How to Start Journaling by Amberleigh Smith (Guest post)

You want to get started with journaling but you don’t know how nor where to start? Continue reading, this article is just what you need and after reading it you will also be able to keep a journal if it is a practice you wish to develop.

Note: if you are participating in the One Little WordÂź workshop with Ali Edwards, you must know that we are invited, for the month of March, to choose a practice that we want to start, over the next 31 days. So now is the perfect time to start journaling. ; )

I invite you to use the hashtag #cbscrapchallenges if you create and share your projects on social media, using the techniques suggested by Amberleigh.

Today I am therefore offering you a really special post because I have the pleasure of welcoming a guest who is in my opinion the queen of journaling: Amberleigh (you may already know her under the name @memorykeepingmama on Instagram). She has been writing in journals since her childhood and this practice allows her, amongst other things, to make scrapbook pages where the text that accompanies the photos is very present and gives information that puts the photos in their context and so much more. Writing allows her to tell her story and to live better on a daily basis. So I’ll let her take the lead for the today’s post and she will give you valuable advice so that you too can get down to journaling if you are interested.

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Hello Everyone! My name is Amberleigh and I am honored and excited to serve as a guest on Camille’s blog today. Thank you so very much for having me and allowing me the opportunity to share my thoughts here with you.

Fun fact, I started my “official” memory keeping journey in 2018, and by “official” I mean combining words and photos on a page to be archived and shared. However, I understand now, that my memory keeping journey began long ago when my mother gifted me my first diary in the 4th grade. She encouraged me to write, to pour my heart onto the pages, and promised never to read my words. I didn’t know it then, but that was the catalyst that sparked my journalist heart.

Getting the flurry of words out of my head and onto paper helped me make sense of the world, and really myself. It helped me quiet my racing mind and steady my heart. It is a practice that I have carried with me since then, and while it has taken various forms, what I can say is that I am forever grateful to my mother for starting that diary, and I am thankful for the sense of peace journaling provides in my life.

Since I’ve joined the memory keeping community via the world of social media I’ve learned that this practice, that is almost second nature to me, is not in fact that way for a lot of others, and today, I wanted to share a few tips from my own journey in an effort to support your journey.

The question I get asked most often is, how? How do I start journaling?

My answer – Start! Start now. Start with what you have. Start with what is most comfortable for you. Just start.

This question of how, is almost always brought to me by someone who has read some of my lengthy and emotional words. Words like this I find are challenging for others to express on a page or perhaps it’s how freely I share them with the world…either way, my words did not begin like this. When I first started journaling it took a very different form.

Lists

To do and done lists. List of things I ate that day. List of books I read or wanted to read. List of the places I wanted to go or the things I wanted to do.

Example: Today we ate pumpkin pie! Yum!

Eventually, I started expanding on those lists.

Facts

Answer the 5 key questions: Who? What? When? Where? Why?

Example: Today, November 1st, I enjoyed a slice of pumpkin pie with my husband at home because we were celebrating his birthday.

After a while, I found myself adding more context.

Gratitude

This was a big shift for me personally in my journalist journey. I started to write everything from the lens of gratitude, and today I will either start or end my day with a gratitude list.

Example: Robert is 36 today, and I’m reminded of just how fortunate I am to have this man in my life. We have been together 11 years, and we have grown together in the most beautiful way. He has made, and continues to make me a better person, and I can only hope he feels the same way. Today we celebrate him, and while I hope he feels celebrated everyday, today part of that celebration is pumpkin pie! I have made him a pumpkin pie every year for 11 years! I had never eaten one or made one before we met, and now I can’t imagine his birthday without it.

Letters

And finally, a technique I’ve recently started to leverage: letter writing.

I’ve found when I’m wanting to get more feelings out on the page, writing a letter to a person, place, food, or anything really helps!

Example: To my husband on your birthday – I find it hard to believe we’ve only spent 11 birthdays together. I sometimes struggle to remember the time before we were together, and that’s because of how profoundly and beautifully you have impacted my life. You have, and continue to make me a better wife, mother and woman everyday. Thank you for being you. Today we celebrate you, and while I hope you feel celebrated everyday, today we celebrate with pumpkin pie! Do you remember the first year I made you pie? How I used 2 TBSP instead of 2 tsp of cinnamon?! That pie looked more like a chocolate pie than a pumpkin pie! You ate every sandy, crunchy, spicy bite, covered in whipped cream 🙂 The pies have been better since then, and I promise they will only continue to get better. I love you, happy birthday!

None of these techniques are better than the other! All of them support getting the story told, and the thoughts out of your head and onto the page. Today, I encourage you to give journaling a try, whether it’s using one of the above techniques or another one, the encouragement is to start!

You can find me on Instagram @memorykeepingmama for more journaling and documenting inspiration! Thank you so much again for allowing me the opportunity to share my thoughts here with you!

Amberleigh

SUPPLIES: Wilson|Wilson Boutique Everyday Editions Storyboard Narratives Collection | Wilson|Wilson Boutique Everyday Editions Alphas Collection | Wilson|Wilson Boutique Everyday Editions 2020 Yearbook Catchup Collection

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I would like to thank Amberleigh for agreeing to share her experience of journaling with us and for giving us all these tips on how to get started with journaling right now. I invite you to check out her profile on Instagram (@memorykeepingmama) for more inspiration.

I hope this article has made you want to try out one or more of Amberleigh’s methods and get started writing today. As a reminder, if you want to have a setting in which to start your practice, you can choose journaling as your practice for the month of March. If you create and share your projects on social media using the techniques shared by Amberleigh, I invite you to use the hashtag #cbscrapchallenges so that everyone can share their creations and so that there are different sources of inspiration.

The practice I have chosen for the month of March is this: write in a journal for 5 minutes a day, every day. Ithink it will give me more BALANCE (my OLW for 2021) in my life. What about you, what did you choose?

Thank you for reading this article until the end, we’ll stay in touch on social media and I’ll see you soon on the blog. I invite you to ask me any question you may have in the comments and I will be happy to talk with you.

Camille.

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