When writing does not come easily.

I have a confession to make. Something that makes me feel strange to admit. I have an aversion to the physical act of writing. That’s right! A blogger that has no qualms about blogging word filled posts but has a resistance to picking up a real pen and adding her script to a piece of paper. I’ve got no idea where that resistance comes from or when it started. I’d feel somehow inadequate when ‘writing it down’ was a key to getting organised, achieving goals or self expression. Because I’ve muddled through most of my life with no real plan or goals except for ideas preserved in my head.

I was schooled in an era when all we ever had was writing implements, typewriters and photocopiers. I recall all the pages and pages of school work all wrote out by hand. But even though I would write my assignments out, I resisted handing them in. It may sound silly, but I felt that it was a part of me I was giving over and I wasn’t sure if it would come back to me. When it came back I was fairly nonchalant about it and lost all attachment to the thing. I had separation anxiety for my hand written words.

As I got older it eventually turned into a resistance to write, full stop. Which make me think, maybe it wasn’t separation anxiety, maybe it was judgement anxiety. The emotional mind of an angst riddled teenage are hard to fathom from any angle but something started back at that time that disconnected me from wanting to pick a writing implement up, write, and let my words be viewed by others.

In  more recent years I’ve been attracted to doing art journalling as a way of finding a creative outlet through using art mediums and techniques to express ideas and experiment.  Art journalling is a fairly broad description that could manifest itself in a variety of ways from documenting colours, capturing images with the eye and pen, or mixing ideas and thoughts with colour and words for example. I mix at lot with people doing the latter – words and colour. Those words may simply be a phrase that they are pondering or something more akin to a self reflective diary. I would just paint or collage. NO WORDS!

While I had no desire to add words to my art journalled pages I did harbour a desire to be comfortable enough with writing something, one day. One day eventually did come. I had made myself a stack of painted papers and I had an idea to fold those papers in half and bind them into a colourful book to flip through. Hey, a colourful flip book fires up all my joy neurons! Once I completed my book and I was duly flipping through it, I was struck by the idea that I could write on these pages. The words would be rendered unreadable due to all the paint on the paper. It was a very simple idea, maybe even too obvious, but what matters it that it came when I needed it. So I began to write.



And I wrote.



And I wrote some more.



Then I painted over the words.

And collaged over the top.



I got so comfortable with writing that when I went to a recent womens group meeting and it came to an activity of expressing our Dream Life I was able to do it. I wrote down some of the things I wanted to achieve AND I shared that with the group by showing what I had wrote. I’ll admit they only got a fleeting glimpse, but it was more written words that I had shared in a long, long time. The practice of writing and the courage to share it with other eyes is hardly a big deal to most, but for me it was like getting to the top of a summit and celebrating an achievement.

Do you have something that most people seem to do effortlessly that you constantly resist? We all have something, that would seem small to most people, that trips us up and holds us back. It’s a personal achievement to over come it. Never give up. I’ve just finished making a new journal, with blank pages this time!!

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9 thoughts on “Using Art Journaling To Overcome The Fear Of Writing.

  1. I love this! I often have a hard time public speaking. I suffer from ADHD and it’s always been nearly impossible for me to speak on a subject and stay on topic, or to make sure I make all my points. I started taking notes several years ago and it’s really helped. I hadn’t thought of creating this type of journal though! I’ll definitely be doing this one!

    Posted on October 10, 2016 at 4:08 am
  2. Miss Messy’
    I had no idea that you had a fear of writing. I have known you for sometime now and had never noticed anything wrong , I have always been in awe of all your work, wishing I had a brain that worked like yours or even slightly like yours. Anyway I love your work and look forward to seeing more in time.

    Posted on October 10, 2016 at 10:57 pm
    1. Hi Jenny. You have known me for a while and if you ever got anything hand written from me it was a rare thing with a good dose a agnst. Silly isn’t it

      Posted on October 12, 2016 at 3:44 am
  3. I think that is just the beauty of journaling – the ability to share ones innermost thoughts on paper without the fear of others reading it and interpreting it in a way you may now wish them to. Good for you making a start! And what a wonderful start too – very impressive indeed!

    Posted on October 12, 2016 at 6:37 pm
    1. Thanks Anne. It’s good to be back at the blog helm.

      Posted on October 12, 2016 at 10:11 pm
  4. Awesome and really cool that you came up with this. Im impressed and inspired. Thanks for posting.

    Posted on October 13, 2016 at 7:20 am
  5. What a great idea! So very creative.

    Posted on October 13, 2016 at 12:16 pm
  6. I love this idea so much! I am not shy about writing, but I love love love the idea of writing a deep emotion onto paint, and then painting over it, so it becomes a picture with an extremely personal message behind it! Thanks for the honest post 🙂 xx

    Posted on October 13, 2016 at 7:51 pm
  7. This is such a great tip! thank you so much for writing this and being so open

    Posted on October 14, 2016 at 3:45 am