Journal Art – When words won’t work

My next podcast is about “Writing as Self-Help” and so… I’m going through my journals.

I’ve noticed how many times I stopped to draw instead of write…

And it made me think …

Sometimes, writing isn’t enough…

… or doesn’t work … for whatever reason.

For me, it’s usually depression and/or its old friend (and mine -ugh!) anxiety. The very time I need to write the most, no words come.

On those days, I turn to another old friend… drawing. I don’t pretend to be an ar-teeeest but I am able to convey my emotions through my little drawings.

I hope this post encourages you to try it, too!

First up, a few notes to myself. Along with just keeping me busy.

Before people were talking about Adult Coloring Books, I kind of made my own. I outlined things and drew them. I had a real affinity for filling in space with tiny circles. Ever since 7th grade with Pee Chee folders. I would spend hours filling in each section. I wish I’d saved at least one to show you. But this heart drawing gives you a good idea. It’s tedious to some but my ADHD-self loves the repetition… although I do get a little impatient at times and it could be why I chose to fill the top of this drawing with larger circles.

This is a picture I drew of myself about five years ago, as I waited for my first appointment with a psychiatrist.

Was it as scary as I expected? Yes, and more! Looking back, I was in a deep depression and had crashed emotionally after 2014: The Year of Pain.

In 2016, I created yet another in my litany of blogs – I called it, “Angry Grandma” and I drew what I thought she might look like. I used it for a “profile” type photo. Why was she (who was really me) angry? I have no idea! I drew several angry grandmas that kinda looked like me. This is the one that “won”. Being honest, I’m kind-of embarrassed about this… but… it was who I was at the moment. And back then, it was moment-by-moment.

As you may have surmised, Angry Grandma and all the the others before and after until this one were deleted within a year – sometimes, like in the case of this one – it was within weeks.

PS: Even my journal doesn’t give me a hint of why I was angry enough to name a blog after it. Some smarty-pants will tell me that I was WAY more angry that I was letting on at the time and this was simply a manifestation of it all. Maybe. Probably.


This next group are a kind of interpretive drawing that I ***try*** to let flow from my pen. I never know what I’ll end up drawing.

I love the sweep of the lines… the femininity and roundness. All except the woman’s face in the Fullness of Time in the middle. Her chin! What’s that about? But still… I did it. I own it. It’s mine.

Give yourself permission to put pen to paper and… NOT write… but draw!

What will you create?


  1. Such cute journals. I have always thought of trying something other than writing to calm my mind down, journaling is a thing that comes to my mind but writing wins. However, your art is just beautiful.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Beautiful work. Thank you for sharing!
    Art helps me process as well. Sometimes images come to me before words can be found.

    Liked by 1 person

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