----------- soulful transformation through the stars. -----------

15 Dec 2011


Over the years I have tried and tried and tried again to have a journal. Many starts. Many short journals. You would think I would've got the hint sooner - I'm just not a journaler.

I may love notebooks and pens and all the glories of stationary products..... but it somehow doesn't translate down into my hand and into a book. I'm a typing, non-diarist, random self-expression, type of person.

I have owned snippet journals - notebooks where I jotted down snippets of thoughts, a line for a poem, a funny conversation. I have kept one and it is jammed with writing and ephemera - ticket stubs, a pressed rose, torn napkins with phone numbers. A treasure trove.

Blogging has largely replaced that. But I have discovered one area where a notebook is saving my brain and heart.

I'm an ideas person, having at least one big idea every day. For a painting or illustration or photograph, for a whole new art direction, for a book, for an e-course, for an e-book, for a course of study, for an article, for a blog post, for a career!

The crazy thing was that until quite recently, I wanted each to come to life. And when, inevitably, each couldn't, I would feel frustrated, a sense of loss. Somehow I learnt along the way that if you have an idea, your obligation is to do something with it.

My ideas book is my birthing place. I write each idea out and it's like I have allowed them to become real. To be manifested. Afterall, they are ideas first. They ask for nothing other than to exist. The tangible bit is a whole other manifestation.

I feel like I've honoured them and unburdened myself. And if I ever get the chance or the motivation to actually go further on one of them, there it'll be.

read: the oracle
taste: random bits as we empty our fridge
see: Hero, by Miguel Endara, admire this level of patience
hear: dopamine inducing arias
touch: today is all about cleaning, so we leave the house happy
think: how cold it is in England right now
feel: purposeful


  1. ideas are born to be shared...
    i would love to read a book with your ideas dear Monica!
    in the midtime enjoy your time in England...
    its colder there than in Norway right now...
    but i `m sure you`ll come with a warm idea ; )

    xoxo from the north

  2. "its colder there than in Norway right now"


  3. it's very windy in England right now, but not too cold, don't worry :)

    I'm the same, I have tons of notebooks with random bits of stuff. my diary is getting bigger every year, because I like the idea of being able to go back and see when I had what kinds of ideas. but more often than not I don't have it on me and write things down in other notebooks and on pieces of paper. all very messy, all very me :)

  4. One of my biggest regrets was never keeping a visual diary of all the squillion ideas that I had during a Foundation course I did many years ago. The tutors encouraged us to explore a myriad of thoughts and ways of expressing ourselves and describing the world in our work and I was so slack I never bothered to keep a record of any of it. It was the most inspired time of my life in retrospect.

    It's always so important to write everything down that comes to you as inspiration cos there will always be a point where you sit with an empty head wondering where to start, and even just spending time procrastinating and flicking through old notebooks will start things moving again - often in too many directions! The trick is to keep them all in one place rather than scribbled on scraps and scattered, as I do. I'm learning, slowly. Some ideas do need time to simmer quietly by themselves for a while.

  5. i've come to think of ideas as 'possibilities' rather than things-that-i-must-do and so the ripples of adding those possibilities to the infinite store...well, that's beautiful magic as far as i can tell. what happens to them after that might be someone else's task or perhaps they're just the parent possibilities of other greater ones down the line...

    i *always* like to leave our house happy if we go away from it.....it makes it so much nicer to come back to after a bit of travel if it's been content while you're gone...

    safe journey....xo

  6. I've tried journaling my thoughts, it just isn't my thing. I do keep "journals", a bunch of composition books, to jot down quick thoughts, poems, quotes, song lyrics, and such. I read a quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson a couple of years ago when I started to discover myself spiritually: "Make your own bible. Select and collect all the words and sentences that in all your readings have been to you like the blast of a trumpet."

    So that's what my books are, a bunch of random things that for one reason or another have spoken to me. Some serious, some light-hearted, some humorous. Some my own, most from others.

    My creative journal is a mess. Sometimes I say my mind has ADD, bouncing from one idea to another. The only way I can get a hold on it is to jot my ideas down. Lots of sketches with quick scribbles for details of art I want to create. Lots of times the ideas never come to fruition. Sometimes I look through and change things. But it helps to keep my head clear, keep space open for new ideas. :)

  7. Every time I start a new diary I feel blessed for having a chance for a new beginning. I make grand new plans, start with new ideas and feel sparkled with life. Reading long lost diaries lately I am quite surprised I survived all my madness and all the chances that I have taken in life... but no regrets.
    Have a wonderful inspirational day!

  8. They've forecast sleet and snow for tomorrow. So wrap up well and safe travels.

    I kept a diary/ journal religiously for years. Then one day I just stopped. I didn't see the need for it anymore. I do still have an idea notebook, and I keep a notebook for the funny things Aoife says. Blog ideas/ blog titles, etc go into my phone (I save a text as draft) until I can get them on the PC. Mostly because I have so many blog ideas while I'm out walking or cooking and need a quick place to store it. I think I have about 75 drafts on my phone lol!

  9. Yes! This is exactly as I do. I was never one for keeping journals, so I decided to use my notebooks as a storage for ideas and quotes (occasionally even grocery lists!). My blog has been the longest-running "journal" I've ever had.

  10. oh i am so glad the comment button is back on! love having a chat...
    i am bit on and off with journals. I guess at times i just feel i haven’t got much to “say”. :)
    love the photo, xo sandra

  11. mel, i like that of parent of ideas.

    amanda, yes! that's the other benefit, keeps your head clear. once it's down, no need to carry it around.

    carin, ah yes that's a point, phones are like notebooks these days for many people.

  12. I am a journal person and have kept one since I was in the second grade. It's quite hilarious to go back and read the earlier ones - it's also fun to see my handwriting evolution. The big question I'm dealing with now is, when I die (I know, I'm really into planning), will I ask for them to be destroyed?

  13. I'm definitely not a journal person but I do love notebooks in all shapes and sizes. And I like writing down ideas too. Some of them are good, some of them are so bad that later they make me chuckle or role my eyes.

  14. My blog has become my journal, save for one personal one I keep by my bedside to jot things down about the girls now and then- things I think they would like to know about themselves as children when they are older. I love that you have one big idea everyday. I bet some days you even have more!

  15. might i be so bold as to suggest a small book entitled

    the book of ideas

    they need to be executed
    simply enjoyed

    let me know what you think!

  16. I like the idea of an idea book.

    I do a similar thing I write down ideas, but mostly here and there. Floating papers to be found one day.

    Like you I am not a journal keeper. I have even got books to teach me how. I think the truth is I would rather be doing something else like my art!

    HUGS, would love you to say hi,


  17. That's awesome that you have so many ideas to even fill a book Mon. My hubs is the same way...he is constantly cranking them out, but only a select few make it to the drawing board so to speak. I have an ideas book, but it doesn't get attention very much, I forget to write them down. And for some reason, ideas come when I am driving. That really is a inconvenient.

    I use to be a journaler--have books and books filled and stacked in the closet. But I think blogging has taken over, which is fine. I prefer to type anyway than write. I can't read half of what I had written anyway, my handwriting is so bad. Now if I had more time to do whatever I wanted, I would art journal more. Something so cathartic and powerful about it...

  18. I do the same thing...I have a box full of notes, "inspiration clippings", et al. I find that if I don't capture those ideas right away, then *poof* - gone. I don't keep a formal journal anymore, but I filled many of them as my kids were growing up (just before home computers were the norm). I love to re-read those moments that would have otherwise been lost.

    "dopamine inducing arias"...love it. Which ones? I'm a Puccini girl.

  19. I also never be the person who write all my thoughts down BUT I AM BIG IN IDEAS TOO, I like the idea of writing it down to give them more power, make them more real. I have decided to make one big notebook for all my ideas about life and art and all that I heard and think it can be useful... aaww hope you know what I mean :-)

  20. ha! I'm very much the same way! I don't have a journal - while I love to write, I need to write for an audience, so blogging is better - but I do have an "ideas notebook". It's never far, and contains all sorts of lovely things.

  21. i used to keep journals when i was oung and i regret so much throwing them away. This year i made an effort and bought myself a cute Cath Kidston one and i have written in it...but not every day... i am obsessed with note books though, for writting down things to do, lists, ideas etc....

  22. I have kept journals for 36 years now and when I die, they will all have to go with me. I envision a viking funeral pyre, me in a boat lying on my bed of journals. It will be a show stopper!! I bet it isn't legal to do such a thing in the U.S. but still the journals must go with me.

  23. I have been keeping a writing journal for about five years. The point of it is to jot down ideas for stories, poems, and whatnot, as well as snippets and quotations from other writers. In reality most pages contain some variant of: "I'm not writing, why am I not writing? I hate myself..." The thing is, when I am writing I don't have time or impetus to put anything in a journal.

    I also keep a 'photography notes' book but there's bugger all in it. An 'ideas' book is a jolly good idea. I tend to jot ideas down on my wall (blackboard painted) but they get rubbed off to make room for other ideas, to-do lists, lesson plan notes... But, I've just had an idea!

  24. I love the description of your snippet journal, a precursor to the inspiration board, perhaps? As a kid, I kept a lock and key/secret squirrel diary ...that never really evolved. Nowadays, there are plenty of blank notebooks lying around that will never be filled. It seems that the busier life gets, the more condensed the writing. And I'm no good writing a lengthy piece. I enjoy making lists, writing prose or song lyrics, cutting & pasting recipes I find online etc. Like your ideas book. It's great to be full of ideas :)

  25. I can so relate! For a short time, when I was commuting into NYC on the train every day, I was quite good at keeping a journal. But for me too, blogging has replaced that. And I also am an ideas person and keep a list of good ones. Some I'd like to seriously bring to life, others I'd just like to give away and see inspire someone else.

  26. mmmm, I have journals. loads and loads of them. I have journals for quotes, journals for thoughts, journals for mandalas, a journal for Guppy. And whilst I thoroughly enjoy blogging, I do love the scribble of a pen more. It's lovely to know that there is something for each of us out there. And I completely get what you are saying about ideas needing to be done. I have that problem. I make lists, and form concepts and save the pics that I want to transform into paintings, but nothing ever gets done. For me it is about overload too. I want to do everything. A big lesson for me has been that sometimes I need to let go and focus. I will get to things when I do and if this idea does not get done, hopefully the next one will, but life is as long as it can possibly be and there will ALWAYS be something to do, so it is no use burning out before I get there. We all have our things to learn and remember though.

  27. Thank you! I thought I was the only one who kept only partial notebooks of snippet ideas. For 2012, I am working on building a blog that will finally house and make sense of all those thoughts ... Love yours!

  28. I'm obsessed with my notepad I keep. I actually have three. I haven't ever considered it a journal (I agree, blogging totally replaced my many failed attempts) but I suppose it is of some sort!

  29. Beautiful shot, my dear. I too am obsessed with stationary, pens, markers, diaries, journals, etc. There are so many beautiful options out there.
    I have tried over and over and over again, to keep a journal. I have about 50 started. Why can I not finish? ah, its frustrating.

    Happy Holidays :)

  30. I keep thinking the same thing, that I just need to write those ideas down, and then if I get to them I get to them. If not, at least I allowing them that tiny space on a piece of paper. Just gotta get in the habit of jotting them down somewhere.

  31. Just revisiting tghis post and smiling. This post has stayed with me for the past month. I'm not at the stage where I want an ideas journal, but have started what you called a snippet journal. Loving it! Gonna talk journaling on the blog today when I get a chance.

    1. it's fun isn't it?! lol and feels freeing rather than a chore of any sort.