The Art of Journaling / Create Space
Space is one of those underrated prerequisites when it comes to journaling. I wholeheartedly believe that if you want your journaling and writing to flourish, then you need to create space.
Create space in your home.
An area to call your own. A space for you to think, to plan, to contemplate, to remember, to gather your thoughts, to scribble down snippets. It could be a chair under a window that overlooks the garden. Or a small desk at the end of the corridor. Or an armchair in an unused corner of the living room. Or perhaps you could switch your bedside drawers for a table and stool. Or even that cupboard under the stairs could be converted with some thought and creativity; all you need is a lamp and a desk, and you have yourself a writing sanctuary.
Create space on your desk.
Make room for yourself to write, to type, to edit, to jot down notes. Purge the clutter. And keep it that way. Create space, so that you can be free from distraction while you write, allowing you to engage wholeheartedly with the journaling at hand.
Create space on your shelves.
Make room for your journals (and albums and photo books). Think long-term. How much space will you need in three years' time? In five years’ time? In ten year's time? Make room for your memories now, so that space itself doesn't become a barrier to your journaling and memory-keeping endeavours. After all, your beautiful journals and books deserve a proper place on your shelf, do they not?
Create space in your everyday schedule.
Journaling will not happen unless you intend for it to happen. There will always be other ‘more important’ things to attend to. So prioritise it. Make time for it. Schedule in a block of time every day, or every week—whatever is feasible for you. Turn your journaling into a habit, and creating space in your everyday schedule is a wonderful first step.
Create space in your mind.
When it is time for you to journal, to write, or to edit, clear everything else from your mind. Ignore the rest of your to-do list. Avoid Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and other online distractions. Instead, focus on the task at hand. Engage with it. Relish it. Celebrate the fact that you are doing something that's important to you and your family.
Clockwise from top left / The Chinese character for ‘space’ or ‘empty’; a quote from Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami; a corner of my home studio; the August journaling prompts (available here).