Jessica Boarman has enjoyed journaling for as long as she can remember. Recently, she took her creative outlet and designed a deck of cards containing journaling prompts she titled “The Growth Deck” — a venture she hopes will raise the necessary funding to publish her future book.
“I have been journaling all my life,” Boarman said. “From composition notebooks and writing notes in high school, to journaling during harder times in life, it’s always been something I turned to.”
After losing her brother to suicide 18 years ago, Boarman said she opened her journal back up again and began writing through her grief.
“In my family, I’ve always tried to be the fixer and the one that kept everything together, so writing gave me a way to release the stress I put on myself,” Boarman said.
Nine years after her brother’s death, Boarman lost both of her parents less than a year apart to cancer. In response to insurmountable grief, she started a blog to reach others who were experiencing similar circumstances.
“I’ve had people reach out to me quite often for advice on ways to handle their grief. When I ask people if they have tried journaling, 9 times out of 10, they answered no. It can be intimidating and they often feel like they have no place to start,” Boarman said.
This gave Boarman the idea to start something herself. Instead of a traditional journal, she began to brainstorm tools that could help someone who was stuck in their grief or wanted to start journaling for their own mental health and well-being.
“I knew everyone wanted something different,” Boarman said. “Some people like a specific guided journal, some like a soft cover or a hard cover. Some people like lines and others don’t.”
That is how The Growth Deck was created. Boarman designed it so that each card starts with a quote and has a question or a series of questions that follow. She describes her creation as “a 52-card deck of journaling prompts written to inspire personal growth.”
“People can pick out their own journals that speak to them or resonate with them emotionally,” she said. “If they’re comfortable with it, they’ll stick with it better.”
As far as future plans, Boarman recently sent her second set of prompt cards to be published. She also has the outline of her future book.
“My story is a bit unique, but correlates with others and their struggles. I suffered a lot of loss in a short time but that happens more often than I realized,” she said. “My story is filled with a lot of sorrow but I want the message of my book to offer inspiration and hope to those that read it.”
Boarman says that people have responded well to both her blog and The Growth Deck cards and she is grateful for the support.
The cards are available at Crazy Me Gifts and Apparel in Owensboro, the Mercantile in Whitesville, or at JessicaBoarman.com/shop.