Monday, November 15, 2010

A Life in Hand - Creating the Illuminated Journal by Hannah Hinchman

This was a fast and easy read with some good information; not a lot in depth, but enjoyable.  The first quote that really struck home with me was this one:

Is there an ideal time to begin a journal?  A person at fifty-five may be in the midst of profound life changes, but thinks it's too late to start one, that it wouldn't make any sense because so much of his/her life has elapsed.  But it doesn't work that way.  When you begin a journal, it's like arriving at a mountain pass.  Even though it has taken you days to get there, as you look back, the whole route is open to your inspection.  Facing ahead, you're in a good position to look at the country before you, and choose possible routes from there.  (pg.17-20)
I am not in the midst of profound life changes, but I am fifty-five.   So this must be an ideal time for me to begin a journal (I've actually been keeping a journal off and on for the past 2-3 years, but I want to be more consistent with it).  Another quote that resonated with me:

The habit of keeping a journal changes the way you absorb experience. (pg. 129)
And this one, in a section titled MOMENTS OF TRUE WAKEFULNESS:

By making a record of what you have seen with a note, a phrase, a sketch, or a lengthy, absorbed drawing, you make it your own.  Next time you turn to look again, the world will be a degree richer and more distinct, and you will belong to it more completely. (pg. 144)
She recommends an inclusive journal where you record all kinds of things:  sketches, thoughts, quotes, recipes, lists, addresses, etc.  And that you carry your journal with you everywhere so you would at least use it for practical things.  This was my 20th book for The New Author Challenge 2010, and I rate it 3 out of 5.


Claire M said...

Ah... I recognize the quotes and the book - I have a copy somewhere in my house. I think she makes some good points for keeping a journal. I have 2 separate ones - one totally written thoughts and then my illustrated journals that are a mixture of image and word. But, in my written book I recently doodled a bit and drew a fence. So, art is starting to creep in there too. As for quotes ... I have several blank books that I copy them into, several computer files, and numerous scraps of paper. So.... I'm "all over the map"!!

Kathy A. Johnson said...

I have this book, too, and enjoyed reading it. I've kept a written journal and/or morning pages (per Julia Cameron's Artist's Way) for years, but my goal has been to incorporate art--that's why I've been taking Laure's classes. So far, though I'm learning the techniques, I haven't really been able to combine the two--but I haven't given up yet.

Cheryl Gebhart said...

Claire - I know what you mean about all over the map - I have a quote journal and a book journal and a to-do list and now I'm TRYING to do a regular journal. Eventually I hope to combine it all into one.

Kathy - I'm sure you'll get there - it just takes time and practice. I haven't even really kept much of a journal before, so even that's new to me.