The Journal Jar

Outtakes #34

 The Journal Jar

I believe writers should write something every day. I do have an advantage as my job requires me to write. That does not mean it’s always easy to be creative in my commercial endeavors. Unfortunately, sitting at the computer forcing words on to the screen does not always provide useable material. That’s when I look for alternative inspiration.

A Secret Sister gave me the best gift for a writer—a Journal Jar. The jar is full of slips of paper with writing assignments. Subjects include music, art, family, friends, school days, holidays, and dreams. I have a special journal I keep with the jar. When I get stuck or don’t have hours to sit at my computer, I pull a slip out of the jar, paste it to the top of a blank page, and begin to work on the request.

There’s true liberation in this type of journaling. The writer is not confined to reciting historic events in a who, what, where, when, why format. Instead he is permitted, encouraged to relive an event. Recall the sights, scents, sounds of the occasion. What about creating your dream job? What would you do? How do you envision your day? What kind of education would you need? In a few minutes, a couple of pages are filled with creative details.

Not only does the Journal Jar provide a creative outlet for the writer, it is a record of the times. It may also give your children and grandchildren a chuckle when they read about your youthful exploits.

So where do you find Journal Jar strips? My Secret Sister found mine on-line. Fire up your favorite search engine and browse the web for journaling supplies. Don’t forget a book or notebook to record your assignments. Oh, yes, you’ll need a pen. I like gel pens in different colors. Open your journal and your mind. It’s fun.

Cait Collins

3 thoughts on “The Journal Jar

  1. With your reminder I dug my journal jar out of hibernation. For mine I used the colored strips of scrapbook paper cuts from quotes we copy at the Buffalo Bookstore. I remembered writing memory joggers on the strip, folding them and dropping them into the jar. Just now I pulled one out with the date of June 6, 2011 with the anniversary of the D-Day Invasion and a note that someone came into the store that day that had been on the “Honor Flight” for World War II veterans to Washington DC within the last year. Another note on the strip was someone from San Antonio looking for information about Georgia O’Keefe. They bought the book written by Fred Rathjen. Thanks Barbara for helping to remind me what a treasure this journal jar really is.

    • I’ve enjoyed the Jar. It might be fun to have friends and fellow writers create prompts for the Journal Jar. That could be interesting.

      Thank you for visiting our site.

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