Years ago, my good friend Liz Engstrom (see her great tips for writers) turned me on to a terrific book about travel journaling, “Writing Away,” by Lavinia Spaulding. That book helped me start adding images to my journals, and while I am not and never will be a great artist, there are a few things, like trees, that I am getting better at. But what is more important, from a writer’s point of view, is that taking the time to draw what I see has improved my observation skills. Also valuable, when I take the time to draw what I’m seeing, the memory of what I’ve seen is more strongly embedded in my brain. I also like the experience of “beginner’s mind” that tackling a new skill provides.
Many of my journal pages now often have small thumbnails in them, and the pages make me happy in a way that straight text doesn’t.
Stuart Danker said:
I’ve just started drawing too, and I also concur that it really does help with observational skills, so much so that I even observe things more closely now even when I’m not drawing. It’s a way of being present. Anyway, thanks for this post and nice drawings!
I so agree with your point that it’s a way of being present. I’ll keep it in minds as I’m out and about…