I’ve seen some amazing art journal, bullet journal, and hobonichi spreads online. In fact, I was inspired to try hobonichi techo this year by Penguins Creative’s 13 Reasons Why I Love Using A Hobonichi Techo post, whose spreads are absolutely beautiful.
I’ve posted pics of my stickers and washi tape storage, but I’ve been hybrid art-bullet journaling for years and never share my journal pages. Here are 3 reasons why you might consider keeping it to yourself, even for a little while.
Journaling is for me
Every journal I write in is for me and me alone.
I write in my journal to notice and process my feelings, events, and life in general. These thoughts are private. Even if I choose to make them pretty, they’re still for me.
If I started making them with sharing in mind, they wouldn’t be able to serve the purpose of sorting out my thoughts. Instead, I’d start censoring what I wrote, and that would defeat my personal purpose of journaling.
Sometimes I will write something that I end up wanting to share, but I usually can’t explore my thoughts thoroughly if I’m thinking about posting.
Not sharing is liberating
Because these journals are for my eyes only, I have complete freedom to do whatever I want in them. I don’t feel any pressure to make it look a certain way or measure up to a certain standard.
When I’m journaling, whether I’m only writing words or creating art or both, I feel at my most liberated. It’s the time when my inner child is absolutely gleeful. I feel like I’m playing and it’s the most wonderful feeling.
When I first became a real adult, which I felt like was when I moved into my first apartment, I thought that meant having to adult all the time and I never journaled or did anything child-like. I did create but always with the intention or hope that I could make money on it.
Connecting with my creativity in a way that is just for me, that doesn’t have a goal or income tied to it, has been instrumental in stoking my creativity for the creative tasks that I do apply to my job and side hustle.
But if I journaled for the express purpose of sharing, for me, that wouldn’t be journaling at all.
It’s more fun
With all the social media outlets like Instagram and Pinterest, a lot of pressure can build up to create something that’s worthy or Instagrammable. If I’m thinking about Instagram, I’m not thinking genuinely about what I’m doing. I’m taken out of the moment. For me, that’s not what journaling is about.
If a spread doesn’t turn out how I want it to or how I imagined it would, that’s totally ok. But if I had planned to share it, I would have a sense of disappointment and then a debate about whether or not I should post it after all. I want to keep my playtime clear of any pressure.
If you’re now wondering, Should I share my journal spreads?, the answer is pretty simple. Only if you want to and doing so won’t affect your purpose. Are you creating your art journal, bullet journal, hobonichi, or anything else for the express purpose of being art? If that’s your purpose and you want to share, then go for it.
But if your journal is for you, if you journal to process your thoughts or connect with your creativity, I’d encourage you to sit down with the page knowing that you won’t share it and see how you feel after. If, through your natural efforts, it becomes something you’d like to share and you want to do so — cool! But if not, you fulfilled your purpose for writing that day.
I may decide to share a spread after it’s created, but I don’t sit down to journal with the goal of making something to share.