My early journals were very one-dimensional. Whether I intended them to or not, they usually covered one topic: my emotions in my teens or self-analysis and career in my twenties. Eventually, through examples, I began to branch out and include all kinds of topics…but I have to say that there is always a tendency to fall into ruts and then become bored with myself!
The only solution I have found is to fight ruts with ruts—deeper, more interesting ruts. Perhaps you could call them channels or aqueducts instead! The weekly rhythm we put together for the 7-Day Prayer Journal has inspired me to try all kinds of journaling with a different topic for each day of the week. It can be strange to try to draw something related to health or write about other people, but these “assignments” can also be freeing. If I’m inspired with a great idea or facing an urgent need, they are not needed and I ignore them, but on an ordinary day they give me just a bit of a challenge an help me to break free of tired mental chatter.
In prayer, in writing, in art journaling, I am trying to find consistency without boredom. It’s so easy to slip into duty mode, doing what is urgent or the same thing each day until I crack and rebel. Instead of duty, I’m trying to imagine my work having a rhythm, like a piece of music, and I am keeping the beat.