The Journal Project

Sharing lives through the process and art of journal keeping.

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Location: Lubbock, TX

Monday, July 31, 2006

Journal Prompt/Discussion 2

First some house cleaning:

Both of the participants I sent the journals to have said they have received them. And both reported being a little intimidated about writing in them. I felt the same way. There's a different dynamic present when you know someone else is going to read your words. But hey, perfect journal material right? As you receive the journals please share your thoughts and experiences. Jennifer suggested each participant make a post briefly describing/sharing their experience. That sounds fabulous! I'm not sure I know how to do this. Do I need to give the log in information to each blogger or is there a way to make this an open post blog? Do participants need to e-mail me their story and then I post it? Some of you may have experience in this area. Please pass along any information I might need to know in order to make this happen.

Melba mentioned a different shipping method that is a bit cheaper than mine. According to her it's cheaper to mail the journal in a priority flat rate envelope. The envelope is free and it is a flat rate of $4.04 mailed anywhere in the continental US. Keep this in mind.

Finally, if the participant above or below you doesn't have a blog link I do have their e-mail addresses. When you get to that point simply e-mail me and I'll get the necessary address information.

Journal Prompt 2:

This is a prompt you can take and use as a springboard for some journal writing. Take it and use it any way you'd like. Let it take you a little deeper into yourself.

Last week Marilyn left a wonderful comment about a quote she had discovered. I want to post the quote here and use it as this week's journal prompt. This quote is taken from WRITE YOUR HEART OUT - EXPLORING & EXPRESSING WHAT MATTERS TO YOU by Rebecca McClanahan.

"Whichever type of journal you choose to keep--a record of a passage as it's occurring or a record of your internal journey to understand the completed event--the writing process is the same...Either way you will have recorded one of the stories of your life--a story with a beginning, middle, and end, even if the end seems to have no firm ending and the passage is one you must keep negotiating and renegotiating."

What does this quote say to you about your journaling experience, especially the part that caught Marilyn's eye--the fact that there may be no firm ending and it is something you must continually renegotiate.

Discussion Question 2:

These discussions questions are something that you can use in your journal but it's also something I'd like to see you respond to in the comments. It's an opportunity to bounce our thoughts and experiences off of each other and build community as we're waiting for the journals to make their rounds.

What is your journaling story? How did you get started? What has journal keeping meant to you?

Happy journaling! Keep sharing your stories! More to come...

Monday, July 24, 2006

The Journals Have Left the Building

That's right. Our journals have started their world wide travel. By now they have probably made it to the first participants on the list and may even be on their way to the next ones.

Here is a little information I found out at the post office when I went to have the journals mailed:

1. The journals cost right under $6 to mail. While there is the media rate that I mentioned in the previous post I opted not to send the journals this route even though it would cut the cost in half. Media mail is treated as 3rd class mail and therefore can take 10 days or more for the package to reach its destination. A little too slow considering all the participants on the list...

2. Call me naive (and I probably am) but I assumed the cost of mailing the journals would be the same anywhere in the US. After all, a 39 cent stamp will get a letter from Texas to either California or New York, or either Alaska or Florida. Little did I know that package rates are based on weight AND zip code and therefore the cost of mailing will differ from place to place. This impacts the idea of providing some pre-paid envelopes for those who may need one. What I did instead was purchase a book of stamps for each package. For those of you wanting to contribute to the postage collection simply toss in some extra stamps to be used along the way by those who may need the postage assistance.

In the meantime, as our journals are circling the globe, I want to use this blog to not only track their whereabouts but to keep us connected with each other and focused on what this is all about--the life changing effects of keeping a journal.

Each Monday I will post a new journal prompt to be used if and/or how you would like. In addition I will provide a discussion question regarding journals/journal keeping to be tossed around in the comment section. Bits of pieces of this discussion may be quoted in future posts. And please feel free to share your experience with the journal prompt should you choose to use it. A journal prompt is simply an idea to spark your creativity and get your mind working, digging a little bit deeper within. Take it and make it your own. Use it anyway you'd like and interpret it any way you'd like. And then share your thoughts...

Journal Prompt 1: The story my soul longs to tell...

Discussion Question 1: This week, for those of you who wish to participate, we will discuss the actual journal. What type of journal do you enjoy using the most? Spiral notebook, composition book, leather bound book, sketchbook? How did you discover that this was the media that would work best for you? Was it a process of elimination until you found something you liked or does it fit your style/creativity better than other choices?

Finally, there are still some changes and additions that need to be made to the sidebar that I just haven't gotten around to yet. If you have e-mailed me concerning an error or about being added to the list never will get done...eventually...Ugh!

Monday, July 10, 2006

Let's Get This Party Started

Okay, it's time. I apologize for the delay. Life started feeling a bit overwhelming--work, parenting, blogging, this project--and I pretty much shut all my systems down except for those that were absolutely essential for basic functioning. Once things started to slow down again I still needed a couple weeks to recuperate. I think I'm finally ready to give some last minute instructions and then get these bad boys in the mail.

Everyone seemed to like the idea proposed in the last post. Two journals. One starting at the top, working its ways down; the other starting at the bottom, working its way up. Once you receive the journal you are to make a journal entry (as long or as short as you like--no specific theme) and then mail the journal to the next person on the list. In order to obtain the next participants address either contact them by commenting on their blog or by e-mailing them. For those few who don't have a blog, contact me. I believe I have all their e-mail addresses. If you run into any questions, concerns, or suggestions along the way let me know. Also, don't forget about the pre-paid envelopes if you would like to participate in that portion of the project, or if you need to use one please feel free to do so. If you don't remember exactly how it's all going to unfold you can review the game plan by reading the previous post.

Now to answer some questions and offer some suggestions:

No, there isn't any particular theme so feel free to journal about whatever you feel like saying. I will include a few prompts with the journal just in case. There also isn't any specific layout. My style is just to write in between the lines until I feel like I've said all I need to say. Many of you use a little more color and creativity than I do. Feel free to do that as well. The idea is to capture all the range of issue, topics, and styles that each of us bring to journaling. I've purchased fairly large journals (400 pages) so if a page or two needs to be skipped to accommodate any art work (bleeding colors, etc.) we should be able to handle that.

Melba brought it to my attention that there is a special, less expensive, shipping rate for books. This is true. The last time I went to mail a book I requested the media rate and the cost was almost half. Keep this in mind when you head to the post office with our little treasures.

Another blogger suggested we all take some time to get to know each other by visiting the blogs surrounding your name. I think this is a great idea. I know many of you already read a lot of blogs so I don't want to make it mandatory but it is an excellent idea. It further strengthens the community we are already building. If you'd like, take some time to visit some of the bloggers you're not familiar with (especially if it's someone directly above or below your name--you'll be contacting them for mailing information.) This is also a helpful suggestion seeing as how it may take some time for the journals to make their rounds. We can be working on building our relationships while waiting for the journals to arrive at each of our front doors.

Another blogger suggested we scan the pages just in case... This is something to take into consideration. Unfortunately things do get lost in the mail. I don't have a scanner but if any of you do and you don't mind scanning it from time to time as it makes its journey that might not be a bad idea.

Well my friends, unless there isn't anything else I guess this should cover everything. I want to get one of those map thingies up on the sidebar so that we will be able to track the progress of the journals and know exactly where they are. More details on this when I have that up and running. In the meantime, relax and have fun with this. It is our project so anything that comes up along the way needs to be shared with everyone. When the journal does show up in your mailbox try not to be too stressed out about it. Breathe and just write whatever comes to mind. Of course I say that but the honest truth is when I sat down to make my entry in the red journal it was harder than I thought. Knowing people were actually going to read it changed the dynamic. As much as I wanted it to be natural and normal there was this little piece of me that knew someone else was going to read it. I felt a little bit of resistance that I just had to work through. Please share your experiences and thoughts along the way. I'll try and publish some of those from time to time as the project unfolds.

While the journals are making their way around the globe I want to use this blog as a place to share journal prompts and journal experiences. Stay tuned for additional updates (hopefully a little more regularly than they have been...)

Finally, please check the sidebar one last time to ensure you are present and your link (if you have one) works. If there are any errors let me know. Remember, I've been feeling overwhelmed with life. That can always lead to increased errors on my part.

I hope to make it to the post office either Wednesday or Thursday and the journals will be off....

In the meantime, happy journaling...and let me know if there are any questions or if I haven't explained things adequately.