Monday, June 2nd, 2014
Keri Smith has hit the jackpot with her journaling book called Wreck this Journal. She sold more than two million copies and has a cool app for that. Now she has a travel edition coming out called Wreck this Journal Everywhere. Basically, she hopes you’re keep a diary and have a ton of fun doing it. Throughout the books, she uses funny art and prompts to get you writing.
Below, Keri writes 7 Ways to Start Journaling for You and the Kids. Throw away (totally trash) your old notions of keeping a diary. Keri wants you to mix things up, keep it simple and short, and fill those books up!
“Thinking back to my childhood I recall the urge to write my ideas down, to have a place to store my thoughts and to create a secret space that was just mine. I would begin writing things down in a notebook, but I often became overwhelmed and unable to ﬁnish a thought. As a teenager, I started dozens of journals, many with only a few pages written on. It wasn’t until I was in my 20s that I was able to successfully create a journaling “habit” for myself, something that would have been invaluable for my younger self. So what changed? Why did I regularly stop soon after I had began? Now, twenty-four thick journals later, I know a bit more about myself and my personality, and how as a child I set myself up for failure without knowing it by making the tasks too overwhelming, wanting to write chapters instead of point form notes, wanting to draw like DaVinci instead of doing two minute sketches. Here are a few tips for how to turn journaling into a habit, and more importantly, how to give your children the gift of a creative outlet that they will carry with them throughout the rest of their lives.
1. Make the tasks as easy and fun as possible.
When I was learning to journal again as an adult I challenged myself in little ways to just make marks on the page, setting easy tasks such as writing a list of everything I’d consumed in one day, or a list of five things I saw, heard, smelled, tasted or touched. Another favorite exercise was dripping a blob of ink on to a page and blowing it with a straw. It’s so simple but incredibly satisfying to make spidery, tree-like shape.
Write a list of small things that you would like to try. Write a list of silly things you would like to do (make 100 marks on a page, trace different body parts, glue your hair to the page). Write a list of colors to ﬁnd (color bingo).
2. Quantity over quality.
There should be no pressure to make it beautiful or pleasing to look at. The goal should be only to ﬁll it up. Kids need to feel a sense of accomplishment with the journal as soon as they begin. When they see that the pages are filling up, they will begin to have the sense that they are in fact creating something!
3. Carry the journal with you everywhere you go.
This ensures that journaling becomes integrated with your everyday life, even when you are out in the world. It also creates a bonding with the journal itself, it becomes a friend who you can sit with any time you wish. If needed, create a special journal bag.
4. Create collections.
Use what you ﬁnd while out on your travels to use or add to your journal. Always carry some
glue or tape to attach things you ﬁnd.
5. Try a variety of things.
Try making simple lists, tiny drawings, collages, collections of found objects, collections of colors you see in the world, what you ate, conversations, scratches made my different objects, torn paper bits, you name it.
6. Time it.
Give them ﬁve minutes to write down ten things that are right in front of them. No time to get bored!!
7. Make it fun!
Journaling should be fun, lighthearted and even a little mischievous (this is where the creative destruction comes in). If kids are given a safe place and permission to be a little destructive there is no limit to what they will come up with.