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Tag Archives: journaling prompt
When I look through all of my past layouts, my favorite pages are ALWAYS the ones with lots of words on them! There’s something very powerful about a shared story and I believe the layouts that include our journaling will be precious treasures for us and anyone we share our creations with.
I’ve been writing about journaling here at The Daily Digi for a few years now, and I’ve become even more passionate about the importance of the written word. Our team has shared many ideas to help you get your memories documented and we love to illustrate our tips in daily blog posts, the monthly playbook, and on the layouts we create.
Today, I’m challenging you to find a way to include more words on your pages. Whether you love journaling, or dread it, I know you can find an approach that works for you! To give you a little extra incentive, I’m extending an official call for you to submit a link to a new page you create based on one of our past journaling prompts:
- Write about writing
- Make a list of stories to tell and then start telling them
- Conduct an interview to get journaling material
- Start your journaling with Dear fill-in-the-blank
- Try journaling from blog posts, emails, & status updates
- Make your words the focus of your page
- Photograph your journaling
- Try lightning round journaling
- Get help from others with your journaling
- Listen to a conversation & then write about it
- Write a short story to use as journaling
- Journal this day in history
- Answer questions to get your journaling
- Use the calendar as a journaling tool
- Gather up some journaling
- Borrow your journaling from the internet
- Use a meme or a quiz for journaling
- Exercise your journaling muscles
- Use bullet journaling
- Try a “standing over the shoulder” or “bet you didn’t know” approach
- Look through Katie’s journaling examples
Simply comment on THIS post by Saturday March 24th at 10 p.m. EST with a link to your page and let us know which prompt inspired you. I’ll randomly draw a winner for a $10 designer gift certificate and post the results on the Sunday post. I can’t wait to see what you create!
P.S. The title image features a worn cluster by One Little Bird & Sahlin Studio and the font is Café Rojo.
Just my type by Mari Koegelenberg. The typewriter font by Heather Hess.
When I was younger, I had dreams of being a writer. I was sure that I would live in the English countryside (don’t know how I was going to get there from Utah?) where I would plunk away on my typewriter for hours every day. It was a ridiculously romanticized image of what the life of a writer would be and I’ve come to understand that is not likely to ever be what my life looks like. The best part is that I’ve since realized I don’t want that type of existence. Sure, the English countryside part still sounds wonderful, but I definitely want more out of my world than just a one on one relationship with words and paper. I want to live life each day and experience it. That means that I have to squeeze in bits and pieces of writing when I can.
Sometimes, when I discuss my love of scrapbook journaling with others, they seem to have an idealized notion of what it must be like to be one of “those people” who write a lot on their layouts. They act as if I have more time or talent than they do because I’ve put a few paragraphs on a page. What they might not realize it that it comes out word by little word, and it often takes many tries to simply jot down a few sentences.
I’ll open a word document and type a few thoughts, then I need to drive my daughter somewhere. That document stays open in the background of my computer while I answer emails, teach my children in homeschool, and balance our checkbook. I play around with the layout. It’s much more fun to arrange flowers than it is to extract words from my busy brain.
I remind myself that the page will not be complete without the story, so I go back to my word document. I switch back and forth between photos and thoughts. I stare at the pictures and try to remember what I want to say. I type a few words. I look at the clock and realize that dinner time is right around the corner. I forget about the journaling. Hours later, the kids are finally in bed, and I have a few minutes. But, I’m exhausted and I have other things that need to get done before morning. Those tasks come first, but I type a few more lines to explain the memories.
This process can last for days at times. It all depends on what interrupts me. I have a real life. I’m needed by actual people. I don’t give up. I write when I can. I take any little chunk of time that falls into my lap and I use it. That’s what writers do.
My new image of a writer is not someone who sits alone for hours in a quiet room, but it is someone who makes notes on her smartphone, works on ideas when she has a few minutes, types captions into her photo uploads, shares thoughts on social media, and post pictures and thoughts in blog posts. She can type memories while her son plays rock band in the other room, or in a quick dash as she fits in some time before a friend drops by.
When the time comes to pull it all together, a writer gathers the breadcrumbs she’s been leaving behind and gives them a home. In my case, the finished product is not a novel, but a scrapbook page. Bits and pieces at a time. Line by line, I’m writing the story of my life and I call it scrapbooking. Not in a cottage overlooking an English garden, but in a house full of people, cooking dinner, teaching school, wearing sweatpants, at 11 p.m. at night, or on my phone at the breakfast table.
I’m a writer because I stick with it. I keep going until those words are on the piece of paper. It’s not glamorous. It’s not even particularly talented. It’s persistent, and it pays off in the long run. I’m a writer because I’m a scrapbooker. I’m a writer because I keep trying to be one. The key is to just chip away at it until you have something down on paper, and when you do – put it on a layout!
Lauren Reid Hometown. Heather Hess The Typewriter font.
As I (Katie) pondered goals/projects/words etc. to guide me in this new calendar year, I kept coming back to the same almost urgent feeling… I have stories to tell. When I think about where my stories are, many of them exist on my blog or on scrapbook pages. I’m so grateful for the memories I have documented because I don’t have to worry about forgetting the details and I can share them with the people I care about. I’ve become more aware lately that so many of my stories have not been written down on my blog or on a page of any type. These are the pieces that make up the experiences of my life. They are precious, interesting, and often quite entertaining. None of these stories are about big events – they are the small everyday things that I want to remember.
I decided to make a list of all the stories I could think of that I want to share. I set a timer for 20 minutes and just started to write. When I ran out of ideas, I opened my photo files and browsed through pictures until something jogged my memory, and then I continued to write some more. This is the list I came up with:
1. Putting parmesan cheese in the dishwasher instead of soap
2. Vacuuming up the living room curtains
3. Riley decorating the cat with toothpaste
4. Coming home to sleeping kids covered with pop tarts
5. Calling the police when I thought someone was breaking in because Jeff came home early from a business trip and thought it would be fun to surprise me
6. Alex yelling “those thieves stole my blood” in the hospital parking lot
7. The $30 I loaned Jeff to pay for a marriage license
8. Zach’s electrical “experiment” at age 2
9. Finding out I was going to be an aunt
10. Mike’s scary broom face
11. Drinking a raw egg in front of my high school
12. Chasing the kids with the vacuum
13. Game dates with the Andersons
14. Quilts made by Jeff’s Grandmother
15. The 2,000 Tony the Tiger towels Alex tried to order on the internet
16. Hosting crop parties
17. Fogged in at the airport for 5 hours
18. Playing Risk with Brett and his dates
19. Drinking a raw egg at a Super Bowl party
20. Marshmallow gun fight
21. Eating lunch in the courtyard in high school
22. Alex reporting Jeff to the Oregon airport security
23. Riley drenching herself in Asian hot sauce
24. Why we joke about “minor skin irritations”
25. Riley’s warning from the go-cart operator
26. Mike’s “mild” New Mexican lasagna
27. Grandma Smith’s rolls
28. The custom Barbie Doll Alex made for Riley
29. Accidentally cutting the cable wires while doing yard work
30. Scaring my Mom with loud music in the car
31. Sleeping in a leaky tent in a rainstorm
32. Alex’s monopoly games with Kyle
33. Playing balloon volleyball in the living room
34. Lola eating our puzzle pieces
35. Alex’s Amazing Mumford tuxedo
36. The time my Mom thought she had a blog stalker
37. Winning a bet by eating octopus
38. Jeff trying to stop the New York Knicks from coming in our window
39. Riding the Matterhorn with our eyes closed
40. Riley singing “Don’t Buy the Liverwurst” in her sleep
41. Being sorted into Slytherin at Pottermore
42. Laying on my left side
I bet you would like to know more about some of these memories. Can you imagine how my family must feel? These are experiences that I want to journal about! Now that I have taken a few minutes to jot them down, I feel very motivated to put them somewhere to be enjoyed. It didn’t take me very long at all and I’m going to use this layout and list as motivation to tell my stories. I bet if you set a timer for a 20 minutes that you would find you have a lot of stories inside of you as well. Think about the little moments worth remembering. Reminisce about inside jokes, things that make you smile, and the kind of memories you swap around the kitchen table when you get together with friends and family. Make a list and keep it somewhere near your scrapping supplies. Don’t worry that the items you want to share might be small or uninteresting – I promise you that they are meaningful and worth sharing. YOU have stories to tell!
P.S. Rhadoda was the random comment chosen from those that commented on K Studios post from Monday. She won $10 in product from K Studio!
My parents are visiting my house right now, so I’ve had the wonderful opportunity to spend several full days with them. It’s been fun to watch them interact with my children, and also nice to have the time to just sit around and chat. The other night I was asking my Mom something about her father and somehow it brought up that she interviewed him (and recorded it on tape) shortly before he died. I commented on how great that was and she said “Yes, but I really did it wrong.” I couldn’t imagine what would be “wrong” about that interview so I asked her. She replied that she spent too much time trying to ask him certain questions. She said “If I could do it over again, I would just push record and let him talk.” I’ve thought about that a lot over the past few days and have come to realize how brilliant that really is. Of course she didn’t do anything “wrong” by conducting a more formal interview with him, but the idea of just listening to someone talk is probably some of the best advice I could ever think of to find meaningful material for journaling. Listening to what people are saying when they are just talking, is a wonderful way to discover who they really are and what is important to them. You can find out things you would never think to ask, and you will gain a great appreciation for their experiences and their personal story.
After thinking about what my Mom said, I decided to try and be more aware of what my parents were just openly sharing with me during this visit. The other night, we were driving to get a hamburger together and my Dad and my son were having a funny conversation. My Dad said something like ‘Don’t play mental checkers with your Grandpa because I’ll win” and we all laughed. Then he also joked about how he might win in real checkers because he learned from his own father who was nearly unbeatable at the game. He told us that it wasn’t until late in his Dad’s life that he could actually win in a game of checkers against my Grandfather. I had no knowledge or memory of my Grandpa playing checkers, and I really didn’t know that my Dad is also good at the game. I only found this tidbit out through listening. I’m sure I would have never thought to ask it as an interview question. I’ve been entertaining the idea in my head for days now – trying to imagine my Dad and his own father playing checkers. I’ve wondered if my son could have beat him (he’s pretty good at the game as well), or who would win in a match between my Dad and my son? A simple overheard conversation led to a lot of reflection AND gave me some great journaling material for this layout:
It’s All Fun & Games Triple Dip by Jenn Barrette, Julie Billingsley, & Libby Pritchett. Fonts are Fontologie Textura Traced and Calibri.
If you are looking for inspiration in the journaling department, remember to put on your listening ears. Just pay attention to the conversations that are naturally happening all around you. I bet you will find something interesting to write (and scrap) about!
P.S. Corinne was the random winner selected from the comments on yesterday’s post. She won $10 to the Ette’s store.
P.S.S Mary(HappyNow) was the random winner selected from those that entered the Reader Challenge, JUST SCRAP!! She won $10 in product from the Ettes as well!
Do you need a starting point for journaling? One of my favorite writing “secrets” is to simply answer a question. Really, it’s that simple! There are several different ways to use questions to help you document your memories.
It would be easy for me to think I didn’t need a lot of journaling to go with this photo. It’s very obvious that we are in Disneyland (see my son’s shirt) and that he is getting an autograph from some characters. If I add my son’s name and date, I can answer the most basic questions of who, when, and where. I’m going to dig a little deeper though and answer the question “Why did you take this photo?”
I took this photo because a week before we left Disneyland, my daughter insisted that we each pick our all-time favorite Disney character. She wanted us to have that in mind as we went to Disneyland so we could look for character-related items and experiences. Alex surprisingly picked Burt from the movie Mary Poppins. He loves the British people and culture and also loves music and dancing so it really makes perfect sense. I thought it was neat that Alex picked something less mainstream, but I was also certain we wouldn’t find any Burt items in any gift shops, so I didn’t think much more about it. Then on our last day in Disneyland, we ran right into a photo opportunity with Mary Poppins and her buddy Burt. There were only a few people in line so we ran over to snap some pictures. I think Burt was flattered and somewhat amazed when we told him that he was Alex’s very favorite character and that we couldn’t believe how lucky we were to find him! He spent an extra few minutes with us to make Alex’s visit memorable. Great memory!
Only 4 people in the whole world knew that story and the significance behind it before I shared it here. Over time, the 4 people might have even forgotten the details, but now that I have written down the answer to a question about this picture, it is documented and saved!
Keep asking yourself questions about photographs until you have something to write down. Or show the picture to someone else and have them ask you questions. These are great journaling exercises! Here are some links to help you:
photo by Janet
Think of this as reaching into a virtual jar of journaling prompts. Pull out a question and answer it. There’s your journaling! Now you can go and find (or take) a photograph to go with the journaling or even create a layout without a photo. Answering a question will get you journaling! Here are some fabulous resources that can act as your own jar of prompts:
- Memes & Quizzes to help you “cheat” on journaling
- 25 journaling questions from Jennifer Fox’s blog
- 20+ questions to help you scrap your life’s decisions from Log Your Memory
- One Month at a Time category at Get It Scrapped
- Scrapbook YOUR Story category at Get it Scrapped
- Scrapbooking Challenges with Nicole Seitler
- The Daily Post at wordpress.com
If you’ve been around young children, you will be quite aware that they are constantly asking questions! They wonder things like “Where does Bigfoot live?” and “Why is that lady’s hair purple?” and other difficult to answer questions. Even if you can’t answer the question in a scientifically correct manner, you often get some great discussion as a result. Why not take the questions that your children ask you (or make up your own) and use them as journaling prompts? Try to answer them as best you can, but feel free to just enjoy the conversation that the question started.
Think of this as your chance to raise your hand and ask the questions that are on your mind. You can do research to answer them to provide interesting journaling for a page, or simply express your own views and philosophies on the matter at hand. You will be surprised at what new paths of inspiration you find to explore!
Here are some resources to help you find questions to ponder:
The simple act of asking and answering questions can make a big difference in your journaling. You will find yourself armed with ideas for layouts once you start answering more questions! Do you have any questions that help you with journaling? We’d love to know about them so feel free to share them in the comments!
Are you looking for a way to make journaling easier and more fun? Well, I (Katie) have a great idea for you. Have you heard of memes? Sometimes they are called “quizzes” or “prompts” in the scrapbooking world. Basically, they are sets of questions or ideas that you can copy and paste to your own blog (or scrapbook page!) and fill in your own personalized responses. They are a great way to come up with some journaling and you can even have friends and family members fill out their own copies for more material to use!
Here are some of our favorite resources for Memes, Quizzes, and Prompts:
- 119 Prompts for your Journal Jar – TONS of ideas here!
- Creative Writing Prompt – Point your cursor to a number to see the prompt, then write your story.
- The Daily Meme – The posts on this site are often thought-provoking topics to get you writing.
- Daily Writing Prompts from Dee Phipps – A different idea each day.
- Ella Publishing Quick and Creative Quizzes ($5.99 pdf idea book)
- Journaling Prompts – Click on the little start to read each individual prompt.
- Other blogs and facebook. Just keep your eye out for these types of posts and use them for yourself.
I also have a category on my own blog just for quizzes and memes. I love to add images and photos to mine. It makes it super easy to turn it into a scrapbook page later! Want to see how I turned this blog meme about Growing up in the 80’s into a scrapbook page?
Background template by Scrapping with Liz, Solid papers by Suzy Q Scraps, Button by Natalie Braxton, Frames by Two Shutter Sisters, Font is CK Jot.
I only included the relevant statements on my scrapbook page. The journaling is the focus of the page and all I had to do was copy and paste it from my blog. I added my photos around it and kept them small since many were images from the web, Those usually print up just fine if you keep them small in size.
This is a scrapbook page that has very meaningful information about me and documents an interesting time in my history. Best of all, it was fun and easy to do! I hope you will give this type of journaling a try!