Redeeming Your Time With an Unwanted Journal

We have discussed before that a journal exists to help you; it is not your master. Think of your journal as a non-judgmental friend who exists to help.

At times, you might procure a journal that does not fit your goals. At that point, it is useful to think of the journal as sunk cost. Be grateful for your time with it, but move away from it.

It is also a good reminder not to believe that all is lost. You did not completely waste your time. You learned something from the encounter with the journal. To redeem your time with it, look for the lesson with the unwanted journal.

For example, I had journaled for years with just words, no doodles, no ephemera. What I had not realized is that deep down I had cordoned myself off into the identity of writer and felt that adding ephemera was to become a scrapbooker, which was an identity that did not seem to fit. I also rarely used guided journals or prompts from other people as I always have something to write, rarely at a loss for words for a private book.

On a whim, I decided to so something different and purchased the guided book titled Wreck This Journal. Unfortunately, the book asked its user to do activities that did not make sense to me and made me uncomfortable, such as grinding dirt into the pages. I did not finish it.

However, as I mentioned in my review of Wreck This Journal, it was not a waste of time. What came from that experience was a loosening of my reticence to add mixed media to the journal. After being told to do extreme things to a journal, the idea of merely adding photos, or tickets -something meaningful to the story I was writing- did not seem intrusive or out of place. In fact, the objects enhanced the story.

The lesson from the encounter with the journal that I never finished was to expand my idea of a journal beyond the way I had always done it. It helped me to become comfortable with an expanded view of journaling and an expanded view of my identity within the journal writing space.

What lessons have you learned from your unwanted or useless journal? In what way can you redeem the time that you have spent with an unwanted journal?


Leave a Reply