Friday, March 09, 2007

The Journaler's Handbook

The Journaler's Handbook by Tracy White comes in an attractive three-fold binder that contains an audio CD, the main book and a blank journal. Minus the time I spent analysing the included layouts, this book was a quick read.

The main handbook is not meant to be read through as more than half of it consists of journaling prompts. The questions go beyond the usual 5Ws and H (who, what, where, when, why and how) we were taught in Journalism 101. It is a handy reference to have on your scrap table, for those moments when you have writer's block. The prompts are arranged by theme - baby, child, teen, adult, everyday life, relationships, school, birthdays, travel, holidays, and heritage. So instead of spending the precious little time we have to scrap thinking of meaningful journaling we could quite easily turn to the page that suits our LO.

Those of us who are quite confident in our journaling may not immediately see the need for this book. But the book asks around 100 questions per theme, surely there is one question there that we haven't thought of asking ourselves? The answers could only make our writing more interesting. And if like me, you are scrapping photos from way back when, the memory triggers will help bring back information beyond that which is obvious from the photos. After each chapter, Tracy also gives suggestions on how to complete a page, like adding and collecting ephemera to support your journaling.

The CD is a 30-minute (or thereabouts) workshop/discussion on journaling that you can listen to while you are driving or scrapping. You can close your eyes (NOT - when you're driving, please) and pretend that you are attending Tracy's "Write from the Heart" class at Creating Keepsakes University.

The journal is like a slum book, with questions like what books do you like reading or what is your favorite food or drink? It's up to you whether you would want to use it, but the value, I think lies in the exercise and in plumbing your deepest thoughts from your mind.

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