Journal writing can provide a unique channel of creativity for all of us, whether or not we are artist by profession. It invites the free play of imagination, intuition, and desire, demanding only—and nothing less than—authentic expression.
~ Marlene A. Schiwy ~
Journals are the place to weave the dreams of the future,
dreams that are yet too tenuous and fragile to be spoken aloud.
~ Paula Chaffee Scardamalia ~
I was recently reminded about the magic of a journal while perusing my Facebook feed and noticed that an entrepreneurial business owner and friend of mine, Alicia Forest (aliciaforest.com), was talking about the many ways she journals. She journals about emotional challenges, business ideas, things she’s feeling grateful for, and sometimes, she’ll write whatever comes to mind.
Another entrepreneurial biz friend of mine, Laura West (joyfulbusiness.com), also journals a mix of ideas and thoughts but in addition to writing, she adds color and imagery to her journal pages with paints, markers, gel pens, and whatever she has on hand that day. She carries that creativity over to the cover of her journals, too.
Journals are important tools for creatives to work through creative problems, to record the development of a project, to express hopes and dreams for future work and new directions, and to just noodle.
At this time of year, a journal is a wonderful place for anyone to reflect and de-stress.
From stress that elicits that sense of too much to do and too little time. As I suggested in another article, creating lists frees the mind to focus on other things while feeling assured that nothing will be forgotten. Making lists is also a journal technique. Besides list of things you need to do, the people you want to give gifts to… or the things you will do in the next few weeks to relax and enjoy the season, lists are good when your time for journaling feels limited.
During the holiday season, journal entries, in the form of letters to those who have died, gives you a place to mourn those you miss in the midst of all the celebrations. After my mother died, I wrote a letter to her in my journal every Saturday, the day when she would normally call me. Those journal letters eased some of the pain and stress of the loss.
Write in your journal about all you’ve accomplished this year and what you hope to accomplish next year, not so much in the way of goals (although you can do that too) but in the way of what your vision is for the coming year and who you want to be at the end of it.
There are no rules. The lovely thing about a journal is that, like a dog, it will listen to whatever you have to say and will not judge you…not even if you write in it erratically.
The only thing to remember is to find a journal you like, that pleases you aesthetically. Find writing tools that make you happy as well, whether it is a fine-quality fountain pen, or fine-tipped markers, or gel pens. The point is to use tools that make the journal writing both inviting and enjoyable. And get creative and wild in it. Draw, paint, paste, emote, create.
Keeping a journal is a gift of time and discovery you give to yourself. It is a way of tuning out the noise of the season and quieting down enough to hear that inner voice, to hear your Muse.
Pssst! It also makes a great gift for other creatives in your life!