On Journaling: self-censorship

I wrote an amanobooks.com newsletter about journaling and self-censorship. “Self-censorship” meaning not writing the whole truth and nothing but the truth in your journals. Sometimes it is really hard to dig deep and be completely honest. But if you can’t do that in your own journal, where can you do it?

Have you ever written a heart wrenching entry that was cathartic to have written out, but then everytime you open your journal you see it and it sends a painful memory back to you? I have for sure. And then I found myself either not wanting to use that journal or not wanting to write such entries down, which is not helpful at all. Sometimes we need to be raw and ugly in order to find the beauty in our lives.

Below are some visuals from my own journal and how I dealt with self-censorship. I wrote all my angst out in my journal…and being the artist that I am, I covered it up! It’s not beautiful, but it served its purpose. I needed to write what was inside of my head, but I didn’t want to see it everytime I opened my journal.

On the spread above I actually sewed pieces of scrap fabric to my journal page, covering up my entry. I know what’s under there…but I don’t need to see it anymore. I liked how the sewn-in fabric added more character to my already bulging journal.

This spread above you can see the thread stitches poking through. I also covered up some of the writing with pencil scribbles and also glued on another scrap piece of dark fabric.

I have found that if I can be honest with myself in my journal, I can work things out. I usually feel better afterwards. Or if not better, at least lighter and with more clarity.


  1. Great advice…covering up your deepest thoughts once they’re down on the page. I’m a firm believer that not all things need to be said (or read!). You’re right about the re-reading bringing back painful memories. Why go there? I love the idea that it’s all there…but hidden.

  2. Hi,

    I’d love to read that newsletter article – is it one that is archived on amanobooks.com?

    I’ve been thinking a lot about how to journal more deeply and feel safe doing so. I actually have been thinking about you and how you talk about painting from your journaling sources. I admire that, and want to go deeper in my journaling. But need to create some safer space or methods for myself.

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