By Christina VanGinkel
It might seem as if it would be obvious as to what to write when it comes to adding journaling to your scrapbook layouts, but that is not always the case. Often, you find yourself sitting and staring at your journaling blocks wondering why you ever chose to add a spot for the journaling in the first place. This, of course, is not always the case. Sometimes the journaling just flows. However, sometime it does not, and the only journaling block is the one between you, and what you want to write. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to get those creative words flowing.
Grab some scrap paper and ask yourself what it was about the pictures you used in the layout in the first place that prompted you to use them. Do you recall the event when the pictures were snapped? What was the day itself like? Consider the season, the temperature, the place, the time, etc. Were there other people involved in the goings on that are not obvious in the frame of the picture? Is there something special about where the picture was taken that is not obvious? All of these points can be obvious leads to the rest of the journaling.
Sometimes, you know what you want to say, but the words never seem to come out right. Would the journaling be better as a list of things instead of as a block of text in a sentence structure? On the other hand, could you set it up as a question and answer layout, much the same as you often find in magazines?
Ask yourself who is going to be reading the journaling now and in the future, and consider if there is anything that pertains to the intended audiences that might possibly influence what you would want to say. For example, recently I was stuck on some journaling I had hoped to include on a layout I created that focused on my now three-year-old grandson. After several starts that just did not convey what I wanted the words to say, I decided to use the journaling block as if I were writing a letter to him to read when he is much older then his current age. You might also find that when you take into context the fact of the intended audience that you have more to say, simply because it is easier to write things down when you have an intended audience.
With the thought of an audience in mind, try to look at the layout as they would, and consider the questions your audience might ask you. Depending on the audience, these answers might be simple, or they could bring you to the reasoning that you need to be as descriptive in your journaling as you possibly can be, otherwise you risk them not understanding the context of the layout at all.
While not as common, but that can be an issue, is when you find that you have much more to say than you had planned for. If this happens, ask yourself how you could incorporate more space than you have allotted for the journaling. Consider making your journaling block that you planned for into a space for an accordion fold out journaling block, or even a hidden journal. Both can provide you with the extra space you need to add all the text you want to.
Ultimately, there is no right or wrong way to add journaling to a layout. Some of us are short on words and others of us are much more long winded. Some of us will think that those who view our scrapbooks should be lucky to even have a scrapbook from us to view, while others of us would not consider a scrapbook layout complete without at least a few words on every page. Whichever type of scrap booker you are, adding journaling to your layouts is a personal choice, and you cannot do it wrong. Write what your heart tells you to, and when you look back at the scrapbook layouts that you chose to include journaling on in the future, you will be glad that you at least took the time to journal, be it short or long.