Can you guess what Andrew Carnegie, Winston Churchill, Thomas Edison, Benjamin Franklin, and Theodore Roosevelt all have in common? They all kept journals. All of these famous individuals wrote in a personal notebook on a daily basis.
Did you know that Leonardo da Vinci kept over forty notebooks? He wrote about his activities, and recorded plans for his engineering projects. If Meriwether Lewis had not kept a journal, while exploring across North America, we would not have a glimpse of his travels, during the time he lived, nor the geographical information that he recorded in his journal. The beloved, world class diary, The Diary of Anne Frank, was written while Anne and her family hid in an attic, from the Nazis during World War II. Reading her remarkable child diary connects the reader to the horrors of the war. President Abraham Lincoln, our sixteenth president, kept a kind of diary. On little scraps of paper, he jotted down thoughts and sometimes referred to these notes in his speeches. Our beloved president was a powerful orator. His love for the written word was evident in his love for books. As a young man, Abraham always had a book stashed away. He read whenever he found a chance to do so, sometimes finding a moment in between chores on the farm. On a page from Abraham’s schoolbook he wrote the following poem:
his hand and pen
he will be good but
god knows when
Do you keep a journal? I hope you do and if you don’t, consider the fact that journaling promotes good health and wellness. Journaling expands our minds. Journaling increases vocabulary, while improving on one’s creative writing ability.
A journal can be kept for a variety of writing topics and a variety of reasons. Perhaps you want to capture a new experience or record something special, exciting and memorable. Perhaps after a crummy day, you may need to vent, solve a problem or unload your thoughts. Do so, in a journal. Jotting down favorite Bible verses, quotes, poems and sayings are all wonderful ideas for a personal journal. A journal can be used to generate a shopping list, make a wish list, or even produce a To Do List.
As a writer, brainstorm thoughts and make lists in a journal. Use a journal for pre writing that is spontaneous and written in a first draft form. Try a strategy referred to as quickwriting. It is an informal ramble of words on paper to develop and generate ideas. Jump start your writing with some writing prompts that may spark creativity. Make a list. Doodle. Sketch. Create a graphic organizer. Think of bold beginnings, mighty middles, and exciting endings. Add mementos and ephemera. Jot down words and more words. Keep on writing. Just focus on your thinking and ideas, not grammar and spelling. The revisions and editing can follow later. Use a variety of writing implements. You can use more than a pencil. Try writing with colored pencils, markers, or even a collection of rainbow colored pens.
Consider sharing personal thoughts, dreams and hopes, as you write. A journal can record whatever is on your mind. Just like reading, writing should take place every day. So grab a writing instrument and a notebook and begin to record your thoughts.
One composition notebook or student journal
Three pieces of 12 X 12 inch scrapbook paper
Hot glue gun
Paper cutter (optional)
Di cut letters or letter stickers
Ribbon or Rick Rack
2. Apply a generous amount of glue to the journal, position the scrapbook paper and smooth out any bubbles.
3. Wrap and fold the extended edges of the scrapbook paper, creating mitered corners and secure with a generous amount of glue.
5. Open the journal to the middle section of the notebook that reveals the stitching. Hot glue two or three 14 inch pieces of ribbon on the top edge. Drape the pieces of ribbon across sections of the notebook to become a bookmark. Tie a knot at the bottom of each piece of ribbon.
6. Time to embellish your journal with scrapbook stickers and cutouts, etc. Use additional scraps of scrapbook paper. Recycle greeting cards. Use buttons and babbles. Be creative.
Suzy Leopold is delighted to offer the opportunity for one reader to win a personalized journal. She will create and mail the journal to the winner. Just leave a comment on this post and I will enter your name in the give-away. If you tweet about it or share it on FB, I will put your name in again. If you reblog, you get another chance. Just let me know what you’ve done so I can put the correct number of names in the drawing. Give-away ends on Friday April 3, 2015.
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