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Journaling Club Pitch

First of all, I just figured out how to hook up my hubby's iPad keyboard to my iPad, and I feel like a genius! I'm typing using the keyboard now. :) I am a rockstar!

Anywho, this year something strange happened at school. I have felt an overwhelming desire to start a journaling club. I think about it quite obsessively. All. the. time.

I am determined to develop a plan during my Thanksgiving break that I can present to my principal for approval. I want her to know I'm serious and I have a plan. Really, the only reason I think this would not be approved is because of the personal content that may be revealed during the club. So, it is important that I focus more on styles, layouts, prompts, that kind of thing. I'm planning for the club to be weekly, though I'm wondering if I should go bi-weekly; I'm not sure (opinions?). Anyway, so it would go from 3:30ish - 4:20. A little less than an hour.

The first meeting is going to be an informational meeting. It would probably one go half an hour. In that meeting, I would talk to them about picking a journal (if they don't already have one), I would probably suggest comp books just because they are so easy and versatile, but of course I'd let them know it is completely up to them. I'd also talk to them about using and bringing their various supplies including markers, pens, stickers, washi tape, magazines etc. I'm a poor teacher (really poor since I teach at a charter school) so I won't have a lot of money to spend on supplies, though I do, of course intend to provide some. I would probably also mention that if they don't want to bring their "real" journal to the club, they can have a journal they use solely for the club (which is what I'll be doing) which they could use to just practice the styles and such, and maybe even be able to show their parents the results. Then use those styles in their personal journal if they felt like it.

The first official club meeting would be about introducing ourselves to the journal. Decorating the cover. Possibly the use of quotes on the first pages. Decorating inside and outside covers. Maybe ask them to bring a pic of themselves to put in it? Stuff like that.

Those are my plans so far. Then what? We could have several meetings where we just write about certain prompts. That's easy. We could do coloring the margins because that is neat. I have been stalking Pinterest for journaling ideas and found many. Maybe even a Hobonichi-style. ;) Just a little bit of everything. A mixed bag.

Edit: As for the time used during the club, I imagined at the beginning we'd look at/discuss whatever style or topic we are doing that day, and then spend the next part actually doing it together. Just in the same room, socializing and/or listening to music while we do, and then at the very end, if anyone feels like sharing, they can and we can talk about how they felt about the particular style/topic.

All of this to ask for any ideas you might have. Thoughts? Questions? Concerns I haven't thought of?

And most importantly, what do you guys think I should call the club? "Journaling Club" seems lame. I was thinking of "Paper Recorders" (as a play on tape recorder or video recorder), "Journal Keepers," Life Historians? I don't know. Maybe I just need to go simple instead of clever. A clever title would be better for adults? I don't know. What do you think?

Love to hear any thoughts or ideas any of you might have. Just for the sake of discussion of a topic we all love.



( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 25th, 2014 02:02 am (UTC)
Ooooo how exciting! :D
I would bring a few blank Composition Books to pass out (so you could say that if they don't have or want to bring their own, you'll provide one) and have one already decorated and maybe a few pages done with the things you intend to share so they can have visual examples of how awesome it is or decide if it's something they like. Also I think having a bit of time to try journaling with other people journaling would be a good idea, this could be their first impression of journaling and having the option of doing so with a group might make the First Page less daunting.
Also, I think you should come up with the name together, but that's just personal opinion.
Nov. 25th, 2014 02:33 am (UTC)
Good idea to have some visuals ready at the informational meeting! :) Having them come up with a name might be a good idea. Hmmm...something to think about.
Nov. 25th, 2014 02:04 am (UTC)
Stupendous idea! I think this is so important to do, to give to the younger generation! It might only stick with one person, but think about the way you're changing that person's life!

I think your plan is really on-point. (I think biweekly would be great!) Prompts are great. Maybe a handout of tons of different ideas (we could help!?) for things to journal about that a person might not think about at first.

I made journaling jars for my nieces - prompts and ideas and such on slips of paper that you can pick out of a mason jar. That kind of thing (using popsicle sticks works for that kind of thing too, with a fine-tipped Sharpie!) is also really neat, and it kinds of adds to it.

You could do the meetings with a creation portion, and an informational/guidance portion. Like, one week you talk about surveys (I do one in the back of every journal!) and another you could talk about using notations to keep track of each volume, and another you could talk about pen types. You can talk about stuff relating to the actual creation, and stuff relating to "journaling theory," if you will, such as how to make it a habit, how important it is, how fun it is to look back, how great it is to get out all your emotions (anger, joy, hope, frustration, love, hate) on paper, etc. All that great geeky stuff we all love!

I think what's also really really important is getting to the heart of it - the emotion of it. Emphasize early on what it really means for their futures. What it really means to be a historian of life.

Loving this idea - keep us posted!

Edited at 2014-11-25 02:07 am (UTC)
Nov. 25th, 2014 02:35 am (UTC)
Thanks for the enthusiasm. For some reason, your comment reminded me about the use of calendar in journals.

Also, regarding the habit, stressing to them that how much they write doesn't matter. Whether it is a word, a sentence, a page, or ten. I had times when I only wrote one word, but then made it all artsy-fartsy so it was fun to look at.

Oh man, this is coming much easier now that I have brought my peeps into it to help!
Nov. 25th, 2014 02:39 am (UTC)
You're welcome!

What I mean by habit is this - I have heard sooooo many people say they've tried to keep a diary and couldn't keep up with it. I think it's important to stress that you can make it a habit, that it is possible to keep up with it if you want to, etc.

I'm glad!
Nov. 25th, 2014 02:51 am (UTC)
Wow this sounds like such a fun idea. I totally would join your group if I were still in school. I think bi-weekly would be good to start out just to get your toes wet and if there's a lot of interest and demand maybe then consider expanding to weekly.

It seems you've really thought this out- as far as suggesting separate journals for the group instead of using personal journals, etc., and I have mad respect for you for that.

I'd consider talking about some Keri Smith "Wreck This Journal" ideas so your students could "make love" so to speak to their journal by breaking it in and not being afraid of a blank page.

I also think teaching symbolism would be really good as well (red: passion, owls: wisdom and so on) so they can use symbolism in their journal to convey their feelings if they don't so much feel like using their words. Teach them how journaling can be healthy and stress relieving.

I love the name Paper Recorders but I'm not clever enough to have a net suggestion for you.

Above Berry suggested bringing a few Comp books and I know you're a poor teacher but I'd be worried about poor students who are interested and couldn't afford to be a part of your group if they wanted to. Comp books are pretty cheap at Walmart and they might even have them on sale around Christmas time with a new term starting in January. I also second the idea of bringing one in pre-decorated and still decorating one with your group. That way they can get an idea where to start and you'll still have something to do while hanging out with everyone.

Sarah talked about having prompts ready (a journal jar) and I definitely agree with that. You can actually make your journal jar during a meeting instead of having it prepared already, that way everyone can help by suggesting things to do/write about as well.

This is really such a fun and exciting idea you've come up with, I truly wish I could be a part of it. Teaching others the joy of keeping a journal would be amazing.


Sort of unrelated- what's your Pinterest UN? I may already be following some of your boards but I'd rather be certain than left out on some of your journal-related pins.
Nov. 25th, 2014 02:58 am (UTC)

Wow. I'm impressed at how frequently I'm able to get that username. :) I've had the same one since 1999.

Thanks for all your input!
Nov. 25th, 2014 02:59 am (UTC)
Until GoodReads I thought your name was Savannah. Or Jan.
Nov. 25th, 2014 03:03 am (UTC)
Everyone on the internet thinks that. ;)
Nov. 26th, 2014 12:11 am (UTC)
Goodness!! Everyone has already put such great ideas in! I don't know what I could add that hasn't been mentioned in some form. I love the prompts in a jar thing. You could reuse it if you chose to do this again. Maybe add some stencils or stamps to use on pages, stuff you can reuse over and over again. Maybe look up some articles about journaling or famous journals/diaries as a topic for one session and ask them to help as a 'homework?' Maybe even discuss how this could connect to genealogy?

There's been so many good ideas! I think it will turn out great! definitely keep us posted and feel free to ask for more topics/ ideas! It's what the community is for. The furthering of writing and journaling. How else better to do that than to introduce it to a younger generation. :)
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )