Graphic Journaling

Yesterday I attended a fun, online workshop organized by SCBWI Israel. The workshop leader was Sandra Dumais who explained why she likes to keep a graphic journal and what she gets out of it. A big part of it was simply helping her to remember things that had gone on. But she also discussed thinking in terms of a graphic narrative. This in the morning led to this in the afternoon which led to this in the evening and I felt like this about it.

She took us through journaling our own day and encouraged each of us to fill two pages or sheets of paper. Given the fact that this workshop started at 11 am in my time zone, I focused on filling one page with events/observations about my morning.

As people held up their pages, it was fun to see the different styles and the methods people used to communicate. Some were text heavy. Others included no text at all. One drawing clearly depicted someone with a leg cramp.

I’m not sure why my entry starts in the upper left and circles down and around the page. It isn’t typical so I included little arrows for people to follow.

I had to laugh at my own drawings. It looks like I had a pizza for breakfast, but that’s oatmeal with dried cherries (large and round) and dried cranberries (neither large, nor round). My birds are rudimentary at best but that’s a male cardinal in the background and a junco in the foreground.

Dumais talked about how she likes to go back through these journals and see what she observed each day. She also talked about how these entries help her see the possibilities around her for new stories for young readers.

I can definitely see how doing this daily would help me learn to be more observant. How better to draw falling snow? Is there a simpler way to note an acceptance and payment? And, I may not have had a kid-centric morning, but looking at the events that came about before lunch I do have an idea for a story based on this.

What about you? Do you journal?


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