Saturday, March 19, 2016

Start Where You Are

Published in 2015, Start Where You Are: A Journal for Self-Exploration by Meera Lee Patel, an artist who lives in Brooklyn, is Bohemian in the best sense of the word.  Meera's vibrant, colorful watercolor illustrations and words provide ample inspiration, and present various quotations by authors, including many well-known women writers, such as Anaïs Nin, George Eliot, and Anne Frank (featured below).  This journal pairs quotations with writing and drawing prompts which encourage reflection, exploration, and understanding through informal, expressive writing and drawing.  I believe that there are numerous benefits to journaling (or simply writing) and drawing; this is a great book to get you to think about your own life in a positive and constructive manner, and to perhaps solve a few matters. 

I've taken the liberty to photograph and present a few of the pages to showcase the style and content of this special book. 

What a treat this book is!  Start Where You Are is a beautifully designed journal, and it will be a pleasure for me to do some of the exercises.  I know I'll enjoy writing and drawing in this book (currently I'm considering which writing and drawing instruments to use). The pages on the right of this book are related to the quotations on the left pages, and ask readers to become personally involved, with prompts such as:

  • What are three thoughts that made you smile today?
  • List four times you continued to try even though the odds were against you.
  • List three traits you'd like others to see in you.
  • Think of something you recently gave someone.  Draw it here.

We book bloggers are a lucky lot!  I felt very fortunate to be offered this book from Angela from Perigee, an imprint of Penguin Random House.  Thank you very much, Angela!


Have you experienced the benefits of journaling?  Your comments are welcomed, as always. 


  1. This book looks pretty. The next journal / art book I purchase will be Scripture based.

  2. This sounds wonderful and it's making me think about journaling. I haven't done it, but I can see how helpful it can be.

  3. This looks like such a great book to own and explore.

    I like the fact that you posted photographs. This helps to understand a book like this.

    The exercises seem both fun and enlightening.

  4. I don't journal, but it would be a nice to thing to start doing.

    I love when people find diaries or journals either in books or in real life of their loved ones. I am not sure I have anything exciting to write in my journal, though. :)

    Gorgeous photos.

    Thanks for sharing, Suko. Looks like a fabulous read.

    And....yes...we book bloggers are a lucky lot.

    Hope you are having a good weekend.


  5. I don't journal other than tracking my reading but, this looks lovely. So happy to see the photos.

  6. That is a pretty journal! I love journaling and have several journals that I use. Some are more artsy and others are just for words.

    1. It is pretty, Iliana! And it encourages you to be artistic as well. Thank you for stopping by.

  7. This book looks lovely! I have tried to journal, but become disorganized somehow, starting over in different notebooks and not continuing. This book looks like the perfect place to keep everything together. I like the guiding questions too. I am not much of an artist, more of a scribbler, but might give this book a try.

  8. Whilst not a big fan of this sort of thing this journal looks so incredibly pretty.

  9. Lovely presentation of this book, Suko. I answered some of the questions in the book and it did help me realize just where I am on certain things :)

  10. I really enjoyed this book...I started writing in it right away. I couldn't wait to get started.

  11. I love your pictures. This sounds like a wonderful journal that would really makes you focus on the positive points of the day. Thank-you for reviewing this book and bringing it to my attention!

  12. I received a copy of this too, and while I love the quotes and beauty in the book I am a bit intimidated about doing the drawings myself! Still, the quotes are inspirational, and I would like to present a few pages to my class. I'm sure the children would illustrate them wonderfully!

  13. This sounds like a wonderful book. Thanks for telling us about it

  14. I love this kind of stuff! Thanks for posting!

  15. This is amazing! Such good taste in matching colours with words! Many of us could take it as an inspiration to create our own writing journal, which won't be nearly as good, but still will be fun to make! :)

  16. What a nice review, I'm glad you enjoyed it.

  17. Start Where You Are looks wonderful, I like that it has prompts. I used to journal in high school and should probably start again. It is such a nice way to de-stress and reflect.
    Enjoy it!

  18. Thank you for all of the comments about this wonderful journal. It's a great "place" to inspire thought and creativity.

  19. This looks very appealing. As you know I'm a big proponent of journal writing, whether artistic or simply in words. I think these kinds of journals can really help to prompt us to write, to begin to get into the habit of self-reflection. Hope you enjoy your pretty pages!

  20. Such an intriguing book. I started to write in mine and must get back ot it! Enjoy!


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