Monday, June 21, 2010

Write Something Creative Today

I am a writer who came of a sheltered life. A sheltered life can be a daring life as well. For all serious daring starts from within.   Eudora Welty
Do you keep a diary? Ever since I can remember, from the beginning of time I think, people have advised us, all of us, to keep a diary. Write a journal! Write down everything, every thought. And I have to admit, there are many famous and important diaries. Hello, Anne Frank? The mad housewife? Alright, that’s all I can think of, but I’m pretty sure I remember a PBS special that talked about Princess Diana keeping a diary. That would be an amazing diary.

I have tried to keep a diary, and failed miserably. I didn’t know why I couldn’t do it, I love to just sit and write. But, and that’s a big BUT, there is something about having to write about myself, in the traditional diary/journal way, which bugs me. Always has. I think it’s because you also have to write about other people, and what you think of them, and what you really think of yourself—a diary expects you to reveal deep deep thoughts, and I don’t know, it’s uncomfortable—for me. Too much pressure. And yet, there is new research that suggests that keeping a diary or a journal actually provides a health boost for you!

There are a lot of things I like to just write down though. So, I was in Wal-Mart. (I’m forever having to go to Wal-Mart and not wanting to go) and in the notebook and pen aisle, I saw a fat little spiral-bound blank notebook. I love fat little notebooks, so I bought it. I had no idea what I was going to use it for. So, I wrote a list of Christmas wishes on the first page. Then, I wrote my favorite bible verse, Isaiah 40:31, on the next page, probably a few days later. Soon, that December, other pages started filling up with “Great Ideas,” a few sketches for future cross-stitch embroidery designs, an idea for a themed essay contest, script ideas, a party menu, book thoughts, five pages on the story of our accidental dozen baby hamsters, notes from Sunday sermons, books I wanted, songs I wanted, next summer’s garden layout, and random little thoughts and inspirations. I even wrote down a definition of the word “Bitch.” Here it is: Broad In Total Control of Herself.

And that’s when the fat little notebook from aisle seven became my creative journal. At last! I hit on the kind of journal that makes me feel good, and something that I want to read again, and contains material I can actually use again! Why didn’t I think of this before! This was definitely a boost.

I carried that little notebook in my bag at all times, and when it was almost full, a good friend who had traveled, gave me the sweetest little blank book, covered in a green satin fabric and embroidered with a Chinese motif (picture above). I love that little book. It became Sandy’s creative journal volume 2. In it, I wrote another verse from Isaiah 30:18—“Expect good things every day.”

I certainly don’t post entries every day, and sometimes not even every month. But I post the good stuff—the rich material of those thoughts and inspirations and visions that I don’t want to lose. Some of those entries eventually get translated into something digital, stitchable, or edible. Little sketches have become big drawings, embroidered pillows and even a skirt. There are just thoughts in there too, and reminders about the little things in life. Good stuff.

Pure and personal creativity captured in good old-fashioned touchable ink and paper bound between two pretty covers can only turn into something good. Maybe something great.

Enjoy your eating, writing, dreaming and stitching today!


  1. I keep a notebook that was SUPPOSED to be for ideas for my classroom, but it has turned into ideas for school, reminders of appointments, party plans, guest lists, etc.

  2. I think that's good! I bet you refer to it a lot. Those are the best kind of notebooks. Thanks Helen!