In my book, I highlight various types of journal writing. Journaling itself is a creative art form and one of my favorite types of journaling is art journaling.
Like standard journaling, art journaling is expressive and innovative. You can document your life’s journey through images, collages and doodles.
Trust me when I say that art journaling is fun and a real stress reliever plus you don’t have to be world renown artist to create works of art.
The Anatomy of an Art Journal
Definition: An art journal is a creative collection of one’s interpretation pf journal prompts through the use of different mediums including but not limited to: paint, markers, colored pens and pencils, glues and magazine clippings.
Have you tried your hand at art journaling? If not, grab a sketch book this week and try some of these creative prompts:
Create a self-portrait of yourself using magazine clippings
Doodle until you fill an entire page
Grab a piece of junk mail and make it the background for your next journal page
Create a page that defines what beauty means to you
Draw your five favorite things
Create thought bubbles and fill them with all the things you are thinking about
Share your art journaling with me on Instagram (@the_enduringoptimist) using the hashtag #artjournalingoptimist
Until next time, stay blessed, productive and positive!
In fact, it’s okay to fail over and over again. Why? Because you’ll learn, you’ll grow and that fire will be reignite itself.
As creatives, we are sensitive about our craft and when our craft fails us, we feel like we have failed our craft and that we lack what it takes to succeed.
Believe me when I say that it is not the end of the world…In fact, it’s the beginning of progress
In last three or four years, I have tried to launch a handful of businesses. I have tried my hand at event planning, jewelry making, even blogging (on a different site). I thought that these were the things that I wanted to do but after trying my hand at these different things, I failed. Despite the fact that I was featured on a morning TV show and sold my wares at a shop in New York…
Somehow I lost my way while running these business, I made numerous mistakes from lack of marketing, lack of passion and lack of understand exactly what “break even” means. Before I knew it, I had a handful of Facebook fan pages and I could practically hear people groaning with every invite I sent to “LIKE” this page and that page.
And with these failures came lessons about life, focus and business. I discovered my strengths and weaknesses.
Even with the launch of my first book coming in next month, there were several attempts before this to try my hand at writing a book. I have binders and folders filled with stories, ideas and concepts; I still keep a journal with potential story ideas…just in case.
How many times have you heard that with success comes failure? Last night, I found a form from the band director at my daughter’s school. The form stated that my daughter showed high proficiency with the clarinet. Unfortunately, we missed the day for her to sign up and when I asked her why she didn’t tell my husband and I about the opportunity, she said…
“I was scared it would be too hard…”
Needless to say, my heart hurt because my daughter feared failure. I sat her down and we talked about failure. I explained to her that we need failure, without it, how can we learn? How can we grow beyond our experiences if we do not experience more? Most of time, when we fail a test, aren’t the answers provided?
Coincidence? I think not.
Failure is necessary to achieve greatness. We can learn more from the downs than we can the ups and those lessons can be passed on to others.
So creatives, go on and take those leaps of faith. If we fall, get up, take notes and try it again.
Hello shorter days and pumpkin flavored everything. In other words…
A new season and a new month is here! Aside from November (my birthday month), I love the month of October. It’s a month of change, fun experiences and this year, BIG goals!
I am very excited for the goals I have set for this month. Each of them has me on pins and needles but they have been long overdue.
Here are my goals for October:
1. Send off The Optimist Kit: College Edition to NJ!
I have been mum about this on my blog but I have been busy putting together an Optimist Kit together specifically for college students. This kit will be used as a raffle prize at an event at a school in Teaneck, NJ.
The college edition of The Optimist Kit includes 3 notebooks, pens, coffee and tea, treats and 4 months worth of journal prompts, which is enough to get a student through an entire semester.
Sending this kit off is just the beginning of the revamp for The Optimist-Kit and I am very excited for this opportunity.
2. Publish my book, The Optimist’s Guide to Journaling!
Well, I have officially set a date for my book release. I’ve had a few set backs but I have been rejuvenated and ready to bring this book to life. I am in the second stage of editing now and on a strict timeline.
Completing and publishing this book is truly going to be a dream fulfilled because I have always wanted to write a book. It’s more than just a “how to” guide, it’s a “why” guide and helps readers understand why they should journal.
Get your calendar’s ready, because the guide is coming very soon.
3. #GIRLBOSS Grant Application
Last week, I talked about Nasty Gal CEO, Sophia Amoruso paying it forward; however; I failed to mention how. After the release of her book, #GIRLBOSS, Amoruso also launched a foundation for creative women.
She’s offering 4 grants a quarter for women in or looking to start a creative business.
Winners will receive between $500 and $15,000, based on business needs and I am applying for The Optimist Kit.
I am nervous about applying but I am determined to get The Optimist Kit out there because the benefit of this kit goes beyond financial gain and I truly believe that the youth, especially young girls can benefit from this.
Okay, time to turn the tables….What do YOU want to accomplish this month? Conquer a fear? Start that business? Or write that story? No matter what it is, consider the following when setting your goals for any month:
TIME: Consider that there’s at least 30 days in month (I’m not counting February) and only 24 hours in a day. Don’t overexert yourself, time and efforts; be realistic about what you can do with the time you have.
**TIP: Use a calendar template and a pencil to outline your availability during the month to tackle your goals.
ACTION STEPS: Do more than just write out your goals, create at least 3 action steps to accomplish each goal.
BE HONEST! Focus on what YOU want to achieve and go for it. When we stay in our lanes and hone in on our dreams, the odds of crashing are slim.
**TIP: Limit who you share your goals with. (I know, I just shared mine with all you wonderful people) If you do choose to share your goals, share them with those you trust and believe will keep you motivated while achieving your goals.
Are you ready to set some goals? If so, I have a printable to help you get the ball the rolling:
Life has become so fast paced, we all wear multiple hats and we barely have time for ourselves, let alone writing in a journal, right?
While telling people about the purpose of The Optimist Kit, I have encountered some of everyone. The 9-5ers, stay at home parents and others who say that they don’t have enough time to journal; however the truth is that we do.
For some reason, there is this misconceptions that journaling sessions should take hours on end and when people see pages and pages of writing, it’s immediately equated with the art of journaling. Well, Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither are journals which is why I’m sharing my tips for getting the most out of your journal sessions.
Journaling is designed to relax us, calm us down and center us. I look at journal writing as reflective meditation and if you’re new to meditation or journaling, you should always remember to start small and slow:
1. SCHEDULE YOUR SESSIONS
Set a specific time in your day for your journal sessions. Like working out, some people journal better 1st thing in the morning, some like to reflect in the middle of the day or at the end of their day. I love my late night journal sessions because the house is quiet and I can truly take advantage of my journaling routine.
In addition to scheduling your sessions, set a timer. Set it for 10, 15, 30 or 60 minutes and get writing. Several studies have shown that journaling for at least 15 minutes daily can help reduce stress and boost creativity! Who wouldn’t want that?
2. FIND THE RIGHT JOURNAL FOR YOU!
I like to shop for journals the say way that I shop for my shoes. I don’t grab the first notebook, I see. I think about the size of the notebook, can it fit in my purse? How many pages are there? Is it spiraled or bound? As crazy as it sounds, these characteristics should be considered. You want to get excited when it’s time for reflection and you want to want to write in your journal every day.
In addition to finding the right journal, finding your type of journaling is important too. There are various ways to utilize your pages: art journaling, list journaling, reflective journaling, prompt journaling, etc. Try your hand at different types of journaling to find the one that fits you best.
3. DON’T HOLD BACK!
Now is not the time to restrict yourself. Utilize your journal sessions as the opportunity to get anything and everything off your chest! Journaling enables to speak about openly with ourselves. We can confront ourselves, think our problems at work and home and even confess.
Let go of the guilt, let go of past mistakes and free yourself, mentally and emotionally.
4. HAVE FUN!
Every one of our sessions don’t have to be serious. Journaling is fun and inspirational. When you take the time out to write, there is no set format or step by step instructions. All you need is yourself, your journal, a pen or two and an open mind.
Switch your entries as often as you need to. If you wrote a serious entry on Monday, try to follow up on Tuesday and a cheerful entry. Try your hand at listing the things that you’re currently doing (eating, drinking, writing, thinking, etc.) or create a vision board page for you to reference daily.
No matter what you do in your sessions, please have fun!
Journal writing is reflective, stress reducing, creative and inspirational. It’s an art that should be appreciated and utilized daily. Let today be the day that you disconnect from the world, even if it’s for 15 minutes to reconnect with you.
Remember to set time aside daily for your sessions, find the journal and type of journaling that is right for you, be honest with yourself in your sessions and have fun!
Before you know it, you’ll have a book filled with lessons and revelations of life, love and everything in between.
You can check out some of my late night journaling posts on Instagram via my business page @theoptimistkit. If you need prompts, sign up for my newsletter and get 5 journal prompts sent to your inbox every week!
A few months ago, my friend and I ran into a woman at TJMaxx. She, like us, were looking at their journals (they have AWESOME journals by the way!) when my friend struck up a conversation with her. My buddy asked her if she kept a journal? This lady gave a look of sheer disgust; you would have thought someone spit on her shoes and once she swallowed the disgust, she managed to say that she didn’t keep a diary. She said that she “documented her life.”
After grinding my teeth, I tried to explain that she was in fact keeping a journal and there is a difference between the two but this lady wasn’t trying to hear me out. So I just internalized the interaction and it saved it for this very blog post!
In the world of journaling, there is a variety of ways to journal. From the simplistic journal to the innovative art journal, each one serves a purpose yet for some reason, the biggest question is…
ISN’T A JOURNAL A DIARY?
My short answer: NO!
Both are forms of journaling but each form of writing has unique characteristics and serves an inspirational purpose all its own, here’s my rundown of this creative match up:
After a few rounds, there is no clear winner but there is certainly some differentiation between the two writing methods.
As a little girl, I kept a diary. When I looked back at some of those books, each page was emotionally charged and today, they have helped inspire a journal prompt or two. Today, my perspective of the diary has evolved. I draft a to-do lists daily and reflect on the events of the day. In my journal, it’s a mass of dreams, ideas, prompts and reflection.
I encourage everyone to try various types of journaling to find one or more forms that fits you, your personality and your ultimate journaling goal.
I say it all the time and I will say it again, there is no right or wrong way to journal as long as you do it from the heart.
What do you think? Are journals and diaries created equal? Share your thoughts below!
No, I know what it is… Success. Crazy, right? Well it’s true. As creatives, we fear success not because of the attention or popularity, instead we often fear success because after it comes “what now?”
Once we become a “success” that means that we not only need to repeat the process but we also have to do it better! I can count on my hands how many times, I hit a milestone in a project, seriously, I was one step closer to something successful only step back in a fit of tears and fear. And once the tears stopped, my ship had sailed.
The popular line from Spiderman comes to mind, “With great power comes great responsibility…” The same can be said in the realm of creatives…with a twist off course.
With great innovation comes great responsibility…and more hard work.
We are talented in our crafts yet we doubt ourselves in our abilities to own and operate ourselves and innovations as a business and a brand. We fear the process after success or we fear the failure in stepping outside of our comfort zones to challenge and develop ourselves.
We must let go of that fear, take a risk and strive for more than success.
Today, we go for our greatness.
Two women come to mind when I think of those went against the grain and fearlessly took on their creativity and made names for themselves:
Carla has been fearless enough to try everything until she found her niche in cooking. In a few interviews, Hall has shared her story of fearlessness which included her change of careers.
She first worked as an accountant, then tried her hand at modeling and she succeeded.
Hall said that she was inspired by the chefs in Paris and thus found her passion in cooking.
Carla has explained that she never questioned her career changes or wondered what would happen next once she arrived at where she wanted to be- instead, she went for it all and learned what she could along the way.
Today, Carla is one of the host on ABC’s The Chew and she shares her quirkiness and creativity with the world five days a week!
Don’t call this woman a Cinderella story because Sophia has truly done it all and then some. She is one of the few creatives who can honestly say “the struggle is real.” Sophia’s story of rags to riches is fused with innovation along the way.
In her book #GIRLBOSS shares her story of how she went from shoplifting to running one of the top selling online stores, Nasty Gal. Driven by her own creativity and passion, she has bypassed her fear of the unknown to make a dream a reality and pay it forward.
Creatives, we must abandon our questions of the unknown and the “what next” in order to free ourselves up to truly use the gifts that we were blessed with.
Today is the day that we stop questioning ourselves, our purpose and abilities and we start seeking the answers to the questions we don’t have.
In order words: RESEARCH, RESEARCH, RESEARCH!
So when we reach that level of success, we will be ready for the next and the thereafter.
Let’s go, creatives! We have some serious work to do.
Until next time, stay blessed!
Creating, inspiring and motivating one positive post at a time. New posts EVERY Wednesday and Friday!