Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Organizing my Cluttered Mind

Lately, I've been all over the place.
Writing, decorating, collage tutorials, painting, art blog obsessing, composting, cooking. Basically, I've been in artistic overload. I blame it on spring time. The roses are pruned, merchandisers are bringing out the poppy reds, kelly greens and yellow papaya and even the wind has lost it's bite.

I get inspired by this transition, and apparently, so do others.

As you've might have noticed, I've been pursuing a great many art/craft/lifestyle blogs out there and have been compelled to share my findings with you. Don't worry, I'll stop. Because the truth is I have a manuscript I need to get out the bloody (yet freshly painted) door.
Yet these creative inspirations are overpowering my need to write. So about a month ago, I decide to create a journal. It's a spiral bound sketch pad actually, but the thing is, it's a place where I can place all my random thoughts.

If I'm inspired by a magazine article or it goes and placed in my book.

If something inspires an art lesson, then I have a blank page to develop it further.

If I'm working on a writing exercise (metaphors is my latest one) then all my random and poorly written ideas go in the journal (in pencil of course).

If I need a calendar to keep track of my ideas, dates and carpool stuff, I draw one. You could
cut and paste one but doodling one is so much more gratifyingly. And it kills two birds with
one stone.

Believe it or not, I actually took a class on creating journals and sketchbook in college. I know. Crazy. But it was fashion design college. The instructor actually graded us on how creative we could make the sketchbook look. We were encouraged to add color samples, fabric swatches, photographs, articles, etc. The more snippets of info we placed inside earned us a higher grade. I never understood what the heck she was talking about. I mean, I got the assemblage part, but what was the purpose and why was she grading us on it? In my mind, she was crazy.

But now, twenty five years later, I get it. Journalling helps de-clutter the mind. I think the brain must sense when we actually do something with our creative impulses, however small, and then lets us move on.
Thats what is happeneing to me. I can satisfy the urge for a few minutes, then get back to the real task at hand. All the while knowing, that my ideas are safely out there.

Totally different topic:
My writing pal, Maggie, blogs on the different writing conference choices you have on the West Coast. She's been to four biggies in the past few years. You can find the link here.


  1. OK. Didn't know you had a personal blog. Now I have to add this over to my bloglist on my personal blog.

    Glad I found this!!

  2. Hey Julie! I know. Blogging is a contagious thing. Hard to stop! Thanks for stopping by.

  3. Blogging IS contagious! I'll have to go check what Maggie says about the writing conferences. It's better than cleaning the house...

  4. Hi Sherrie,
    Yes. Adicting, but fun!
    Who knows, maybe my time would be better spent going to one of Maggie's recommended conferences.

  5. I just though how great this would be to turn into a baby book/first year calendar/ journal /scrapbook!
    Guess I know what sis-in-law is getting for a shower gift!

    If this was confusing, check my blog soon for visual explanation.

  6. I find it interesting how different my blog and my handwritten journals are, and what functions each fulfills.

    I look at my blog as "morning coffee with friends and colleagues". Yes, I dissect my process, frustrations, etc.

    But my handwritten journal is more like yours -- although not as pretty! ;) -- it's got random fragments, ideas, things that I need to sort out privately.

    I'm always worried about splitting focus too much -- I feel like journals for too many different things make me feel fractured instead of whole -- but the blog and the journal fulfill very different functions in my life.

  7. Welcome, Devon. Couldn't agree more with feeling fractured. Being a creative sort, there are always ideas competing for my attention. Journaling can help and so can blogging. Kind of gets it all out there!

  8. I have to admit, I am the worst journaler. Blogging has been a huge step for me, this writing about random thoughts on a semi-regular basis. I wish I could draw better. i somehow feel like that would be far more satisfying than writing out ideas. Maybe I'm a closet case wannabe artist.

  9. Hey Stacy!
    Drawing isn't necessary, it's just what I do. Honestly, I clip more magazine articles than anything and need a place to keep my faves!

  10. Patty - I'm exactly in the same place. I just got all my past m/s in one large file tote, labeled and it was a trip down memory lane. I find I have to do something, anything creative, every day, otherwise I'm up all night. Or it builds into something ugly. Can't wait to check out Maggie's blog! Angela

  11. So true, Angela! Definitely check out Maggie's blog. I'm going to try and go to one workshop this summer.

  12. You are so creative, Patty! Love this post!

  13. This is such a fun blog! And there is Mandy, a figure skater, a girl after my own heart! (wish I had her figure).

    Creativity like yours is rainbow hued.

  14. Absolutely love journaling! I always intend to do it daily but sometimes doesn't happen. Your journal has inspired me to pieces! Love blogging; can sit for hours, writing and looking. Yours is beautiful and love your "deep space sparkle" too! I have a 4-yr-old granddaughter that is with me a lot. I have to do art every day too, or something is missing from my life. Love it all! Watercolor, pen&ink, and I teach collage at a local art center. Anyway (blah, blah, blah) you are inspiring! Thank you! May I put you on my favorite list?

  15. I loved looking through your journal pages. I'm so inspired to return to my old journal for recording my teaching ideas... this year has been so hectic my time was taken up with horrible to do lists instead ...bring back the journal i say!!


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