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Simplifying : the journaling slump

journaling slump

In the past few months, I’ve been feeling stuck in a rut in my Bullet Journal. I used to spend a lot of time creating beautiful spreads and decorating with washi, stamps, colorful markers. But for the past few months, my heart just wasn’t in it. This journaling slump lead me to simplify my practice, and I quite like the result.

Return to the basics

As I have been slowly drown in my journaling slump, I let aside some of the spreads that used to take me lots of time to create each week, namely my weekly spreads. I went back to the basics ; a monthly spread to keep birthdates and important events, a monthly habit and mood tracker, and my blog statistics pages. No fluff, no collections that you create and never touch again, just the core essentials. And of course, my dailies.

Bare naked

During that journaling slump, I stripped bare my spreads. My dailies still have a pretty lettered header and weather icon, but nothing else. No bits of washi, pretty stickers or stamps. Just my daily todos. Even if I have not been using my journal in a creative way, this bare naked method has kept its efficacy all the way. Removing the beautifying part while I have not been feeling it has allowed me to keep using my journal daily. I believe that, if I would have forced myself to be creative in this season of my life, I could easily have quit journaling completely. Allowing me to stick to the smallest expression kept me going, and I feel totally grateful for it.

bare daily spread
One of my daily spreads stripped bare

A long journaling slump

My journaling slump has lasted for a good 2 to 3 months now. I plan the night before for the next day, taking me about 2 minutes , looking at my calendar and virtual todo list to fill up my daily spread. I only have to be involved with my journal for a few minutes to reap the benefits of being organized with my daily tasks.

Leaving Instagram behind

Comparing ourselves to the beautiful journals we see on Instagram can lead to discouragement over our “boring” journals. I know that I can easily compare myself to the beautiful spreads, highly decorated Bujos and feel like I am not playing the Bullet Journal game at a high enough level. So while this journaling slump went on, I left Instagram aside for a while, making peace with my less than perfect, plain and boring bujo. I focused on function over style, and in this sense, my journal did not disappoint.

Back into the hobby

Hopefully, after a good long while barely touching my journal, I’ve been feeling the urge lately to spend a little more time with it. I’ve created a new collection last week to track the TV series I’ve been dying to finish, and I have had much fun doodling the logos of the series. Last weekend, I spent a good moment playing with my stickers and stamps decorating a few bare spreads. I can feel the call of creativity creeping back in. I’m so glad I didn’t quit, but simplified and made my habit bearable while my mind was somewhere else. It makes it so easy to pick it back up where I left off.

A hobby made to stick

I’ve been keeping a Bullet Journal since 2014. This year marks my first journaling slump, and I think that, at some point, any hobby can get stale if you keep doing the same things over and over again. You can get in a rut with any activity you practice and Bullet journaling can have the same fate. I think that simplifying your practice for a while and exploring new things outside your hobby can help you reconnect in the long run. But what made me want to pick it back up is surely the fact that I never left the hobby completely. If you feel bored, do not quit. Explore things outside and let your journal flirt you back in. Take your time, accept what is and know that this too shall pass.

Have you experienced a journaling slump so far in your practice? What have you tried to shake it off?

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