New Journal? What to Put on the First Page.

New journals are exciting–the possibility, the fresh approach, the hope you will be as filled with opportunity as the journal is filled with pages. And then that clutch of fear: the. first. page.

Suddenly the possibility, joy, newness, excitement is filled with panic. Your inner perfectionist starts up on full volume. “Well, once you ruin the first page, the whole journal is ruined,” or, “Sure, go ahead and make a fool of yourself on page one.” It goes downhill from there.

No worries. Here are five suggestions of what to put on that first page. Even your inner perfectionist will love these. (Oh, and send the IP off to some area of the house that needs attention–the tub will do nicely. Or the laundry. A busy perfectionist is a quiet perfectionist.)

1. Write your name in the journal. Along with an email address so people can reach you if you lose it. Some people offer a reward. Some use phone numbers. I think an email address is enough. I don’t plan on losing mine.

2. Write the starting date and a dash to be filled in later. When you are done with the journal, you can add the second date. Notice I didn’t say “when the journal is full” — being done and being full are two different things.

Raw Art arrows

Raw Art arrows

3. Put in a simple design. I start my journals with the design at the right. For me, it signifies the many directions my journey may lead, but it’s all in the journal.  It’s hard to mess up a simple design.

4. Write a meaningful quote on that empty page. It doesn’t have to be famous, just meaningful. A friend of mine copies a paragraph from Pride and Prejudice on the first page. She figures it will not interest sensation seekers, and by the time she’s old, she’ll have a stack of journals and half of Pride and Prejudice copied. Jane Austen would have loved it.

5. Leave it blank. Once the journal is half full, it’s easier to go back and fill it in.

See five more (and different) things you can do with that first page.

—Quinn McDonald is a writer and certified creativity coach. Visit her two websites: QuinnCreative is her business site, and Raw-Art-Journals is for people who can’t draw but want to keep an art journal. (c) 2009 All right reserved.