I believe in journaling. Sometimes it is a bit of a bother, but I am always glad when I take the time to make a page into a meaningful masterpiece by adding this very personal touch. It is very powerful to journal in the first person. This means you use the word “I” and talk about something in your own voice such as “I went to the store and bought a new shirt. I couldn’t believe it cost $50!”
Here’s an example of my own “I” journaling:
The journaling is a collection of my own thoughts about the pictures on the pages. It reads: “I took 12 pictures on the 12th of January of random bits of my life that day. The day started out as a chilly one! I took the thermometer picture with my iPhone and then switched to my Canon point and shoot for the rest of the day. We treated ourselves to pizza for lunch as a reward for finishing our semester finals. Roasted red peppers, feta cheese, & mushrooms – yummy! I took a picture of my new camera case from Photojojo. It’s so felty and cute! We’ve had very little snow this winter. I miss my garden and I’m looking forward to spring. Our patio furniture is all tucked away for the winter. I’m reading The Family Dinner right now. I’ve always been a big believer in the power of family meals and I’m grateful that my own Mom gave us the blessing of eating together as a family. This book has been an affirmation of what I know is important. I love reading cookbooks!”
When you use the first person narrative, you are telling the story in YOUR own words. When crafters talk about putting “their heart” into their creations, I’m pretty sure nobody does this more than a writer. Committing your thoughts and feelings into a tangible form is truly a gift to those you share it with.
The journaling is unmistakably mine and brings my voice to life on the page. It reads: “A few years ago, I would have never listed orange as a color that I even liked. In fact, I really did NOT like the color of orange at all when I was growing up. Perhaps it’s because there was so much of it in the 1970’s. I still don’t like the shades of orange that were popular in that decade, but I have grown to appreciate the color recently. One of my favorite blogs is called “How About Orange” and it’s written by a designer named Jessica Jones. She’s helped me realize that orange is hip, vibrant, and full of life. I genuinely like the color orange now. How about that?”
Using the letter “I” makes the journaling more personal. It may feel more difficult to write because there is nothing to hide behind… you are sharing what you really think. Don’t be afraid of the letter “I” – it’s an important tool for authentic pages!
My daughter will always enjoy hearing my take on this memory! The journaling says: “I still remember going in to check on Riley one night and finding this scene. Her baby doll was right on top of her and she not only had a binki in her mouth, but one next to her hand, and another nearby. I was struck by how much her baby doll looked like her in her jammies. It was touching to see how much love she had for this little doll, and how she must have been cuddling her to sleep. Knowing Riley like I do now, I’m sure that was the case. She is such a sweet and loving person and I love that this photo captures that about her.”
I challenge you to use the letter “I” at least a few times on your next layout. Pour yourself right into the page with your words and you will understand the power of “I” – it’s wonderful!