Write, Stick, Color, Repeat

Write, Stick, Color, Repeat

We’ve had previous posts on the Austen Authors blog about Jane Austen themed gifts and goodies to buy, from blankets to coffee cups, playing cards to bed pillows.

I’ve bought a few of those things myself. They’re nice to have; but what really catches my eye and makes my hand go for my credit card is Austen-inspired ephemera. Here’s why:

For as long as I can remember I’ve kept journals on different topics; but my main journal, the one that sits open on my desk every day, is my writing journal. Here’s the journal I’m currently filling:

The Jane Austen themed journal I’m currently using.

In it I track my daily words counts, plan social media posts, list weekly blog post topics, and document the tasks I perform related to my business of writing.

Any journal-writer will tell you how satisfying it is to fill a journal page with things to do and tasks completed; but I think it’s even better when you can enhance your journal writing with color.

I’ve seen some people add beautiful lettering, borders and designs to their journal pages; but I’m not particularly artistic, so I’m never satisfied with my free-hand efforts. Instead, I rely on stickers, decorative washi tape and images that relate to my journal topic.

I purchased this pen, with its encouraging message, at a performance of Hamilton.

Not long ago I pulled out that credit card I mentioned and purchased some washi tape and Austen-inspired illustrations that are perfect for my writing journal.

A few of my favorite rolls of washi tape that go well with my Austen writing journal.

Stickers and washi tape come in handy in other documents I use regularly, too. For years I’ve been compiling a dictionary of Regency terms. Here’s a sample page:

The initial header at the top of the page came from a set of alphabet printables I purchased on Etsy. But the page is still a little plain; wouldn’t a line of washi tape at the bottom add a much-needed dash of color to the page?

I use other Austen inspired stickers and printables to brighten plot and character sheets I build when I’m working on a story. Here’s the first page my current character sheet for Charles Bingley:

Adding a new element like the Charles Bingley apothecary card is a fun way to bring color and whimsy to an otherwise bland document. And since these are documents I look at fairly regularly, why not make them nice to look at?

If you like to journal, I’d love to know what subjects you write about. What’s your favorite method for decorating your journal pages?

If you’d like to visit the Etsy shop where I purchased the Jane Austen alphabet initials and apothecary cards, here’s a link. Just enter “Jane Austen” in the shop’s search box. (Please know, I’m not an Etsy affiliate and I don’t receive any reward from the Etsy shop; I just like to share fun things I find online.)

There are lots of places to find inexpensive decorative washi tape. Amazon.com has a good selection, as do most office supply and craft stores. Now, get out there and make your papers pretty!

You can see the full, blank version of my character sheet. Just click here to view or print.

You can also see a longer sample of my Regency dictionary by clicking here.


16 Responses to Write, Stick, Color, Repeat

  1. Wow! I am so impressed. At most, I journal sporadically (and that’s on the computer), but I keep a calendar which details my daily comings and goings, as well as those of my family. I applaud you for being so disciplined to create such beautiful pages – they will be a treasure for your family for generations.

  2. I am a dedicated journal-filler, mostly because I am incredibly and unabashedly vain of my penmanship. Because I also have rheumatoid arthritis, writing can be painful for me…at the very least, quite tiring. But I have found that writing with a glass dip pen and bottled ink (I don’t have to press down–yay!!) allows me to fill a few pages at a time which is very satisfactory. If I don’t handwrite every day or two, my fingers literally itch with the need to commit ink to paper.

    I have found a few other pens that work well–my recent favorite is the Pilot Precise V5 RT extra fine pen as the flow is so smooth that I don’t have to press down hardly at all. I also like the Pilot Hi-Tech C .3-point (extra-extra fine) which is Japanese and is available through Amazon…very nice!! Excellent for underlining and writing notes on the delicate pages of my Illuminated ESV Bible (cloth-covered Art Journaling Edition with slipcover and art deco-style gold ink scripture quotations in the margins).

    I have nearly filled my second commonplace book (which I first encountered via 19th century (home) education guru Charlotte Mason) with quotations. I have included Scriptures, hymns, quotations of faith, literary quotes, poems, hymns, song lyrics, quotations from books, interesting phrases uttered by the people in my life and by television and movie characters–anything and everything that I find shimmery–that pulls me up and makes me pay attention.

    I also keep a vocabulary journal in which I jot down the definitions of words I don’t know as I read (and from my dictionary app’s word-of-the-day). I keep a journal for Bible study, a sermon note journal (just started a new one today), a prayer journal, a poetry draft journal, a story idea journal, and a personal journal which I try to write in weekly. I don’t add art and color; I just love filling journals. I always have a new blank journal or two waiting in the wings; I don’t let myself purchase more than two extras or else I would own half of Barnes and Noble’s leather-bound journals.

    My journals must be always lined, and I prefer spiral journals or composition notebooks (not the black-and-white ones–I go for colors or for different covers) for Bible study notes as I need them to lay flat.

    So I love journaling–it is truly a joy-filled exercise in my life!!

    Susanne 🙂

    • Hello fellow journal-lover! You touched on all the reasons I love journaling, Susanne. I spend so much time in front of a computer that it’s a real treat to curl up in my favorite chair with a journal and my favorite pens and write by hand. I have a set of Sipa pens (lots of colors in the set) that I use regularly, and at my local craft store I picked up a couple smooth-writing Staedtler fineliners, which sound similar to your Pilots.

      I keep journals of projects that need to be done around the house, story ideas, progress toward my financial goals, books to read and books to buy. And like you, I have plenty of blank journals on hand just waiting to be filled. I buy them at B&N, too, but also have luck finding great journals at Target and Tuesday Morning.

      I loved reading about your journaling experience, Susanne. Thanks so much for sharing it with us!

  3. What an inspiring post. I would love to read through your journal. You are so organized. I jot things down in multiple notebooks, some of which get misplaced, not to mention numerous pieces of paper which are stuck to my calendar. There are a few files in my computer which haven’t been updated and then I have binders with printouts. What a mess when I need to find something fast. Ha! Ha! Thanks for your post. Jen Red

    • I had the same problem Jennifer, and could never seem to find what I was looking for, so I had to get organized! Still haven’t tamed the Post-Its on my calendar, though. 🙂 Thanks for commenting!

  4. I keep a grateful journal. Every night before bed I write three things I am grateful for that happened that day. It helps me reflect on my day and find joy in even the smallest things. 🙂

  5. I love journals. Once, when I was in a mood… I cut out relaxing outdoor scenes from garden magazines. These were scenic relaxing pictures of gardens… shady alcoves, beautiful patio furniture, gazebo with flowers, lawn chairs, flagstone walkways leading to a shady relaxing spot, tiny garden houses/potting sheds, potted plants and just … whatever. This was before Esty and all those amazing online spots you know about. I old-school pasted/scrapbook them throughout the journal and when I would arrive at that page there would be a relaxing scene waiting for me. Sign… I loved it. Thanks for sharing your journal ideas.

    • That’s a great idea, Jeanne. Even thought I search Instagram and Pinterest for images I like, I still think it would be good to have a journal filled with favorite images; maybe something to relax with in the evenings or at bedtime. Thanks for sharing that idea!

  6. I was given a journal during my first pregnancy and ended up filling it entirely. During my second pregnancy, I bought another one so I could do the same. This was a great gift as my kids have loved to read them. I haven’t kept a journal since though as I don’t really enjoy writing.

  7. For someone who loves to organize, plan and make lists, your color suggestions sound like fun! Thank you for sharing.

  8. Awesome post! I have a journal I won in the last giveaway and I wasn’t sure what to do with it or write in it but you have me some fun ideas!

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