Creative Journaling For The Not So Creative
Some people seem more naturally creative than others. We usually associate creativity with writers, artists, musicians, and dancers – things associated with the arts.
The use of creativity can be a valuable skill. Whether looking for an out-of-the-box solution at work or just to come up with something fun and interesting to do with your friends this weekend.
So, what can you do if your creativity starts to falter and you’re not a naturally creative person?
Use a Written Journal to Get Your Creativity Flowing.
Written journals tend to be the most common type of journal. Whether you opt for free-writing, or you use it to simply jot down your experiences and thoughts, a written journal can prove useful for all types
Journaling is not just something certain individuals do, but should really be something everyone does. Journaling helps in so many ways, from finding triggers to your stress, to helping with physical and mental health, weight loss, and a host of other issues.
Benefits of Keeping a Journal
Use Journaling to Help With Your Mental and Physical Health
A major benefit to writing in a journal every day is that it can help both your mental and physical health. Journaling helps you figure out what is causing your stress and lets you see why your anxiety is plummeting and can help with your depression.
For physical health, journaling helps you manage your weight, find out why certain things ail you and narrow down the reasons you aren’t drinking enough water each day. You can be a healthier person overall just by having a journal.
You Can Feel Safe Releasing Your Emotions
Talking about what you are thinking or feeling to others may lead to embarrassment or feelings of judgment. A journal is a good way to express all those feelings and not worry about something reading it or looking at you differently. Sometimes you need to get certain things out of your mind, and keeping a private journal is the perfect way to do that.
You Reveal New Things About Yourself
Keeping a journal can also help you gain more clarity into who you are and what you want out of life. Make it a challenge to just start writing on a page, without thinking too hard beforehand. Just start with one word and keep going. Learning about yourself can be an amazing adventure.
For example, you vent about something you didn’t know bothered you so much. While journaling your thoughts, you find the opposite is true. You are more positive and optimistic than you thought.
In some cases, you talk more about what you want to accomplish, and this journal helps you to come up with actionable things you can do to achieve those dreams.
It Becomes a Comfort When Dealing With Stress
Stress is a powerful thing, much more powerful than people give it credit for. Stress can affect nearly every part of your life, including your mental and physical wellbeing.
It is important that you try to reduce stress in any way you can, and journaling is very effective for that. Writing in your journal helps you identify what is leading to your stress, which helps you determine what you can do to stop it.
Use Journaling to Silence Your Inner Critic
If you tend to be a perfectionist when it comes to your creativity, it could really be holding you back. Your inner critic can literally kill creativity, with everything you create seeming to turn out wrong.
A journal can help silence your inner critic. There are absolutely no rules as to what you can and should put into it. There’s no wrong thing to write, plan or draw. Use it as a safe space where your creativity can flow without being judged.
Using Creative Journals
Now you’ve discovered the benefits of keeping a journal, you may be wondering where to start. What should you write in the journal and how often should you be using it? These are just a couple of common questions you may have.
It’s worth noting that a written creative journal is different from a traditional journal.
This isn’t the type of journal you use to write your innermost thoughts and feelings (though you could use it for that purpose if it helps). Instead, a creativity journal focuses on helping you to solve problems, brainstorm ideas and practice creativity.
While you’re still using it to write in, you’re not using it to get your feelings out or talk about your day. Instead, you’re using it for inspiration and to record ideas, thoughts, and feelings which may ignite your creativity.
Creative journals are meant to be disorganized in comparison to standard journals. This means they can be used in many different ways.
You can turn it into a sketchbook, notebook, scrapbook or day planner. Whatever function you need it to meet you can use it for that purpose.
How to Start a Creative Journal
The first thing you need to decide is how you want to use the journal. Will it be a place to simply record your ideas, or would you prefer it to be a place you can practice your creativity? Or perhaps, it can be a place to set goals for your creative projects.
The goal of the creative journal will make a big difference in how you should use it. Therefore, it’s important to establish its purpose early on.
While a creative journal can really help to develop and nurture creativity, it can be difficult knowing where to start. There’s also going to be times where a certain journaling method may stop working for you for a while.
Choose a Journal That Inspires
If you want to get the most out of your creative journal, you’re going to need to make sure you actually enjoy using it. As silly as it may sound, the first step to this is to ensure you like the look of the journal.
How a journal looks can inspire and motivate you to use it. So, take your time to browse through the various journals on the market and choose one which speaks to you.
Choosing a Journal Style
These are just a few styles of creative journaling you can try out. Each has its own benefits and potential drawbacks which need to be considered. Think about the style you’re most likely to benefit from and remember, once you start it’s important to keep it up.
One of the best ways to start a creative journal is to practice free writing. This is basically where you take the time to sit down and start writing. Just write whatever comes into your head.
You don’t need to follow a certain structure or have any prior ideas of what to write. The things you jot down don’t even need to make sense.
Write as little or as much you want to, on any topic which pops into your head. Using this type of writing can conjure up your creativity surprisingly fast.
For example, a writer often struggles with “writer’s block”, finding it hard to know what to write. In this instance, use a journal to write down ideas in no particular order. This can really help to get the creative juices flowing and help you to overcome that mental block.
Use Your Own Prompts to Get the Creativity Flowing
If freewriting doesn’t appeal to you and you need more of a prompt to get you started, there are a few questions you can ask yourself. Just a few ideas include:
• What scares me?
• What inspires me?
• When is the last time I had fun?
These seemingly random questions can have a surprising impact on your creativity. They’re great prompts to get you to write in as little or as much detail as you like. Just the process of answering these questions can help to unleash your creative side.
Guided Prompt Journal
Similar to using your own prompts, a guided prompt journal is another style of a creative journal which can help trigger and nurture creativity. This is basically a journal which asks you questions each day. You can either pick these journals up online, or you can create one yourself.
Use the prompted questions to make you really think before you write your response. Then, start analyzing the questions and answering them in as many details as possible. The answers themselves can help spark creativity.
You can use the journal to draw your ideas. You may find after doodling your ideas down, it all starts to come together.
Drawing in the journal is the best course of action. You don’t need to have a specific subject in mind. Simply pick up a pencil and start drawing.
It isn’t about drawing something perfectly either. It doesn’t matter how the drawing looks, what matters is that you’re taking the time to just let your creativity flow.
When you stop focusing on the rules and just draw whatever comes into your mind, it can really help you get out of a rut.
An art journal is perfect for artists and graphic designers. Used to draw, paint, or attach cuttings out of newspapers and magazines, this type of journal can really get the creative juices flowing.
Use Mixed Media
While written journaling can prove to be extremely useful often mixed media journaling works better.
Mixed media journaling is basically using different types of content. So, for part of the journal you’ll jot down your ideas, then you can use pictures, ticket stubs and potentially even drawing to inspire your creativity.
Use the Power of Music
Have you ever noticed just how much impact music can have on your creativity? It can really help to stick on some uplifting or inspiring music while writing in your journal.
You’ll find as the music plays, you’ll start to experience numerous emotions. Thoughts will also automatically pop into your head – write these down.
Immerse yourself in the music by using headphones to listen and to block out other noises.
There’s a lot of ways you can use a journal to inspire creativity. However, one you may not have considered using is dream journaling.
Many people have discovered dream journals can help nurture their creativity. Use the different forms of dreams to inspire creative ideas.
The lead singer of the band “Train”, famously opened up in an interview that the smash hit “Drops of Jupiter” was written after he had a dream.
Record your dreams to unlock the creativity that you were missing.
A scrapbook is one of the easiest styles of creative journaling you can do. You simply cut out images, quotes or anything you find inspiring and stick them into the journal.
You can look over all of the things you’ve stuck into the scrapbook whenever you need a little inspiration.
Mind Mapping Journal
Mind mapping is a fairly new journaling technique which can work wonders for creativity. It’s a visual style journal, similar to scrapbooking.
However, rather than cutting out random images and sticking them in the journal, mind mapping works by recording your ideas in a visual way.
For example, write down the main theme of your idea, draw a big circle around it, then think of other ideas which relate to it. You then connect your sub-ideas to the main idea, creating a mind map.
Nurture Your Creative Mind Through Journaling
Journaling can really help you to nurture your creative mind. Therefore, it consistently needs to be nurtured.
So, how can journaling help with this? Below you’ll discover how to nurture your creative mind through journaling.
Refine Your Creativity Skills with Journaling
One of the best reasons to keep a creative journal is because it helps you to practice and refine your skills. Creativity doesn’t always come naturally. In fact, it often takes a lot of practicing to maintain it.
There’s always something new to learn and existing skills need to be maintained. By writing your ideas down, or practicing your drawing technique in the journal, you’ll continue to develop your skills.
Learning to Trust the Authority in Your Voice
When you start to keep a creative journal, it trains you to trust the authority in your voice. So, what does this mean? Well, it basically means you learn to stop double guessing and questioning your creativity.
A creative journal doesn’t have rules. Instead, it encourages you to write or draw freely. There’s no need to correct or change anything you put in the journal. Nothing you put in it is wrong. Resulting in you starting to trust your creativity, rather than question it.
Let Your Emotions Flow
When you record your hopes, fears, and anxieties, you explore how you felt and what you experienced at the time. This really nurtures your creativity and can give you great insight and ideas for your writing.
Normally, this is how you use a standard journal, but using this type of creative journaling method can really help to combat writers’ block.
Growing Your Thoughts and Insights
Creativity often stems from thoughts and insights. After you’ve jotted your thoughts down into the journal, you can go back to them another day and expand upon what you wrote.
By making lists of things you find interesting or writing down ideas the second you think of them, you train yourself to spot creative ideas.
As you can see, nurturing your creativity is pretty simple if you follow the above ideas. The key is to use the journal every single day. The effort you put into it will definitely be worth it. You just need to make it a habit.
Often, starting the journal is the hardest part. Once you’ve actually made a start, it becomes much easier to keep it up and continue to nurture your creativity.
There’s a lot of journaling ideas you can use to boost your creativity. Don’t feel like you have to stick to one specific method either. If an idea stops working for you, simply move onto another. Don’t limit or force yourself to a certain structure. Remember, there are absolutely no rules you need to follow.