Shocking, isn’t it? That you can use words to journal? Way back when the earth was cooling, we all journaled in words, but art journaling brought a rush of color and a frisson of texture, and we drifted away from words. Let’s go back. It’s more intuitive than you might think, I promise.
1. Open your journal, smooth down a page you want to write on. Take a deep breath.
2. Freehand two vertical lines to divide the page into 3 columns. Use a pencil or pen, do not use a ruler or try to make it perfect. Make it roughly even.
3. Draw two horizontal lines to divide the page into 3 rows. Your page will now have 9 spaces.
4. In each space, write a word about yourself. A trait, a way you are. You can write it anywhere, you can use any handwriting. All the words must be true, and they must all be kind. No sniping at yourself in this exercise.
5. Color choice: Use a color that you think is perfect for that trait or description, and color in the space. It doesn’t matter if the colors match or blend. Just see what happens.
6. Writing choice: In the box, write a sentence or two about why this characteristic serves your creativity. See what you think of. If you run out of space, turn your journal sideways and create the same grid on the adjacent page. Continue writing in the same grid on the other page.
When the page is full, look at it and see how much truth you have discovered about yourself. Small exercise, big result. Are you surprised at who you are?
—Quinn McDonald is a life- and creativity coach. Join her at Barnes + Noble at Desert Ridge (Tatum and the 101, Phoenix, AZ) October 6, 2011 (Thursday) at 7 p.m. to try a different technique–and to get your book signed!