Whether you’re a writer, graphic designer or artist, maintaining your creativity can sometimes prove to be a real challenge. So, what can you do if your creativity starts to falter? I recommend journaling your way to creativity!
A journal is an excellent tool you can use to keep your creativity alive. 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.
Here, you’ll discover just some of the reasons to keep a journal when you’re a creative person.
Journaling Helps You to Practice and Refine Your Skills
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.
Creativity Journals Have Multiple Uses
Creative journals tend 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.
Ideal for Brainstorming Ideas for Creativity with Journaling
As a creative person, one problem you’ve no doubt faced many times, is coming up with new ideas.
For example, a writer often struggles with “writer’s block”, finding it hard to know what to write. In this instance, a journal could be used to write down ideas, in no particular order. Free-writing can really help to get the creative juices flowing and help you to overcome that mental block.
If you’re an artist, you can use the journal to draw your ideas. You may find after doodling your ideas down, it all starts to come together.
Silencing Your Inner Critic
If you tend to be a perfectionist when it comes to your creativity, it could really be holding you back. That inner critic can literally kill creativity, with everything you create seeming to turn out wrong. This was my issue when I first started writing, even though I had not thought of myself as being a perfectionist up until that time.
A journal can help silence that inner critic. There’s absolutely no rules as to what you can and should put into it. There’s no wrong thing to write, plan or draw. It’s a safe space where your creativity can flow without being judged.
These are just some of the reasons to keep a journal when you’re a creative person. They really can help you to not just maintain your creativity, but nurture it too.
How to Start a Creativity Journal
Now you’ve discovered the benefits of keeping a journal as a creative person, 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.
If you’re unsure how to start a creative journal, below you’ll discover some of the best tips and advice you can follow.
Determining How to Use the Journal
The first thing you need to decide when you finally commit to journaling your way to creativity 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? Maybe you’re looking for a place to set goals for your creative projects?
The goal of the creative journal will make a big difference to how you should use it. Therefore, it’s important to establish its purpose early on.
Consider “Free writing”
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. You’ll be surprised how much creativity this type of writing can conjure up.
Questions to Ask Yourself Around Creativity Journaling
If free writing doesn’t appeal to you and you need more a prompt to get you started, there’s a few questions you can ask yourself. Just a few ideas include:
- What scares me?
- What inspires me?
- When was 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.
Remember, there are absolutely no rules you need to follow. A creative journal should never be forced into sticking to a certain structure, or limited in any way.
The above is some of the best ways to get started with a creative journal. 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.
Boost Your Creativity with These Journaling Ideas
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. Here are some more ideas on journaling your way to creativity.
Whether you’re looking to start a creative journal, or you’re simply looking for a new method to try out, below you’ll discover some awesome journaling ideas.
Drawing Helps Make Your Creative Juices Flow
If you’re a graphic designer or an artist, drawing in the journal is the best idea you can follow. 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.
Record your hopes, fears and anxieties
Another great creative journaling idea is to write down your hopes, fears and anxieties. Although this is close to how a standard journal is kept, this type of creative journaling can really help to combat writers block.
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.
Use Mixed Media in Your Journaling Practice
While written journaling can prove extremely useful, especially for a writer, 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. I love creating vision boards and this is in alignment with creative journaling.
Use the Power of Music
Have you ever noticed just how much of an 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.
It can also help if you listen to the music through headphones as this will block out all other noises, allowing you to be fully immersed in the music.
There’s a lot of journaling ideas you can use to boost your creativity. The above is just a small sample of the ideas you can try out. Don’t feel like you have to stick to one specific method either. If an idea stops working for you, simply move onto the next.
Nurture Your Creative Mind Through Journaling
Journaling can really help you to nurture your creative mind. Whether you’re a photographer, artist or writer, your creativity is crucial to your ability to carry out your job. 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. First things first…
Choosing the Right Journal for Your Creativity Practice
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 the journal is presented can make a surprising difference to how inspired and motivated you feel to use it. So, take your time to browse through the various journals on the market and choose one which speaks to you.
The Benefits of a Dream Journal
There’s a lot of ways you can use the journal to inspire creativity. However, one you may not have considered using is dream journaling.
Many authors, artists and musicians have discovered dream journals can help nurture their creativity. Dreams take on many different forms and can therefore be used 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.
So, if you are stuck for ideas, recording your dreams can be a great way to unlock your creativity once again.
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 corrections made to anything and nothing you put in the journal is ever wrong. So, you’ll start to trust your creativity, rather than question it.
Growing Your Creative Thoughts and Insights Through Journaling
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.
Look at the ideas you’ve written down and see how they can be expanded. Often, it’s just the initial ideas which are the hard part. Once they’re written down, you should find it easier to expand upon them.
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. You may need to force yourself to use it some days, but the effort you put in will definitely be worth it.
5 Styles of Creative Journaling
Did you know there are several different styles of creative journaling? If you’re looking to nurture and boost your creativity, it can be beneficial to experiment with different styles of journaling. So, what are the different types? Below, you’ll discover just 5 styles of creative journaling and the benefits they can deliver as you move closer to journaling your way to creativity.
1. Written Creativity Journal
Written journals tend to be the most common type of creative 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 creative types.
It’s worth noting that a written creative journal is different to a traditional journal. 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.
2. Art Journal for Creativity
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.
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.
4. Prompt Journal
Another style of creative journal which can help trigger and nurture creativity, is a prompt journal. 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.
The idea is, each question is designed to make you really think before you write your response. You’ll get used to analyzing the questions and answering them in as much details as possible. The answers themselves can help spark creativity.
5. Mind Mapping Journal
Mind mapping is a fairly new journaling technique which can work wonders for creative people. 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.
These are just 5 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. Here’s to your great success with journaling your way to creativity!
I’m Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestselling author, independent publisher, and serial entrepreneur Connie Ragen Green and would love to connect with you. If you’re new to the world of online entrepreneurship please check out my training on how to sell yourself at Sell Yourself and Your Stuff and learn how to gain an unfair advantage when it comes to building a lucrative online business.