So you may be thinking that looking at a photo and telling me a story is the easy part and that putting it all down on paper is the hard part. I will totally agree with you on that one! Putting it on paper is permanent (mostly), and sharing it is definitely permanent. Today and tomorrow we're going to look at the process of getting those thoughts and feelings down in layout form and the design behind that too.
When I talk about creating meaningful journaling on your layouts what I DO NOT mean is putting all your deep dark secrets and skeletons out for display. What I DO mean is taking the stories we shared yesterday and putting them down on your page and writing from your heart: your feelings, your hopes, your fears, your thoughts about that time/person/event. There are many times that I'll just start writing on a scrap piece of paper or typing on the computer my thoughts and feelings about a memory and/or photo(s). This helps you get into practice of writing it out and getting a "feel" for your writing style. These are your memories so there is no need for Pulitzer Prize winning prose because I can tell you that mine certainly is not! Make it your own. Just write.
Remember those times in high school English class when they asked you to just do "free writing"? Yep, me too and I can tell you I never took advantage of writing time at the ripe old age of 17! Now, I do enjoy it, especially when I get to write about my favorite subjects: my family and friends. Look at it as adult free writing time and this time you don't have to produce anything about Shakespeare (unless you want to!)
I asked a few guests and WCS contributors to share a layout or two of their own and share their meaningful journaling process with you. Everyone has their own way and you might find one that fits your style and gives you a jumpstart.
I chose to share a layout about what my daughter ultimately wants from me: time...
My daughter Ella and I did an impromptu photo shoot one day while she was still home with me and her sister Maya was off at school. I remember the good time we had being silly and having fun. When I received these prints the first thing that came to mind was that I wasn't thrilled about how I looked. When Ella saw them she was so excited and laughed about how much fun we had and the funny faces even mommy made. That's when it hit me: she does not care one iota about what I look like. She had fun with her mom. So I journaled just that. I journaled about what really counts as a parent and what they want and need from us.
Donna Jannuzzi was really kind to open herself to all of us and share this layout and her process:
In January of this year, our son Michael Anthony was stillborn. This was the first layout I made after our son Michael passed away. At the time, I didn't really know if I would be able to scrapbook again or at least, I didn't know when I'd be able to scrapbook again. It was surprising to me then, when just after we lost Michael I felt a pull to create. I knew that I wanted to document something that reminded me of the blessings in my life. I made this layout, but I didn't add any journaling to it at the time. Every time I went to add journaling, well, I simply couldn't do it. It just reminded me too much of the pain I was feeling when I made this page Then, a short time after my husband and I celebrated our 6 year anniversary, I took the opportunity to finally put down some thoughts. The journaling is simple, honest, and straightforward. It reflects my thankfulness for my marriage. My husband is an amazing source of support and strength for me and I'm certain that God knew what he was doing when he brought the two of us together.
Nancy Doren shared this layout with you about her difficult summer that ended up giving her a valuable experience too: