Good afternoon to you all! Brenda Smith here, hoping your Labor Day weekend treated you well and you’re getting back into the swing of things. This weekend, I sat down to create with my Reflections kit and had fun making a graphically simple but content-rich pocket page.
While creating, it got me thinking that too often our families (kids, significant others, pets, etc.) are the focus of our documenting and we leave ourselves out completely. And if you’re like me, when we do include a photo or tell a story about ourselves, we merely state the details and leave it at that. Today, I will give you some tips on how to delve deeper with your journaling.
With a long-term project like pocket page albums tend to be, in my journaling I have a tendency to answer the journalist’s question of “who, what, where, when, why, and how” but neglect the true heart of the stories. My biggest issue is always, “What do I say about myself?” But the stamps from the Reflections kit are very helpful in this matter because they are essentially prompts of what to journal about. And the beauty of these prompts, is that the answers are very reflective of who I am at this moment. If I ask myself these same questions a few months down the road, I guarantee the majority of them will be different answers. Beyond these helpful prompts, I have found the following tips to be helpful in pushing me outside of my journaling comfort zone.
First, plan out what you are going to say before you put pen to paper (or in my case, finger to typewriter key 🙂 ). I considered all the prompts for a few minutes and then jotted down a brief sentence of what I wanted each to answer to be.
Next, think beyond the five Ws and don’t be afraid to include evocative language. Really take a look at the picture that represents what you are journaling about and consider what this photo tells you, what it means to you. There is a reason you chose to document this photo that goes beyond the event it represents. For example, perhaps a picture of you and your significant other at dinner could represent more than just the place you ate and what you ordered. It can represent your relationship at the moment and the steps you have taken to get where you are. Talk about THAT in your journaling. Pretend as if 20 years down the line, you’ll have no recollection how you felt at this moment in time and your journaling will be the only representation of that. What you’ll want to remember the most is how you felt, not what you ate and where.
If you look at the photo and truly can’t come up with anything to talk about deeper than the five Ws, perhaps consider your senses. Are there any tastes, smells, or sounds about the event that can descriptively tell a different story than the picture can tell on its own? You could talk about the crunching of the crisp, autumn leaves or the sweet smell of roses in your mom’s garden. By doing this, you can go beyond the story that a photo can tell on its own.
And lastly, how do we journal about ourselves when we aren’t in the pictures? Let’s face it. As moms, a lot of our photos are going to be of our kids. Obviously, the first suggestion would be to hand someone else the camera every once in a while, but I know that doesn’t always pan out. So, if you are making a pocket page spread and you aren’t in any of the photos, you can still insert a bit of yourself by taking a look at the photos and considering how the events have some relation to you, past or present. Meaning, let’s say your daughter is just starting in ballet and you recall how you felt when you were in ballet years ago. You can reflect on your hopes and dreams for her as she starts a new chapter in her life.
You can also do a type of those “currently” cards that are ever-popular these days. There is one ready-made in the Reflections kit, but the stamps are also perfect for making your own card, much as I did for my entire page today. These stamps will be something that I will turn to for months to come when it comes to inserting myself into my pages.
Hope you’ve been able to find something helpful in my post today that will get you thinking beyond the five Ws. I’ve noticed that my fellow design team members are brilliant at delving deeper in their journaling and they’ve provided a lot of inspiration for me. To be inspired yourself, make sure to check out some of their work as posted on the Sweet Stamp Shop’s Instagram. And if you decide to take some of these tips and implement in your scrapbooking, leave me a link down below so I can be sure to check them out. I’d love to see what you all are creating! Have a lovely rest of the week!