I've had a couple of questions as to why I chose to not share a lot of examples (picture-wise) in my latest book, Happy Journal, Happy Life. Believe me, I was going to have this guide to happiness filled to the brim with pictures. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized . . . there were three good reasons why I needed to pair down. I think you'll agree.

Why Happy Journal, Happy Life Isn’t Full of Examples

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. When I was writing my book, I listened to friends and family who said they would like to try happy journaling but they didn’t consider themselves 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.

Here's why I decided to go light on the pictures for my new book, Happy Journal, Happy Life. Hint: It's a guidebook for YOU.

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 full color version available for U.S. residents in the contiguous states only. The paperback edition of Happy Journal, Happy Life includes 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.





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2 responses to “Why Happy Journal, Happy Life Isn’t Full of Examples”

  1. Irina Avatar

    I was actually happy, that it wasn’t full of examples. I rarely buy crafts and creativity books by American authors anymore, because they are so very pretty, but to me mostly useless. They rarely teach how I can develop my own thing, but show: This is how I do it.
    Even the tutorials (most of the time) are written to enable me to copy their design exactly. I don’t need this. I want to develop my design. My style. My creativity, not only my dexterity.
    Maybe it is a cultural thing, but as a European, I loved it exactly how the book is. It doesen’t overwhelm me with someone elses style.

    At least from my end: thank you for writing it the way you did.

    1. Irina Avatar

      That wasn’t completly true. I still buy them sometimes, but as coffeetable books, not craft books 😉

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