Tutorial: Slow Journaling

Slow journaling is a way of writing that, by default, helps focus your thoughts.

It is a form of documentation that allows you to deeply explore a subject while you experience the movement of the pen and the marks of the ink on the paper. So it's very tactile! There is something so meditative about writing in this slow, deliberate manner. You can use almost any pen or marker that writes in a smooth line. For example, I have done slow journaling with Faber-Castell PITT pens, Sakura gelly rolls, rapidograph technical pens as well as dip pen and ink. And yes, you can do it with a small lettering brush as well.

Lettering by Tammy Garcia; J. Herbin Perle Noire ink.

Lettering by Tammy Garcia; J. Herbin Perle Noire ink.

This hand-lettering tutorial is about creating a page in your journal comprised mostly of words. In the video, I share a technique that I call slow journaling. It is about working slowly and methodically to select your words and then write them down. You can write them with or without the curvy lines. Select the words and phrases carefully.  I'm printing in the video, but of course you can use cursive if that fits your mood.

You can also draw the lines and paint with flowy watercolor or gouache and then write your thoughts at a later date... or use different pens or inks on the same page.

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To set up the page, draw wavy lines horizontally or vertically. The waves should not be symmetrical or consistent in any way other than going all the way across.

Decide on your journaling topic and start at the top with title, date, perhaps the type of pen or ink. Write your words by stretching the letters to meet the top and bottom of the waves. Go slowly to ensure your words are legible. If the wavy lines are far apart, the letters are tall; if the wavy lines go downhill, the letters might go at an angle. Write SLOWLY, choosing each and every word DELIBERATELY with forethought. This is THINKING JOURNALING.

10 Ways to Incorporate Slow Journaling in Your Creative Practice

  1. Become more mindful of the world around you.
  2. Document thoughts & ideas.
  3. Describe an object or experience with vivid details.
  4. Think deeply about a topic.
  5. Letter quotes and lyrics.
  6. Use adjectives galore.
  7. Create art from words.
  8. Practice line drawing skills.
  9. Savor the moment.
  10. Focus your mind & relax.

Liz Massey of Creative Liberty interviewed Quinn McDonald about one sentence journaling a few years ago, good stuff}. Quinn blogs at Quinn Creative.