The idea of starting a journal seems old fashioned and unfruitful. A lot of times, journals are thought to be something girls do or for men who are really in touch with their feelings, but starting a journal is much more than that. It’s not just the idea of sharing your feelings, but it’s the idea of expressing them and being able to help someone else in the process.
Learning from the Past
One of the things journal writing has taught me is to actually think back on my day and remember all the lessons I’ve learned. It could have been a photo shoot, it could have been the day I purchased a camera, it could have been a day something tragic happened. When I say a photo journal, I’m not talking about grabbing a bunch of pictures, laying them out on the table, getting a portfolio, placing the pictures in the portfolio, and creating a label to describe each picture. While that’s a great way to catalog your journey, that’s sort of a portfolio type journal. What I’m talking about is actually writing your thoughts & experiences down in a book, or on a blog. It’s amazing what happens when we start to collect our moments and share them. The minute we share, we open ourselves up to criticism and comments. As artists, criticism can be an experience we tend to shy away from — because who wants someone critiquing their craft or their “baby”, so to speak? But how do we expect to grow if all we hold onto are our thoughts and feelings?
Getting things out
Writing also helps you with articulate your thoughts, so that you can express what’s in your head to someone else. This process is actually preparing us to someday teach. As others read they can learn from your experiences and become better at their craft or better photographers in this case. What has written can also be repurposed and create content for other platforms which I won’t go too in depth in this post, but probably will talk about this in a future post.
There are a number of tools available to start your journal, I personally use a black and white composition book and other times Day One as well as Ulysses. There are online platforms available as well. Tumblr and Medium are two platforms that make it quite easy to share your experiences and are both free. Notice that I didn’t mention anything about monetization as the main purpose of starting your journal is bigger than you earning a few dollars a day, it’s about the process and growing each step of the way.