Handwriting can be a big source of anxiety for paper scrapbookers. Feelings of inadequacy or fears of messing up a project can be so strong that some scrapbookers end up not journaling at all.
This challenge affects me too because it seems like my handwriting changes from day to day. Fortunately, I’ve learned a suite of strategies that make it easier and less stressful to including journaling on a traditional layout.
It’s important to me to pair my photos with the words that explain the context and importance; it’s important to me to tell my story. Because of this, I’m made it a priority to work past the anxiety and make it happen.
In this post I’m sharing 7 strategies I commonly use to reduce creative risk in journaling. These are alternatives to hand writing directly on the background or a major, already-adhered design component of a layout.
Note: If you’re interested in developing your writing and storytelling skills (i.e. the content of your journaling), you might check out The Art & Practice of Journaling mini course.
#1. Journaling on Vellum
I was so glad when vellum came back in style, because it is a useful tool for creating layers on scrapbook pages. I use it often to add journaling. The smooth surface makes pens glide easily too!
#2. Writing on a Journaling Card
When I transitioned from digital to paper scrapbooking several years ago, I scoured stores for journaling cards to have a low-risk way of including hand-written journaling. Fast forward to today and they’re so easy to find!
#3. Printing on a Journaling Card
Sometimes I feel nervous about writing on a card, especially if it is one-of-a-kind. In these situations I will type my journaling and run the card through my printer.
#4. Journaling on Tags or Labels
Tags and labels can be used similarly to journaling cards, and even printed-on via the computer. While some are designed with journaling in mind, others may be designed as office supplies.
#5. Printed Journaling Strips
One of the most common and perhaps oldest alternative to hand-written journaling is the use of printed strips. Using a typewriter or a computer, lines of journaling can be added one at a time.
#6. Drawing Lines for Journaling
Sometimes it can be nerve-wracking to write without lines. While sometimes I’ll do pencil lines and then erase them (especially on journaling cards), more often I’ll draw lines with a journaling pen and a ruler.
#7. Hidden Journaling
If other options just won’t work, you can always hide your journaling on the layout. While this is commonly used for more-personal writing, it is also great for eliminating anxiety about the visual look of journaling.
In addition to these design-focused approaches, when I do hand-write journaling I also try to create an optimal environment. This includes:
- Using one of my favorite pens
- Sitting down instead of standing
- Practicing my favorite words first
What works best for you may be different, but knowing your favorite conditions will reduce any anxiety and help your best handwriting come out.
Do you think about lowering risks when it comes to journaling on scrapbook pages? Which technique, listed here or otherwise, do you use most often?