Writing Daily: The Embodiment Project 2007

I once thought of the writing life as a way to constantly hone my craft. Picturesque scenes filled my brain: me sitting in my favorite writing chair while candles burned scents, my trusted black spider web mug full with chai on the coffee table. This was how I was going to pass the time in between my best-selling novels, improving my writing. Of course, such a romantic notion doesn't pay the bills; but I do find that more time every day I reflect back upon this simple and romantic notion of writing. Journal writing, for me, is my way to recapture my romantic ideals of writing. Sadly, other than a few random entries here and there in my own online journals (and more recently the occasional scribble on an index card), journalling has taken a back seat in my life. Lately I have not given time to hone my craft; to reflex back upon the things that swim through my head and the thoughts I have about our society. Those careful and chunky snippets of raw writing that characterizes my personality immortalized on paper.

Which is why I've made the decision to spend a little bit of every day next year, writing for myself. Writing to recapture the rawness and the spark that romanticizes writing again. I'm going to participate in Embodiment, a project dedicated to writing a hand-written entry in journals every day for the whole year. I'm even going to attempt to work on my visual journalling style as well during the course of the next year.

I first heard about this project at the end of 2005, but I was too busy at the time to begin and undertake such a project. So for the past year I've been marveling at the insights, hardships and photos of the other participants of 2006, wishing that I had taken the plunge and joined in... no matter how busy I was.

It works like this: starting January 1st, writers break out their Moleskines, handmade books or store bought journals and write whatever catches their fancy. There are no rules; and alternative forms of artwork (like visual journals) is encouraged. I've seen members write entries over collages and record thoughts next to photographs they've taken with their digital camera. There is no page limit and no word count. You can write short entries or fill tomes up with your thoughts; as long as you take time out of your day to record something down... with your hand holding pen on paper. There is no penalty for missing a day; just the gentle reminder of pressing forward.

Embodiment's owner, Krissy, who is also a visual artist and avid journaller, started embodiment because today's digital world changed the way we write. It's easier to revise what we write and delete what is put down on screen even before the thought escapes our mind in its entirely. Writing things down, on a written page, makes a more permanent archive. There is no delete key on paper. Only you can make the call on whether or not to burn what you've written afterwards.

To give participants an idea of what they can write about, Krissy suggests they write about the following:

  1. Create collages of their day.
  2. Write about the process, how does writing daily challenge you or what benefits are you getting out of this?
  3. Write about what you've done during the day.
  4. Post prompts or themes (i.e. write a memory involving rain).
  5. Keep self narratives or write stories

If you still lack good ideas or are intimidated with the task of writing entries on a daily basis, I've attached a few good books at the end of this article that teach you how to keep long-term records of your thoughts.

You don't need to sign up for the project to keep track but it is fun to see how many participants in the LiveJournal community actually keep with the project for the entire year. The community is open to enrollment now and closes at the end of the 2006. So I challenge you... dare you attempt to keep a written record of your thoughts, every day, through 2007? Sardonios, I'm looking at you. And at the rest of you. You all up to the challenge of writing daily?

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Great idea!

I've been looking for a way to get my journalling kick-started, this sounds like just the thing. Count me in.

Thanks again, innowen. Your articles always make fascinating reading, and I've linked to a fair few of them in our little journalling page.



Journaling Inspiration

Innowen, thanks for this article. It has inspired me to try to start journaling again. I like your romantic description of writing; I always think like that when I think about journaling; I imagine myself either at home in my Thinkin' Chair or at Barnes and Noble with a cappuccino in front of me, being all creative and pensive. In reality, I usually end up having creative insights (if I'm lucky) whilst in the shower or driving the car; places where I really cannot write anything down. Silly me!

I need to develop a waterproof Mini Jotter to keep in the shower. They do make waterproof paper for Fireman's notebooks and such; I may have to give this some thought...


To the Lighthouse!...

As I understand it 'A Room of One's Own'* is as much about psychological space as the physical. Some women now find themselves shackled to a desk rather than the house and in a way little better off. Having said that your last three posts seem to form a beacon of creativity hope in a sea of typeset ink.... First we have totems and rituals; then a piece about writing buddies and finally the above.

'Embodiment' sounds rather fun, far more exciting that turning into a monstrous insect... No wait that was Gregor Samsa; Orlando changed into a woman. Mmmm, far more appealing. This calls for a new journal. :)

(*) According to my (homemade) calendar the 14th is Allude to Virginia Woolf Day. :S


hmm, maybe you've got a good analysis sard. i have been longing quite some time for some change in my writing (as you know). so i guess it stands to reason that my thoughts and trailings and changes also reflect in my articles.

i have my spaces at home for writing... guess i'm just getting to the room in my head cleared out so i can make sense of it all.

and i do hope you do try tackling on embodiment with me next year. ;)


Free Will?...

"and i do hope you do try tackling on embodiment with me next year."

Lol, do I have a choice? :)

choice IS yours

yes, sard... you do have a choice... but from what you tell me, it sounds like this sort of adventure might be a good one for ya. you have a lot rolling around in that brain, besides marbles. best to get it all down on page..


Physician, heal thyself...

As alway inno recognises my faults before I do. ;) Okay you win, count me in for a year of papery analysis.... :D

Getting the Message

On Tuesday I had lunch with a writer. When I told him of my secret desire to write someday myself, he encouraged me to start journalling. We had a lengthy conversation about it, and I vowed to start jotting down my thoughts. The next day, I found your post, innowen. I got the message, and started journalling that very afternoon. I have enjoyed the time with pen and paper. I'm even trying to re-learn cursive after printing my words for the past 20 years. My penmanship is atrocius, but that only makes it more private. No one will ever be able to decipher it. Being a week before payday, I started my journal in a leftover cahiere moleskine that I've been keeping in my desk drawer. If I actually fill it up, my reward will be a real pocket moleskine. I like small books, they are easier to carry. Now, if I can just figure out the best pen to use...

Grand Carreaux...

Roberto, Brause make old style 'School copy books' and Clairefontaine, Seyés with 24lb (90 gsm) vellum paper... It may be time to kill to birds with one stone. :)

BTW, I hear gel pens work well with Moleskine. Although I prefer to match paper to pen. ;)

I joined

What a great idea. I joined today, but I have yet to introduce myself there. Hope to see some of you there, and good luck with your writing in the new year.


I would have really have liked to join! It wouldn't have been possible though cos I was overseas until this week! oh well. maybe

Twelfth Night...

Hi Anna, I trust you had a good trip? I imagine you have a wealth of things to write about. Why not join or at least begin you writings. :)

yeah! I found a book

yeah! I found a book somewhere in my room so I'm going to join in, as they say... its never too late!

bought another

i bought a book today,. its square shaped, no lines, but thin paper. Its really cool The cover has like material but then a stick drawing of a girl on it.

I got a set of derwents from somewhere in the house (my mum loves em!) and Got to work. I have got it all written in the pencils, and an attempt at drawing, I LOVE IT SO FAR!!!

I thought a good time to properly start it was last night, the eve of my 16th birthday

Happy Birthday

Happy 16th birthday, ajay!

Happy Birthday! Ajay...

Avoid doing anything I would do if I were 16 again and you will be just fine. :D

:D Happy Birthday, Sweet Sixteen (Neil Sedaka)

(Google is your friend)
Tra la-la-la-la la-la-la-la
Happy birthday sweet sixteen
Tra la-la-la-la la-la-la-la
Happy birthday sweet sixteen

Tonight´s the night I´ve waited for
Because you´re not a baby anymore
You´ve turned into the prettiest girl I´ve ever seen
Happy birthday sweet sixteen

What happened to that funny face
My little tomboy now wears satin and lace
I can´t believe my eyes you´re just a teenage dream
Happy birthday sweet sixteen

When you were only six I was your big brother
Then when you were ten We didn´t like each other
When you were thirteen You were my funny valentine
But since you´ve grown up Your future is sewn up
From now on you´re gonna be mine, so

If I should smile with sweet surprise
It´s just that you´ve grown up before my very eyes
You´ve turned into the prettiest girl I´ve ever seen
Happy birthday sweet sixteen

Tra la-la-la-la la-la-la-la Happy birthday sweet sixteen
Tra la-la-la-la la-la-la-la Happy birthday sweet sixteen
FADE: Tra la-la-la-la la-la-la-la Happy birthday sweet sixteen
"I think the surest sign that there is intelligent life out there in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." (Calvin and Hobbes/Bill Waterson)

thanks all!

thanks all!

2007 Embodiment project

I already joined, thanks to innowen! I need to 'pop-over' there some time soon, today, I hope! I do enjoy hournaling quite alot; however, because of my studies in Web technology, I neglect my poor journal!!!