| Written by Ronnie |
In addition to our journaling prompts for July, we have something very special to share with you all today: a mini interview with Gertrudes, otherwise known as pepperandtwine on Instagram. Gertrudes has been one of our biggest supporters since the day we first launched the #lifecapturedproject. Not only that, her calligraphy talent speaks for itself, and her discipline when it comes to journaling is both impressive and inspiring. I hope you enjoy these beautiful insights into her approach to writing and journaling, and please make sure you say hello in the comments below.
Can you tell us a bit more about yourself and your family?
I'm Gert, happily married with three sons, ages 20, 17, and 15. I live in Los Angeles and work full-time in health care, which is both challenging and rewarding, but doesn't offer many opportunities to be creative. I've scrapbooked and journaled off and on over the years, but I found it difficult to keep up. Last year I wanted to begin journaling again but knew I needed something to motivate and inspire me to write. I then discovered Life:Captured Inc.'s beautiful blog and Ronnie's journaling prompts. I was immediately hooked and have been journaling daily ever since.
Why do you journal, and when do you find the time to do it?
I enjoy so many things about the process. I love the physical act of writing, the scratch of the pen on the paper and seeing my handwritten words fill a page. I still use a digital calendar and note-taking apps, but putting words down with pen onto paper leaves me with something personal and tangible. I usually journal on my lunch break at work and at night before I go to bed. The half hour or so I take in the middle of my workday to journal has become something I look forward to. It's the time I usually work on the daily page that I post on Instagram. At night, I write down a short recap of my day. It's just a few short paragraphs scribbled on a weekly planner page, documenting how my day went and any highlights I want to remember. I love this type of journaling because I enjoy recording the everyday details of my life. I've gone back to read entries that are just a couple of months old and am surprised to see how much of it I had already forgotten about. You think you will remember everything but you eventually do forget some of the the details unless you capture them somehow.
What sort of journals do you keep?
My main journal is a Japanese bound planner, the Hobonichi A5 Cousin. It has monthly, weekly, and daily pages. I use the daily pages for journaling prompts and the weekly pages as my daily diary. I also have a Midori Traveler's Notebook with two inserts. One is a quote journal to record favorite quotes and the other is a photo journal where I keep small photos of special days with hand-lettered captions.
What is your approach to using the #lifecapturedproject prompts?
I started using the #lifecapturedproject prompts daily last December. I found that the more I used them, the more confident I started to feel about my writing and the more I wanted to write. These prompts rekindled my love for journaling and documenting. I take a prompt and just write down whatever comes to mind. I don't plan or think too much about what to write, I just let the words flow. The second thing I love about the #lifecapturedproject prompts is that they help me reflect upon so many different topics. My hopes, fears, dreams, likes, dislikes, and the everyday details of my life. All of these are things I might never think to record otherwise. I especially love the prompts that make me reach back into my childhood memories. Not having that many photos or videos from my childhood makes these journal entries very special to me.
Your journaling pages are stunning. Can you share with us your process for writing and creating a page?
Thank you so very much for your kind words. I am very grateful and humbled by the response to my journal pages. If you look at the different pages, you will see that they are actually quite simple. I like having the prompt itself featured prominently on the page, so I write the prompt as a title with a bold pen either at the top of the page or in the middle with a brush pen. Then I write my response to the prompt underneath or around the title. After I am done with the text, I usually fill any blank spaces around the title and the text with doodles. I like to vary the look of my pages by using different types and colors of markers, but almost all of my pages follow this basic layout.
What are your favourite tools?
Pens and markers are my favorite journaling tools, hands down. Besides a journal or notebook, a pen is all you need to start keeping a journal. Decorating the pages is fun and makes the pages look pretty, but the words are what will make your journal a precious keepsake. Keeping my essential tools to a minimum helps simplify my process and makes it easier for me to keep up with my journaling. It also makes it easy for me to journal on the go.
Do you have any tips to give people who are interested in learning calligraphy?
Calligraphy and hand lettering are so much fun and I am still learning too! Whether you learn by watching YouTube videos, studying books, or taking classes, the biggest keys are patience and LOTS of practice. I actually started out by studying fonts that appealed to me and just practiced them over and over again until my own style emerged.
You can download the prompts for July here.