My (Non) Journaling Story

Jo Clutton - Artist - Blogger

Okay, I admit it - I've never journaled in my life and there's no guarantee I will.  But I'm often tempted to do so when I read about those who do, because I blog, and that's a form of self-expression similar to the journaling experience.

If I did keep a journal, I'm more likely to art journal than I would be to keeping a little book made out of moleskin or any other intriguing animal material, complete with padlock and key.  (No harm came to moles or any living thing in the production of this journal).  The idea, of course, is to record all those weird and peculiar thoughts and feelings I want to keep under wraps.  (And if you think you're weird and peculiar because you have all those weird and peculiar thoughts - well, yes you are.  Weird and peculiar, that is).  But I'm just not like that.  I do tend to think weird and peculiar thoughts but I usually pass them onto Husband.  He already knows I'm weird and peculiar.

I'm an artist and writer and so many would say that both of those disciplines and art journaling would go hand in hand.  So many (creative) folks journal and so do many who perhaps suffer mentally or need to write down their thoughts and struggles. I'll admit to having done that while suffering from depression and anxiety, just to be able to put into words how I was feeling for the benefit of Husband because perhaps I found it hard to vocalise it, and creating artwork just wasn't doing it for me.  Art therapy was indeed a suggestion but I'm really not into drawing/painting/collaging rotten thoughts and feelings.  I'm more into art that's (hopefully) good to look at, and that's just as therapeutic.

Since my recovery I'm encouraging myself to get back into creativity, something I've neglected over time.  I've looked at art journaling examples and frankly I've been very uninspired!  Just a mess of paint and scraps of magazines and paper stuck into a book.  I know - that's very scathing of me, and intolerant.  The creators of these pieces aren't necessarily bona-fide artists as such, but have enjoyed the process, or have found solace from doing them, and that's excellent.  I apologize!  I suppose, because I'm an artist and have been forever, I'm dismissive of the art, and that's just plain mean.  Take a rap on the wrist, Jo.

Recently, on someone's blog, I saw photographs of their journal/sketchbook and I loved what I saw.  It consisted of photographs, written scraps and sketches, all pasted into little books, indeed, but nicely done.  I liked it very much.  That did inspire me.

That's the other thing - as a bone-fide artist, I'm supposed to regularly keep a sketchbook.  But I never have.  Very important, they say.  Keep your sketchbook handy at all times (otherwise call yourself an artist? Pah!).  I see photos of 'real' artists (ie. not me!) diligently sketching wherever and whenever and I think: 'Yes! I must do that!' It never happens, and I know it probably never will.  I'm just not in the habit, and habits are just that.

You either do it or you don't.  Certainly in my case.

The habit I have acquired - since I bought a Smartphone years ago, followed in the last couple of years by my Android, is 'doing stuff.  By the time I owned these delectable little devices, I had begun my long road to full recovery from depression and anxiety.  I wanted to record every second of it.  I had my Smartphone at the time, clicking away at the architecture in Bristol.  Husband said something on the lines of: 'Like your phone, do you?'  (Daft question).  'Yeah,' I responded, 'it does stuff.'  He laughed out loud: 'It does stuff. I like that!'

From then on, whenever he's referring to my phone, he says: 'Don't forget 'does stuff!''

So doing stuff is what I do.  My phone goes with me everywhere.  Even to the loo, where I precariously balance it on the toilet roll to keep it safe. (You never know when you're going to need it).

My Non-Journaling Story - IMG_20180207_115044341 2 My Non-Journaling Story - IMG_20180201_123225029
3 - My Non Journaling Story - IMG_20180218_164421338 4 - My Non Journaling Story - IMG_20180306_135207175 

The thing is - you've got to do what comes naturally.  Journaling never came naturally to me, nor carrying a sketchbook.  But 'doing stuff' does.  And that is a form of journaling in a way.  Recording what's happened and keeping it for prosperity.  Only thing is, I should warn you - if, like me, you snap everything going from all different angles at different times of day, don't be like me and fail to download (or upload) to your computer at the end of the day, because your phone will become overloaded and start protesting.  Just like mine has.  My Smartphone was easy-ish to upload from once I got the hang of it, the Android ain't.  I have to wait for my technical support man - Husband - to be available to help, and even he's a bit flummoxed at the number of pics I've got on there.

Eh, well, he's sorting me a Google photos management account as we speak.  No peace for the wicked, eh?  And yes - journaling - the act of scribbling your secret or otherwise inner thoughts on paper with a pen or pencil - is assuredly much less complicated, but it's not going to happen.  But does it matter? Not in the least.

Whatever floats your boat, lights your candle, rings your bell, baby!

Jo Clutton - Artist - BloggerAuthor Bio

Jo B Creative is a quirky writer, artist, traveller, wild west nut intrigued by science and the paranormal, and a renaissance soul with a potty sense of humour. She writes light-hearted anecdotal articles and has been published in local and national UK periodicals and is now writing for her creative mental health blog, Creating My Odyssey.
Her blog is chronicling the rebuild of her polymath creativity and life after her complete recovery from thirty years of depression, a miraculous event which occurred almost five years ago after being prescribed Prozac, which left her suicidal. A brilliant mental health team prescribed a medication combination and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, which challenges distorted thinking patterns, and together these brought her to where she is now, better than she's ever been before.
Jo is hoping to inspire and encourage others with mental health issues, and show that recovery is possible, and that depression is one of the most easily treated of mental health problems if you know where to look.
Her blog is a great vehicle for her creativity – art, writing, sculpture, digital photography - much of which has been hidden under a bushel for many years. She's also, with the excellent help of her husband, editing the novel she's been writing forever, on and off, which helped keep her sane during young parenthood and depression. Alias Jeannie Delaney is the life story of a devastating cowgirl who is the fastest gun in the west and also bisexual.  Since Jo's recovery from depression, she's decided it's time to get it out into the open!
As well as discussing her creative side, Jo talks about her travels and lifestyle and records it on her blog, posting regularly to social media. She thoroughly enjoys doing this, and hopes others are equally enjoying following her!
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