Journaling: In your own words | Melissa Mann

What is the most important thing about capturing the story? The small things. The little details. The smell of something; the emotion I felt at that time. Typically short, small phrases detailing the details. I like to capture the small things that make up the big picture.

Do you try to include all the details in your journaling? No. I usually only journal the highlights of a particular memory. Sometimes [actually, most times], I will only use complimentary adjectives or nouns.

Such as the journaling on the “a Florida summer” layout: “Summertime in Florida means so many things: beach-time, sandy feet, sunburns, flip-flops, ice water, shorts & tank tops… love to smell the scent of the ocean, the smell of freshly mowed grass…this is summertime to me…sunny skies, thunderstorms, bare feet…good times”.

All of these things in this list remind me of summertime in Florida.

Also, I did not journal about the particular day that this photo was taken. I used to be under the assumption that you MUST journal about what surrounded that very photo. Not necessary. I used to hate journaling on my layouts. Hated it with a passion and most times, skipped doing it all together. I instead took a photo that symbolizes a typical summer day and used it as a jumping off point for the description of a Florida summer.
Does every layout your create contain journaling? No. But, probably about 70% of my layouts do include some type of journaling though. As I mentioned before, I used to despise the journaling part of scrapbooking. One, because I always felt like I had to journal about that particular picture. And when I scrapped a self portrait that I had taken of myself or a picture of my dog, I felt trapped by the journaling process because what am I supposed to say about a self portrait? Oh, I took this on a Saturday in June because I was bored. Not so much. Two, I always felt like journaling had to be my own words. Also not necessary. I am a quote addict. I love them. I keep an on-going word document that I copy & paste quotes into all of the time. One day it hit me, why don’t I use one of these quotes on a layout. Well, hello! Sometimes, that’s all you need! Or song lyrics. Many times, the lyrics say exactly what needs to be said – nothing more, nothing less. And three, I always felt like I had to do the journaling in my own hand-writing. I hate my handwriting. It’s never the same. It’s ever evolving – if there is such a thing. And then one day, I saw someone online had used a typewriter to do the journaling on their layout. Before too much time had passed, I had my own typewriter. And as weird as this may sound, I enjoy journaling SO much more now that I don’t feel like I HAVE to do it in my own handwriting.

What do you find the most difficult about journaling? The most difficult thing for me is to sit down and actually do it. To sit and think about what I want to say whether it be a quote, or a list of some sort – I have to force myself to sit down and actually do it. Once I get going, it pretty much just flows – but that initial point where I have to think about what I’m going to say gets me every time.

Take us through your journaling process: Typically, my journaling is always the last thing I do. Unless, I’m going to type my journaling directly onto the base page of my layout, I always save it for last. And about 99% of the time, my journaling is always typed out. It may be on a tag, on a strip of ledger paper, cardstock – but it is easier for me to type everything rather than hand write it out.

I personally do not care for journaling that is printed off from a computer. It is just too perfect and clean looking. But that is just me. I prefer the grungy, non straight lines from my typewriter. I don’t ever do a rough draft of my journaling. Ever.

And again, like I stated earlier, a lot of times, my journaling is written out more in the pattern of how I think – more list like by using nouns or adjectives.

Any tips you’d like to share with us? One last thing I’d like to share – don’t be intimidated by journaling. I was for a very long time. And I may not be the best at journaling – but, I know that years down the road, when I look back at the memories I have preserved, the journaling is going to be the thing I cherish the most. Because it will open a small window in time to where I can see exactly what was going through my head at that particular moment.

Supply List: Cardstock – Kraft; Patterned Paper – October Afternoon, Studio Calico; Stamp – Studio Calico, Elle’s Studio; Tags – Elle’s Studio Vintage Notes, Cut Outs, Summer Journaling Tags, Moment to Remember tags; Ink – Ranger, Stazon; Thread – Unknown; Embellishments – Making Memories; Typewriter; PopDots

ABOUT MELISSA: Hello! My name is Melissa Mann. I currently reside in beautiful Pensacola, Florida – about 15 minutes away from the Gulf of Mexico. I grew up in the South and after a 6 year stint in northern Maryland, realized that I would never be cut out for cold weather! I’m married to a wonderful guy named Troy; we have 2 dogs & 1 cat. I like books, my camera, cooking, & chapstick. I don’t like spiders, humidity, fireants, & perfume.

I first started scrap booking in 2005 when I got a sudden urge to document all of the paraphernalia I had collected while planning our wedding. I had a bag full of receipts, lists, party favors, tags, napkins, cards, etc. I quickly discovered a vast world of paper, glue, albums, & stickers…

…And the rest is history. 🙂

You can visit Melissa’s blog, twitter, facebook and flickr to see more!