In the past I had started many journals and found that after a short time, they remained nearly blank, unused and in a pile on the shelf. At that time, journaling was a frustrating experience as it became more of a symbol of an unfinished project rather than a helpful process. Then one day a number of years ago it occurred to me that my journals were there for me and only me. They could be anything, with no expectations and no rules.
It does not matter whether I journal everyday or once a year. What matters is that I journal what I need, when I need to, and in any form that works for me.
Now art journals have become an important part of my life. I have several of them going at once and use them for different reasons. My current go-to journal is a 9x12 inch, spiral bound journal with 140b cold press water color paper. It is truly a visual journal in that every page starts with a layer of black gesso, continues with painted pages, and finished off with additional mixed media elements. There is text on every page as well but very limited actual journaling.
The expression of emotion is in the images and hidden within the layers. And that is just fine.
I also have a smaller journal that I hand bound myself and that is used as a more traditional journal - with a lot of writing. All of the pages have been prepainted with watercolor washes and there is collage added as well. This journal is there for me when images won't do and I need to use my words. I do not journal in this book as often as my visual journal - but it is there whenever I am compelled to reach for it. And unlike my visual journal, this smaller one is private and not shared with anybody on line or IRL.
Both of these journals, and the many others I have made, are containers for my thoughts, feelings, ideas and concerns. They hold my stories. They are me...