You've been using the slice of life journaling technique --the act of capturing the moments of your life on the page. It's a tool you can use to sharpen your writing, to start thinking like a writer, to start noticing the details you'll need and saving them for later.
It's a practice that will change your writing...and your life as you take notice of what's going on around you. As you choose your focus.
Last week we talked about your journal--and how just keeping a journal is an end in itself.
But sometimes, after you write for a while...you realize you've got something in there...
- Something you want to keep.
- Something you want to explore.
- Something you want to pass on.
- The beginning of a story...
This week, I'd like to invite you to start seeing your slice of life journal as a collection...even organizing it that way. Is this for you?
Read on to find out...
Why you might want to collect your slices of life.
Think about it: after a month (or 3) of writing your slices of life, you're bound to have some interesting experiences
You go back and choose your favorites, the ones that remind you what it was like to experience your children when they were young or your home before you moved, your favorite coffee shop with your friends...
Or maybe you look back on your collection and notice a theme, an undercurrent, a story in the making.
Is it time for you to start a collection of your moments?
- All of these slices of life in your journal seem, well, too ephemeral and you want something you can hold in your hand, or look at from time to time and enjoy. Because simple, every-day, 'mundane' moments can seem like rare pearls 5, 10...20 years later.
- You want to create a link between the present (your present) and future generations of your family.
- You want to see your collection as a whole in order to look back, to examine the important themes of your life, to see your writing progress. (More on this next time.)
After all, who knows what life has in store? The only thing we can count on is this constant change that leaves us in a twirling dance on feet we barely recognize one year to the next.
Being able to go back and revisit the textures, the sounds, the flavors of a time in your life can be precious--for you, for future generations.
How to start keeping your slice of life collection.
Here are 5 keys for getting started:
- Start keeping your slices of life in something you can add to easily-like a computer file, a binder or even a scrapbook.
- Add one to two slices of life each week. (These can be new moments you want to capture or something you've already written down and want to add to your new collection).
- Use a format you enjoy: if you like the look and feel of paper, by all means, put it in a book. Think you'll never have the organization to print out pages? You and your handwriting aren't on good terms? Maybe the computer is your best friend (just back it up!!)
- Whatever format you choose, make sure you can re-order it easily. Those bound journal-type scrapbooks are really pretty...but what if you think of something you want to add later? Better yet...What if you want to sort your collection by theme...or by moments that matter to specific people?
- Remember, it's a habit, not a project. Don't tell yourself you're going back to gather 10 years of memories!! You'll end in a heap of frustration. You could tell yourself you want to add one new slice of life and one old one each week...(remember--use a format you can re-order and re-organize!)
Your slice of life collection: not a photo album, not a scrapbook.
Let's face it, we often take photos of the monumental--the occasions, the marriages, mountains climbed, holiday gatherings.
But what about those things we do every day--that matter to us too?
I want to remember sitting by the fire with my daughter curled up next to me, the smell of her hair, the softness of her sweater as she sounds out the words in her book. The way her whole body sits at attention when she starts to 'get it' and she realizes she can read.
Is anyone taking a picture? No, it's just daily life.
There is so much that doesn't show in a photo: the sounds, the smells, the textures...the feelings.
I think I'll write it down, thanks.
Do you have any moments that are mundane yet monumental?
Any moments to capture for your collection?
What attracts you the most about keeping a collection like this?
Is anything stopping you from it? What?
Let me know what you think in the comments below or over at our Book Club on Facebook.