Revamp the writing experience – Productive Procrastination.

In this post I will be blabbing on about revamping your writing journals. I don’t know about you, but I love to keep a journal handy with me at all times, but there is nothing really “motivating” about a boring journal to write in. So, if you’re like me and you’re going through a bit of a rough patch in writing (writer’s block) then maybe this will help fill in the time… or help you further your procrastination from writing 😛

I’ve always liked to “liven” my writing experience. There is just something about having a uniquely decorated journal that appeals to my individual taste. I had started doing this kind of thing when I was a teenager but I never thought much about it back then – there was just love and enjoyment in adding something original to these little notebooks I carried around everywhere. There was more pride, those that I had decorated, and I found that with these I really felt more inspired to fill them with my words.

This is not really an original idea, it’s original to me as I had just naturally started doing it when I was younger and I am sure there are much simpler ways of doing this and much more interesting than what I have here for you, but this is how I’ve always done it. I’ve found this way the easiest for me and the most enjoyable. So hopefully you get to feel the same enjoyment as I felt.

What you will need is firstly and obviously, a journal. I like one with a stitched back but not one that is spiral bound. Those are more difficult to cover with the paper you want and they can become messy.  Here I’ve used an old moleskin I’ve had lying around… but really, whatever suits you. Here is a picture of what it looked like before:

When it comes down to what you want to use to decorate your journal there is no point in organising every single little piece of scrap-book accessory. You just need a box with stuff in it. One box will do you, a nice box, but one nonetheless. Unless you have LOTS of stuff, and then you might need two.  Don’t bother about buying things. Buying sucks.  Scrap-booking can be really expensive, so I just go around to garage sales and collect or journey around little opp shops. That’s the exciting, fun part. Plus, little old ladies will talk to you at the counter ~ and that’s always fun…

The point is, have a box of stuff to work with and dig your hand around to find something that you like. I really love collecting cuttings from newspapers and magazines. Newspapers especially have this old, grey, pulp feel about them. So I like to cut out pictures or random articles to play with – they tend to add a little something to the display but for the time being I’ve just taken images from my favourite magazines.

What you will need:

  • Pen
  • Ruler
  • Scissors (also for different cutting styles)
  • Craft Glue
  • A Brush
  • Magazines
  • A Big Shoe Box (to keep the scraps in)
  • A Shoe (no not really)
  • A Journal (duh)
  • Contact Paper (You should be able to buy metre rolls. You really won’t need much, I have bought a LOT but only because I’m an idiot since I keep making mistakes)
Here you can see the whole, difficult and painful process of cutting out pieces of pretty paper. So difficult.

This is the shoe box with stuff in it.

A lovely selection of the finest magazines. Oooh.

Pretty scissors with cool cutting patterns. Gives the paper a unique affect.

Okay, so lets get started! You will need your craft glue handy as you pick and choose some cool picture designs from your cut-outs. Make sure you keep your decorations neat, sometimes if you overdo it you can make the picture appear cluttered. Use the brush or a paddle-pop stick (Aussie?) to even out the glue. If you make a mistake with the glue, it’s okay, it’ll dry transparent.

Here I have completed the front cover as you can see I have just chosen some random pictures with bright colours and have written in ink, on the girl’s collar, a little message to myself.

 After finishing both sides (and with a few extra little touches) I move onto sealing the cover by using contact paper. I find that this preserves the decorations and protects the journal itself from wear and tear. This may seem like a lot of work for a simple notebook, but seriously, if you’ve got writer’s block then this is probably one of the better things to do to fill in your time. And as you are creating it, you will soon rediscover your writing passion by wanting to use your newly revamped journal! Hurrah! You’ve cured yourself from writer’s block.

With the contact paper you only need about two centimetres outside the journal’s measurements. This is enough to cover and protect it.

And you are done! Well… what else should I do now?

26 thoughts on “Revamp the writing experience – Productive Procrastination.

  1. This is a really fun idea. Not only does it get you thinking about your journal, but you’ll enjoy it so much more! I’m going to pass along this idea to a co-worker who journals everyday. She’ll love it!

  2. When I’m facing the wall of writer’s block I run screaming to my fridge magnets and toss them randomly at my fridge and then try make sense of them. If the poem sucks, I blame the magnets. Your way seems more artistic, more in control. Thanks for showing another way around the wall.

    • Hahaha, I totally I understand this. I write little scribbled notes in my note-pad if I have it handy. I usually keep four or five but one I’m usually committed to. Sometimes, I find it easiest to write a few ideas then come back later to it and see what words magically appear to me as I’m reading, but how much more inspiring is it with a cool notebook? I know I feel more motivated 🙂

  3. Wow Mr Redplace, this post of yours really made me think. I carry a spiral notebook in my shirt pocket at all times. I get ideas when I’m driving, when my feet are pounding away on a treadmill, when I am in the throes of conversation, or at three a.m. when i waken from a dream. But sometimes I get this little flicker of negativity when I pull this uninspiring wired-together collection of lined pages that I buy by the dozen at Walgreens when they’re on sale and perhaps I think ever so briefly (I gotta get sumthin’ better). So i read your post and walked over to my other desk and picked up a black portable file organizer with a dozen expandable sections, grabbed two hardbound leather-backed tablet covers, loaded them and placed them in the organizer and collected a pile of hardcopies of essays, poems and lyrics, placing them in yet another section. Dang, this is better than carriying a laptop. There’s room for a book on punctuation too, though most of the time I prefer to be creative with my commas. Thanks for visiting the other day.

  4. I’m not quite sure how I got here. But now that I am here – I like what you’ve come up with – red woman with a moustache – good book cover. Good idea too.

  5. Oh how I wish I had the time for journals- I keep telling myself I’ll start writing regularly about everyday occurrences. It doesn’t happen. Ever. But there are some really fun ideas here- I might have to try a few of them out 🙂

    • It’s all a bit of fun, I hope you do… and I know time seems to fly sometimes… but you never know when an idea hits you and you happen to have a notebook lying around. :-]

  6. That’s pretty neat, i always keep a moleskine journal with me on my travels and I often decorate it with train tickets, drawings and paper currency etc. I’m actually currently filling out my Japan trip journal, I might take some of your advice and spruce it up a bit!

  7. Nice! This post just gave me a great idea how to wrap gifts and give it a personal touch. (I’d do it on a journal too, but I don’t keep one anymore.)

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