"I love doodlers," my professor told us at the beginning of class last week. "Feel free to doodle. I know a lot of people have to doodle so they can pay attention. I've seen some amazing dragons in this class. Why is it that you always draw dragons?"

Doodling is the only reason I take notes on paper, as opposed to using my laptop. I have to have something to do with my hands, whether it's taking notes or drawing pictures or both. I'm an amazing doodler. I can draw out some sort of intricate, nonsense design while I take notes and listen to the instructor. Drawing? Drawing is a different story.

I took a drawing class last year. It was a love/hate relationship. My professor had us keep a sketchbook. We were required to fill at least three pages a week of assigned drawings, and he encouraged us to use it to take notes, doodle, and draw whatever we wanted. The goal of the sketchbook wasn't to create great art, it was to give us practice in drawing regularly. For me, it was filled with notes from my American Lit class (Charlotte Gilman's the Yellow Wallpaper, anyone?) and scribbled lyrics and quotes that I loved. Some of those- the lyrics and quotes, especially- became habit when I started a new journal in the beginning of January.

The day after Christmas, I bought a three pack of Moleskins, and opened them on January 1st. I have the first one halfway filled at this point. It's habit: every night before I go to sleep, I write a page full of thoughts, draw out a lyric, or scribble down a quote I love.

I'm not sure why, but for years my journals have been only words. I've always identified best with writing, and words come naturally to me. Now, though, I have quick drawings of things that matter to me, like The Fault in Our Stars and the first two lines of one of my favorite songs. I have blackout poetry inspired by Kendall..."most men are gasping for breath."

It's inspiring to flip through and see not only the written record of my month, but the drawings as well.

Are you a drawer or a doodler? Do you keep some sort of journal?

xo, katie


  1. a little of both i suppose. it depends. over the years i've tried and tried again to journal, but it's never worked. this january though, i started a new one and have let myself have a lot more freedom. now it doesn't just have to be words describing my day but it can also be things that inspire and fuel me. something that invokes a special feeling. something with a memory attached.

  2. i'm a complete drawer and doodler. i've been doing it ever since i was 5 years old!
    actually, keep an eye out on my blog, because i have some doodles and drawings i'll be posting veryyy sooon.

  3. I am most definitely a drawer (not as much a doodler, but I do doodle too). I keep a journal, but I have only seriously kept one since the past summer. I have better kept it since I have let go any restrictions; simply recording your day, everyday gets mundane. So I just write what is on my mind, and, as a result, my journal is composed of written prayers, poems, letters that I'll never actually send, recorded dreams, the occasional doodle/sketch, and many metaphorical ventures (as inspired by my friend). I've actually kept a journal better now that I don't feel obligated to keep it.

  4. I keep a devotional journal and a journal to write about everyday things. I draw every week because I am an artist, but I don't really doodle too much... I prefer realistic drawings. Doodling IS a good way to loosen up your mind as well as your hand, so maybe I should do more of it. :)


  5. I usually just write in my journal, but I rip out so much random stuff from magazines and doodle/write lyrics on scrap paper that encapsulating it all in my journal sounds like a good idea.
    My brother sent me a moleskine for my birthday and the paper is lush.

  6. I'm a doodler, but a bad one. I'm more of the writer and scribbler kind of person, since I couldn't draw anything to save my life. :)

  7. a doodler for sure. i associate certain doodles with certain things esp when i'm taking notes or listening to something for school. too bad i'm no good :)

  8. Yes, I am doodler. Doodling for me, is a daily routine. And it is {also like you} my way of paying attention\learning. i do in fact keep a journal, and yes it is full of doodles. This was a lovely post.

  9. This is my favorite post on Fernweh so far. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE.

  10. I doodle all the time when I take notes in school. Patterns, mostly, but figures sometimes. I have a notebook that I use for thoughts and lists and quotes, too, and a sketchbook that's just for drawing. I like the idea of a journal for everything, though.

    p.s. I'm so happy I inspired you! :)

  11. I'm a drawer, doodler, AND journaler.
    My journals are usually quite like yours looks, actually. Drawings and doodles and bits of writing about what's going on.

    This year I've decided to try something new, though. I'm working on scraps of paper instead of in a journal book. That way I can use our type-writer to write with (since I don't like writing by hand.) And at the end of the year I'm going to try my hand at book binding, and sew all the pages together!

    I'm excited, because if it works, I'll be able to put pictures, recital programs, letters from friends etc. right into the binding! Plus if I feel like being random and drawing on a paint chip or paper doily or whatever, I can just put in straight into my journal, and not have to mess around with gluing them in!

  12. I'm a bit of them all. I keep a prayer journal, I have a doodling notebook...and I take art lessons.

  13. I love to draw! Mostly manga and anime styles, but I kinda do a little bit of everything.

  14. I'm a bit of a doodler. I used to draw when I was younger, and I still get the urge every once and a while to sketch something. :)

    But I have been journaling since I was about thirteen, so for over seven years now. My journals were always words up until about two years ago. Now they're sort of mini-scrapbooks: words, song lyrics, book quotes and excerpts, pictures torn from magazines, etc. Anything I can glue in there. :) I even make a CD of my favorite songs and put it in my journal two or three times a year, to see how my music tastes change.

    The only place around here that has Moleskines is Target, and they don't have the small unlined ones like yours. They only have lined ones, which drives me crazy.


  15. This is so beautiful. I love it.
    I'm going to dig up an old sketch book later. Thanks for such an inspiring post!

    I just found this blog & I'm a new follower by the way. :D

  16. It's such a simple idea, yet it's so brilliant.

  17. i keep a journal. before i did a 365 journal i decided to do a week 52 journal. so far it's going well. this is so lovely. aren't moleskins the best?
    also, john green = yes. :))
    -jocee <3

  18. I'm a doodler. I can doodle some pretty neat things without thinking, but ask me to draw something? Nope. It won't turn out.

  19. Oooh, the Yellow Wallpaper! There's something about it that made me love it. That might be kind of screwy, but I can't help myself.

    I'm a pretty good doodler, but drawing is my weakness. I just can't.

  20. So gorgeous and inspiring :)

    I think I am both, but I'm afraid to doodle because I'm not that good at it and I'd probably just start and then scribble over it.. Maybe I need to learn to let myself try new things.


    Abbie /// OXOXOXOX

  21. I am such a doodler - if you were to take a look at any one of my notebooks (and let me tell you, there's a lot of them! :D) you would find at least one page covered with doodles, if you didn't find multiple doodles already filling the margins.

    Your journal inspires me...oh, and keep up the good work, those doodles are good!


  22. This year I am determined to keep a journal... but this year I am not just writing in it... I am going to draw, doodle, take notes... etc... such fun!

    Thank you for the inspiration!