Episode 37: Journaling Tip: Write the Way You Speak

Alice Boll
Alice Boll

Show Notes

This simple tip will help you write better journaling on your next scrapbook layout. 



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Take a peek at the process Alice used to create her April Chicks layout.

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Welcome to the ScrapHappier podcast, where we share quick tips, tricks, and techniques to help you create scrapbooks you love and be happier while doing it. I’m your host, Alice Boll.

Thanks for joining me today. I’m really excited. We’re going to talk about journaling. And you may know that I am quite adamant that journaling is something that is really important for scrapbooking. So today I wanted to share you one of my best tips, but before we get into that, yeah, I know I’m teasing you a little bit. I think it’s worth talking about why journaling is so important for scrapbooking. As much as I think journaling is important, I would never say that you must do journaling. I think it’s important to do you. If you’re scrapbooking because you love the creative outlet, because you want to do something with your photos, then do that. It’s totally fine. But if you want your scrapbooks to mean something a little bit more, than journaling really is important.

For one moment, I’d like you to picture a family photo. Let’s make it an old family photo, put some people in the picture, put it in a slightly unknown location. Make one of those people, somebody that you really care about from your past grandmother, grandfather, great-grandmother. Now think for a moment. Why did they take this picture? What are they doing? Who are those other people in the picture? Where are they? And what were they thinking about that made them want to take this picture?

If you’re like me, you might not even be imagining this picture. You might have a picture just like this. My desire to know more about the life and the thoughts and the things that my grandmother was interested in and inspired by have really made me consider how I’m telling my own story in my scrapbooks. I really believe that journaling matters, but I think that lots of times we put so much pressure on ourselves to be either poetic or really profound. That we have to have deep thoughts and have intense journaling that tells such dramatic stories, such insightful, meaning into them that we kind of overwhelm ourselves with that pressure. The pressure to deliver that profound moment within our scrapbooks. Journaling can be short and journaling doesn’t have to be that deep and profound for it to be really relevant.

Today’s tip is to write the way you speak. When we speak, we have certain rhythms in our voice. We have certain words that we like to use. We have certain pauses and we have certain dramatic effects that we add to our speech. Writing good journaling isn’t about using big, fancy words that we have to look up in a dictionary. And besides, this isn’t something you’re turning into a college English professor. Who cares if it’s imperfect. Who’s going to read it? The person that’s going to read this, are they judging you on your grammar? Are they judging you on your punctuation? If they are, do you really care about that? If I could look at a journal or a scrapbook page made by my grandmother, the last thing I’m looking at is her punctuation and grammar. And if you scrapbook for yourself, which I think is a beautiful thing to do, then really who’s judging you at all.

The only person that’s really judging you is yourself. So turn off that inner critic and write the way you speak. If you’re the kind of person that jumps from one idea to the next, if you’re the kind of person that loves run-on sentences, if you’re the kind of person that’s never heard of a period, because you never reached the end of your thought, that’s totally okay. And it will sound so much more realistic if you include that kind of style on your scrapbook pages. Let’s hear some examples. This first layout is called April Chicks and I made the base of this page during a happy at home session on April 9th. I’ll post the video replay of that session on the show notes.

I’m bursting from the cuteness. These new baby chicks are so ridiculously adorable that I can barely contain myself. I love when the chicks fall asleep in my hands, their little eyes closed, their head dips and they eventually crash with their neck stretched out. I’m so happy we hatched 26 sweet little fluff balls. This journaling is exactly how I speak when I’m holding a fluffy baby chick. I really do feel like I’m bursting from the cuteness. And so I made sure to include that in my journaling.

Another thing you’ll notice about that journaling is that it’s actually not very long. There are only four sentences. Although I think that one of them might be classified as a run-on sentence, but I’m not an English teacher. So I don’t know. And I don’t really care. This next example is called king of the castle. It shows a picture of me when I was maybe three or four years old on top of the slide, a really tall slide that I had as a kid. Here’s the journaling. I’m the king of the cat castle and you’re the dirty rascal. As a kid, I would sung this phrase from the top of my super tall slide. I probably said it hundreds of times as a child. I loved my slide. It was taller than my mom. And it went so fast. I knew that a king was a boy, but that didn’t matter. When it came to ruling the castle, I was king.

On this page, I used that childhood rhyme to start off my journaling. I tried to incorporate some of the feeling that I had as a little kid, the excitement that I had when I would climb to the top of that slide and get ready to slide all the way down. I used words like super tall slide and a reference to how it was taller than my mom, because that’s a big deal when you’re a kid.

The final layout that I’d like to share today is called I am not bossy. I have leadership abilities. The photos are of me as an awkward gangly teenager organizing party games for my little brother’s six birthday and his birthday party friends. The journaling reads, as a big sister, I have always had plenty of opportunity to demonstrate my leadership abilities. There were times it was much more appreciated than others, such as when I hosted my little brother Russell’s sixth birthday party. I kept those little boys busy with party games and there were no problems at all. I made sure of it.

I hope that today’s podcast will inspire you to think about telling your stories in the way that you speak, incorporating your own rhythms, words, pauses, dramatic effects, and favorite phrases. Make this feel more like you. And that’s really what we want when we’re telling our stories.

I’d love to know what you think of this tip. You can leave me a voice message on the SpeakPipe app on the show notes page or pop over to Instagram. I’m @Aliceboll and I’d love to hear from you. You’ll find a link for the show notes underneath this podcast in the description. I hope that today’s tip to write the way you speak will help you write better stories for your scrapbook pages. And hopefully you’ll have some more fun while you’re doing it. Don’t forget to check out the Happy at Home scrapbooking series of live videos on YouTube. You can find those on the ScrapHappy YouTube channel. And if you’d like to join us for the LOAD Challenge, that’s coming up May 2021. It’s inspired by the Golden Girls. It’s called LOAD 521 live golden. Go to scraphappy.org/load to register or sign up to get the first notification when registration opens. Until next time, happy scrapping.


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