So why don’t we journal? Often we are afraid we will do it wrong. No worries—there is no right or wrong way…just YOUR way! Here are just some of the reasons I have heard from scrapbookers who don’t add the stories to their beautiful pages and ideas on how to overcome those fears.
Fear #1: “I don’t like my handwriting.”
*Print short captions instead of handwriting a long story.
*Compose your journaling on the computer, print it onto some photo-safe cardstock and attach it to your page.
*Do remember though that your handwriting is one of your most personal identifiers. I can sometimes identify a note written by my parents or friends (even if they haven’t signed their name) just by looking at the handwriting.
*Consider adding some of your own handwriting— a personal reflection of you—somewhere in your albums.
Fear #2: “The journaling just doesn’t go with the look of the page.”
*Hide your journaling!
*Write on a tag that slips away into a hidden slot behind a picture.
*Tuck a piece of paper into a decorative envelope.
*Create a folded journal box (like a card) that opens up to reveal the journaling inside but has a photo or decorative element on the front when closed.
Fear #3: “I don’t know what to write.”
*List the 5 W’s—who, what, when, where, why (and sometimes how) to make sure you are covering the basic facts.
*Brainstorm a list of words that describe feelings or emotions associated with the photos. Write them in a list format down the side of the layout.
*Imagine how you would tell the story if you were showing the page to a friend. Write down your story just as if you were talking to them.
*Find a quote or phrase from another writer that captures what you wish you could say and use it on your page. Don’t forget to credit the quote by adding the original writers name!
Fear #4: “I don’t want to make a mistake and ruin my page.”
*Plan what you will say on a scrap piece of paper, work out the bugs and then re-write it onto your page.
*Write lightly in pencil first and then go over with a photo-safe journaling pen. Erase pencil marks afterwards.
*Write your story, especially if it is lengthy, on the computer. Do a spell and grammar check to check for mistakes. Then you can either print it on photo-safe cardstock and attach it to your page or re-write it in pencil, and then copy over it in pen on your page.
*If you do make a mistake, cover it with a small piece of the same colored paper and re-write over it. Or add a contrasting piece of paper and re-write over it. Do the same thing in a few other locations so it looks as though this was a design element that was planned from the beginning!
Now that you have a few strategies for addressing your fears about journaling, I challenge you to journal on your next layout! You will be glad you shared the memories!