Making A Journal Of Life

Day 2 - Making A Journal Of LIfe - Doodlewash

When I first starting blogging just over three years ago, I never thought I’d still be writing each and every day. I initially started my blog on Doodlewash simply to inspire myself to keep sketching and painting. What happened next was truly unexpected, even to me. Each little thing that appeared on paper triggered memories that I then began to share in the form of what many of you now recognize as my daily rambles. I once tried writing by hand in a physical journal during an entire trip to Italy. It was a fun experience, but my handwriting is so ridiculously poor, childish, impulsive, and unintelligible that I could barely read what I had written after that. I quickly transcribed every word into a digital journal, while I could still make out the memories, and kept up with that for another couple of years before abandoning it entirely. Yet, today, I’ve been keeping a personal daily journal for over three years so that’s quite a record! Well, personal in content, but there’s no lock on my journal. It even goes out in email to those who subscribe. And while I realize a live “stream of consciousness” journal is not what one typically finds on a “modern” blog much these days, it’s still what you’ll always find in my posts. If you happen to enjoy my stories, please check out my new podcast by heading over to (Episode #3 just appeared this week! So please leave a comment and share your own thoughts and stories!)

What I’ve found interesting about blogging, or a least, my horribly unstructured approach to it, is that I don’t really edit anything I write at all. I literally type like I’m writing in a handwritten journal, though, thankfully, due to modern technology, you and I both can actually read what the heck I’ve written. I find that miraculous! And if you’re curious, no, the currently unpublished trip to Italy would have appeared here in full had I been blogging at the time. I don’t have any thoughts to hide. I’m not sure they’re all worthy of publication, but though I’m a shy person in real life, I’m not at all shy about sharing my musings on life. If you happen to wander over to me at a party, where I’ll be the one cowering in the corner, our conversation would be roughly like these posts. Yeah, a bit rambling, if not a touch crazy, but always honest, true, and exactly what I’m thinking in the moment. If nothing else, I think live journaling has made me even truer in my writing. I don’t write about things that are sensational or horribly provocative, because I honestly don’t find anything truly important in life to be like that. The important bits of life are more often pleasantly mundane and just maybe a bit thought-provoking. So, that’s what you’ll always find in my stories.

I’ve seen many artists who share gloriously well-lettered and illustrated journal pages and I’m always impressed and astounded! You are my heroes and I salute you! I only wish I could make letters that looked that beautiful, but mine just look scribbled and like someone who’s had too much absinthe. Rather than attempt to be exactly like those people I admire so much, though, I forged my own version in these illustrations and hand-typed stories that you’re reading right now. As I’m constantly cheerleading each of you on to “DO!”, I honestly can’t stress enough to remember to always “DO” what works best for you. If you find you don’t quite fit in perfectly to the other art communities, then feel free to come hang out with us here Doodlewash. Here you are applauded for simply being yourself and loving to paint with watercolor and drawing what moves you. Yeah, it’s painfully simple… no rules and no expectations. Just a celebration of art in whatever way it appears, as together each day, we find ourselves happily making a journal of life.

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About the Doodlewash

Da Vinci Paint Co.: Benzimida Orange, Terra Cotta, Cobalt Turquoise and Cobalt Blue. Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with sepia ink in an A5 Hahnemühle Watercolour Book. Want to purchase a print of this doodlewash? Send me a note with a link to this post, and I’ll add it to my shop!
Day 2 - Making A Journal Of LIfe - Doodlewash


Creator of Doodlewash® and founder of World Watercolor Month™ (July) and World Watercolor Group™. Sharing daily watercolor illustrations and stories while proudly featuring talented artists from all over the world! If you’d like to be a guest artist on, contact me!

Recommended6 recommendationsPublished in By Charlie
  1. Sandra Strait 2 weeks ago

    Love your Hahnemuühle journal! I was just using mine today out painting with friends at a winery up around the Columbia Gorge. A fun day of painting and wining, lol. I’m like you – I adore those beautiful illuminated journals but can’t do the same. But it’s a good thing that we’re all different. Thank you for sharing your rambles – they’re the highlight of my day.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 weeks ago

      Thanks so much, Sandra! 😃💕Painting and wining is the best thing of all! hehe Love it! Yeah, we can’t always be like those we admire, but we always learn so much in the process of admiring them!

  2. Sharon Nolfi 2 weeks ago

    I’ve kept a written journal for many years. It’a a wonderful way to have a record, not just of things that happened, but of the feelings and sensations experienced at the time. I admire that you’ve included watercolor sketches in yours, and that you’ve shared it with us. Great job on the pen and pencil above.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 weeks ago

      Thanks so much, Sharon! 😃💕Glad you’ve enjoyed my journal! hehe… I had no idea that the real trick to keep me doing it would be to simply make it public. But, I’m glad I did!

  3. Laura Hale 2 weeks ago

    Thank you for creating a welcoming place for all of us. Blessings to you Charlie!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 weeks ago

      Thanks so much, Laura! 😃💕 So thrilled you enjoy the place! We actually just created it all together! 😉

  4. Karen Russo 2 weeks ago

    I was just telling one of my watercolor friends about your wonderful, welcoming, embracing community.
    Thanks— and I love the rambles you share. Especially tonight— I can totally relate!
    Have a great evening.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 weeks ago

      Aww thanks so much, Karen! 😃💕 So happy you enjoy the Doodlewash community and my rambling posts! And thanks for spreading the word!

  5. mstrendy01 2 weeks ago

    Your posts are always so interesting. Thanks for sharing 😊

  6. June Hadaway 2 weeks ago

    Love the prompt you painted and story. Both done so well. I am actually skipping the prompts this month and working on completing my 31 day journal by painting borders relating to the paintings so I can later “try” to write some notes on each page; comments, etc. I write so fast, trying to remember everything, that I can’t read it either. 🤔

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 weeks ago

      Thanks, June! 😃💕Glad you liked this! And yay to skipping prompts… what you’re doing sounds awesome! What a fun project!

  7. Lisa 2 weeks ago

    I saw someone on TV recently who had DO tattooed on his wrist because he believes people should just DO! Of course now I can’t remember who it was, but I thought of you immediately when I saw it.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 weeks ago

      Oh wow!! That’s awesome! 😃💕 hehe… just for the record, I don’t have a DO tattoo or any yet. I’m never sure which of my sketches are my favorite and it changes every day, so committing to skin ink is just too much to DO. 😉

  8. davisbrotherlylove 2 weeks ago

    Hi Charlie, I’ve enjoyed your visual notes during your Doodlewash blogging time. You’ve accomplished quite a bit in this time. I’m glad that its been as valuable to you as it has been to your followers.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 weeks ago

      Thanks so much, Jack! 😃💕 I really appreciate the comment! I truly think that anytime we bloggers show up, it really makes a difference. We write what we’re thinking and what we feel and aren’t trying to carefully craft posts to fit some algorithm. The effect is always so much more refreshing and wonderful!

  9. SnehLata Maheshwari 2 weeks ago

    Hi lie your post of to day is remarkable turning point of my life.cant understand you. u are a giniouse writer , magician n what’an artist.? Although i wanted to stop my journey of this way.but as i told previous also postpush me to word my table .
    Please can you write something not to stop this journey.i feel alone in this way some time.
    Thanks so much.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 weeks ago

      Thanks so much, Snehlata! 😃💕 And you know you’re never alone when you’re part of Doodlewash! We’re all family here! Yes, it’s difficult some days to keep on sketching and painting, wondering if anyone at all might care. But what matters is that WE still care. That we paint and sketch for ourselves first and foremost. Remain true to our passions and explore them. If we do that, then it’s always guaranteed that we’ll touch the lives of others.

  10. Sarah 2 weeks ago

    My handwriting also looks like I had too much absinth – lol! 😄 Great doodlewash of the pens and journal, Charlie!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 weeks ago

      Thanks so much, Sarah! 😃💕 LOL Soooo glad I’m not alone in that! My handwriting is horrific! hehe… but my thoughts are honest and true so I can at least show up to type them each day.

      • Sarah 2 weeks ago

        I’m totally with you, it’s the content that counts! And your posts are a perfect example for that as they always come from the heart. 😊💕

  11. Mary Roff 2 weeks ago

    Love your rambles Charlie!Look forward to your posts every day.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 weeks ago

      That makes me so happy to hear! Thank you, Mary! 😃💕 It’s not easy to show up every day and some days one has to wonder if people are still enjoying the ride, or growing weary. hehe.. Thrilled you’re still enjoying it!

  12. LoriCtoo 2 weeks ago

    I enjoy your ramblings. Probably because I am a rambler. As far as your handwriting, just like anything else practice makes perfect or at least legible. ;p

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 weeks ago

      Thanks! 😃💕And yay to a fellow rambler! hehe Yeah, I succeeded in making my handwriting legible only to realize it was far too slow. My mind works at my typing speed, which is about the rate of a hummingbird, so I just stick with that!

  13. Linda Watskin 2 weeks ago

    I’ve been keeping a daily journal for years— often it’s a poem or short prose piece. After the first year it just becomes part of your day.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 weeks ago

      I agree, Linda! 😃💕I could personally only make it part of my day when I could type instead of handwrite. Once I discovered that, it’s been smooth sailing ever since! Yeah, I totally made my public, which is maybe a bit weird, but it keeps me writing each day so that’s a good thing!

  14. Lin Powell 2 weeks ago

    Love a good ramble.

  15. Terry Allor 2 weeks ago

    I really enjoyed your blog. I did keep visual journals of all of our European trips that I treasure. Now my husband has dementia so our overseas trips are over. I did start my personal ‘Journal as a Caregiver’ but get into lapses. Your blog inspires me to get back to it! Thank you! Trrry

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 weeks ago

      Thanks so much, Terry! 😃💕 So happy you enjoy my blog! And you should totally get back into journaling. It’s best thing in the world! Better therapy than nearly anything else and it always sheds a new light on life. Definitely DO it!

  16. Sharon Bonin-Pratt 2 weeks ago

    Your stories and artwork are always inspirational. Charlie.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 weeks ago

      Thanks so much, Sharon! 😃💕Your comments always inspire me to keep on writing and sketching! Can’t thank you enough!

  17. smzang 1 week ago

    ” And while I realize a live “stream of consciousness” journal is not what one typically finds on a “modern” blog much these days, it’s still what you’ll always find in my posts.”

    It is that very facet that makes doodlewash so much more than most artists’ sites.
    Likewise, it is your delightful paintings that make doodlewash so much more than
    most writers’ sites. I think you have created the perfect merger of pen and brush.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 week ago

      You’re so sweet, Sarah! 😃💕I can’t thank you enough for the constant encouragement! I always just show up and some days, I’m not always sure if it matters. Thank you for reminding me that it always matters.

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