Journaling isn’t limited to a ‘certain’ type of person, creative or otherwise. Creativity can be defined in many ways, and using a journal as a tool; you can explore how your brain gets creative! It is well known that journaling improves creativity. So, let’s spend a little time finding out how.
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Your brain does wonderful things when you start writing out what you want to do or explore. It inspires itself to think of new ideas, and when we get stuck, it loves looking at things that other people have done, to learn from them, all leading to new ideas!
Sometimes when we hear creativity, our minds instantly wanders off to art, painting, macrame… that kind of thing. So, it’s easy to compare yourself to these ideas and think, ‘well, that’s not me, I’m not creative’. Wrong 😉
Maybe you’re great at creative writing, or cooking, baking, making decoupage, coming up with new ideas… perhaps you just don’t know it yet. The best way to discover your creative love is to delve into yourself and see what your own grey matter throws out at you.
How journaling improves creativity
The main thing for this is to start writing out ideas and being honest with yourself about what you are thinking of trying to do. If you feel self-conscious about this, remember that your journal is YOUR journal. No one else needs to read it if you don’t want them to.
When you start journaling, many ideas – some fresh, some older – bubble to the surface. When you let this happen, your mind can make links and new ideas and projects just by spending time getting to know your inner self a little bit more. It’s so easy to get swept up in the responsibilities of work, life, family that we often – without meaning to – tamp down the creative sides our ourselves as we don’t ‘have time’ or don’t ‘feel it’s useful’.
“Journaling encourages us to dig deep – like, really flippin’ deep. Within this deep, sometimes uncomfortable space, we can truly connect with our inner voice and narrative. You will start to recognise what is needed to nourish this inner voice and, as your confidence grows, bring it out into the world.” The Wild Wordsmith
Use journaling to open your mind back up to connect with yourself and what makes you, you.
Do some doodling!
Sometimes, people get stuck in the idea that journaling must only be writing. Nope!
You can fill it with doodles, sketches, paint little things in it… this journal is yours, so do with it what you want! It can often be easier to express what we are feeling through drawing if we don’t have the words to describe the emotion/feeling yet. This might just be a big ol’ ball of squiggles if that’s how you’re feeling – scribble away, get it out of your mind and on to some paper. I bet you’ll feel better after.
“A creative 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 practise creativity.” LemonyFizz
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Giving your ideas life when you journal
As I mentioned, it’s so easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of life and forget to give energy.
When you spend time journaling, it can open your mind up to giving your ideas some life. Life might be giving an idea more depth, actions, or feelings. When you use your journal often, it can help settle your mind and make connections with more ease. Our brains get filled with so many thoughts, but we often let them just sit in our minds without giving them any legs. Let journaling put some legs on it!
“Journaling is a useful practice for writers, artists, musicians and anyone engaged in creative work. It encourages capturing ideas and self-reflection, both key skills for creatives. It’s also a useful skill for entrepreneurs and busy executives, as it fosters clear thinking.” Bryan Collins for Forbes
5 quick things to try in your creative journal
- Art journaling
- Morning Pages
- Using journal prompts
- Creative writing – Short stories or poems
- Inspiration collections – collect bits & pieces that inspire you
When you spend time expressing what’s in your mind, it can help provide some clarity to your mind, which allows more space to think about how to achieve the next steps of whatever you are thinking about.