Privacy, Designed

Most of my journals are experimental, so I write notes in them, experiment in them, and don’t worry too much about having beautiful show-piece journals. But because my life is really just one push of toothpaste out of the tube, I also write my thoughts, fears and hopes into my journals.

Once, I was more careful to keep things separate, but I have become stubborn in my refusal to create “show journals” that don’t reflect my life. It’s one of the reasons working on loose leaf pages is appealing. That way I can gather what I want to show to a class.

Side view of journal with tied pages.

The journal that’s going to Valley Ridge with me this weekend is one that contains some personal observations that I don’t care to share with anyone. They might include my own inner critic’s rant, or a comment I found hurtful but recorded, along with the source–things that don’t benefit from sharing.

Still, the journal has a lot of pages that demo a technique, so it’s coming along. How to keep private thoughts private?

One hole is enough, no need to turn the journal into a sneaker-lacing project.

I punched a hole in the contiguous pages that contained the information, then tied them shut with waxed linen. Elegant in its own right, not glaring enough to call attention to what it might contain, this method is better than ripping pages out or pasting other paper over it.

Close up of tied pages.

When I return home, I can take out the waxed linen, and the pages, still  punched, will be neatly marked for the next time they need privacy.

–Quinn McDonald is a creativity coach, who teaches art journaling with a lot of creativity coaching mixed in.