel like keeping an art journal is ALREADY self-affirmation.  You are taking time out of your day to do something that is JUST for you.  You’re not going to sell it.  Chances are you probably won’t even show it to anyone.   It’s just for you.  That’s a huge pile of self-affirmation.  In my opinion, that’s all you need.

I used to be a chronic journaler.  I used to sit in Denny’s at 2:00 a.m. drinking cup after cup of really bad coffee and chainsmoking while writing down every little thought and feeling and imagined slight.  My first handmade journal was a folder that I swiped from the medical records department of the clinic where I worked, filled with papers titled “progress notes,” so, feeling really clever,  I carried this thing with me everywhere and called it my Progress Notes.  That entire year, I made no progress.  I would write until my eyes blurred then I’d get up in the afternoon, read it, and then get pissed off all over again.  It was a burden, all those detailed memories.  Nothing ever faded into obscurity.  Nothing dimmed with time.  The pain remained continually fresh.  Once I stopped journaling like that, I was able to accept and move on.  I think that’s the reason we don’t all have photographic memories.

SO.  I am going to issue a challenge:  Anti-Journal with me.  We will keep a weekly art journal and will jam on some new techniques.  We will not take ourselves so seriously.  We will create a book that will be a chronicle of our year without a single use of the words “dream,” “believe,” or “faith.”  We will focus on positive things.  We will use some of those 100,000,000,092 pictures we take on a daily basis.  We will make something that will be joy-centric.  

You will make something that is authentically YOU. 

This will be a low-pressure project.  Each spread will be done in multiple parts, a little bit each day that shouldn’t take more than an hour or so.  My own journal is 8 x 8, so each spread will be 8 x 16.  I have inclusions between most of my pages, small 3-4 inch pieces, just to keep things interesting.

journal_inclusion

 

I am calling this the Chronicles Project, and  I would love it if you played along!   Next week I will show you my first spread and will give you prompts to use (if you need them).  There will be a Mr. Linky widget so that you can link your blog.  Let’s do this thing!!

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sarah

Sarah wants to know how everything works. She also has a short attention span and is addicted to coffee. Those two things are probably not mutually exclusive.

22 Comments

AnnDAngelo · January 6, 2014 at 11:00 am

I would like you to know that the following is possibly one of the most brilliant, astute, and resoundingly true things I have read in a long time:

"[F]eeling really clever, I carried this thing with me everywhere and called it my Progress Notes. That entire year, I made no progress. I would write until my eyes blurred then I’d get up in the afternoon, read it, and then get pissed off all over again. It was a burden, all those detailed memories. Nothing ever faded into obscurity. Nothing dimmed with time. The pain remained continually fresh. Once I stopped journaling like that, I was able to accept and move on. I think that’s the reason we don’t all have photographic memories."

Wow. Yes. This. There are some things – many things – we need to let fade, yet we can still chronicle our lives in specific ways without resorting to the hollow cliches of dreaming and flying. You have a noble mission here. I like it so very much! GREAT post!

    sarah · January 6, 2014 at 3:47 pm

    Thank you <3 <3

    I want to start the Anti-Pain Fetishization League. Want to help me design a logo?

      AnnDAngelo · January 6, 2014 at 6:07 pm

      Oh yes. Yes, please.

Cheri Quigley Hayward · January 6, 2014 at 4:29 pm

Errrrrrrmmmmm….I *want* to. I suck at 'journalling' (Like, my idea of anti-journallimg is just not journalling. LOL) I *have* a couple of books. We'll see how it goes. I commit to nothing (so as not to feel like a failure when it doesn't happen.)

    Cheri Quigley Hayward · January 6, 2014 at 4:31 pm

    And apparently I spell journaling WRONG on a routine basis. Go figure. Whatevs!

    sarah · January 6, 2014 at 6:18 pm

    I'll take it! 😀

Ang West · January 6, 2014 at 5:25 pm

Sarah I used to use progress notes also I cant promise not to use self affirmative words but I am up for the challenge of play and all that jazz ANg

    sarah · January 6, 2014 at 6:18 pm

    YAY! I can accept that 😉 😀

mommyceo · January 7, 2014 at 11:21 am

Downloading ideas while uploading skill sets? I'M IN.

    sarah · January 7, 2014 at 12:00 pm

    wootwoot!! I'm excited to have you 😀 <3

Jess, of yore. · January 7, 2014 at 5:50 pm

Hey, are you confused, because you seem to be writing about MY life. I can't throw away those old journals but I can't bear to read them. Blechs. <3<3<3<3 Stuart Smalley ref, and especially that you used the Harold Ramis version.

    sarah · January 8, 2014 at 9:42 am

    OH man. I can't even tell you what a relief it was to get rid of all of those old journals. I was packing for a move and throwing a bunch of stuff away, as you do, and tossed them into the bag on a whim. I swear the angels started singing.

    ..and I absolutely <3 Stuart Smalley 😀

Berracuda · January 9, 2014 at 8:55 am

YAY! I am so in! I've been trying to start an art journal (as well as make progress on my blog :p) and anti-journaling seems perfect!!

    sarah · January 9, 2014 at 10:11 am

    Woot!! Welcome to the party! 😀

Danette · January 18, 2014 at 10:04 pm

Sounds like great fun!

    sarah · January 18, 2014 at 10:48 pm

    Awesome, I hope you play along!

      Danette Loreen · January 20, 2014 at 5:07 am

      I did and I am! Thanks for doing this Sarah!

paper yum · February 16, 2014 at 1:29 am

I just found this and I think I'm in love.

    sarah · February 17, 2014 at 12:57 am

    Awesome!! I'd love it if you played along 😀

Heimudan · March 24, 2014 at 10:43 am

This is awesome. I'm in a good idea for getting unstuck.

    sarah · March 24, 2014 at 1:51 pm

    Most welcome of welcomes!! I hope you'll share your pages! 😀

Shelley Rydellie · February 18, 2017 at 3:06 am

I still love this idea! Ever thinking of doing it again?

Comments are closed.