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Since publishing Happy Journal, Happy Life, there have been a few questions as to why I didn’t add more pictorial examples.
There were several reasons that prompted me to go this route. Believe me, I was tempted. But here is why I decided to go light on the pictures.
1. The purpose of the book. The ultimate point of the book is to inspire readers to start their own happy journals. This book is a guide that when finished, can be set aside as you create your own journal. I included open-ended instructions so readers would know what I meant by a “happy journal” as well as some photos. But I didn’t show pages and pages of photographic ideas throughout.
2. The comparison factor. Some people stop in their tracks when they see examples that either don’t appeal to them or that seem “too hard” to copy. I heard from friends and family right away who said they would like to do this but they weren’t artists. I want to communicate that happy journals are what you make them to be: whether that means stick figures or detailed sketches. Everyone can benefit from them.
3. I want to be authentic. The pages you see in the book are from my own journals. The problem I ran into is many of my journal pages include names of friends and family as well as personal commentary. I considered redrawing them for the book, and might do so for the printed version, but I find a lot of the spontaneity, imperfection, and warmth that I love in my happy journals is completely lost in doing so.
Update: I did end up redrawing some of the pictures for the paperback after all! The Amazon version of the paperback is black and white, and I wanted the images to be as crisp and easy-to-see as possible. We’re also releasing a limited-edition of a full color version available for U.S. residents in the contiguous states only. The paperback edition of Happy Journal, Happy Life will include 51 journal pages so you can start your happy journal immediately. I’m so excited about this. :)
I LOVE how many of you have been inspired to pick up a small notebook and begin recording your happy moments. And I especially love hearing how many of you are doing so even though you don’t consider yourself an artist. Yes!
Keep your happy journal close as we finish out this year so you can reflect on all the good that has been gifted to you.
It’ll become a blessing in a book, believe me.