Having an outlet for creativity, such as creative journaling, can help you in many ways, even if, as a writer, you're already a creative person.
No matter how much you love writing, you may need to process things differently to move your book idea or article forward. Or maybe you just want to try a new hobby!
Journaling creatively is a great way to do that, and it's different from regular journaling. Instead of just writing, you can use mediums like art, freewriting, and other unique ideas.
What is creative journaling?
Creative journaling is an artistic process for journaling that allows you to express your thoughts in many different ways, and there are very few rules.
It can involve writing but also art. You might draw or scrapbook, and it generally allows you to process ideas differently than just writing them down.
And there are a lot of great reasons to give this a try. Here are some of them!
How is creative journaling beneficial to writers and authors?
There are plenty of benefits to creative journaling for writers and authors, including expanding your writing style and getting rid of writer's block.
Want to come up with a new character? Create a scene? Need to think through your ideas? Journaling can help with all of that.
Here are some of the great reasons to make it part of your writing practice.
It's a different medium for expressing your ideas
If you're looking for a way to convey a mood or a scene in a story you're writing, being creative can help because it lets you think differently. Instead of just seeing words on a page, you can visualize through art.
This process can help expand your mind, especially if you're stuck in a rut with writing or need clarification on where a story is going.
Helps you remember ideas and supports mental health
Do you ever have an idea that you just have to write down immediately? Having a creative process allows you to remember your thoughts by drawing, writing, mind mapping, and other mediums.
If you spend time writing things down, you are more likely to remember them. In addition, creative journaling often involves art, which is known to help with mental health by lowering stress and anxiety.
Strengthens your writing style
By allowing you to think outside the box, journaling creatively helps you decide your writing style, and then you can strengthen it. You can use creativity to form different perspectives and ideas, seeing what fits your writer's voice or style the best.
Using different art mediums, you could express various characters or scenes in a story. This will help you create ideas for a character or can help you make a story more vivid. When you do this, it might be easier to go back to your book or article with a fresh perspective.
Helps you have a creative outlet that doesn't feel like work
If you're a writer or author for a living, you likely love to write. However, because this process includes more than just writing, it allows you to express yourself in a way that doesn't feel like work.
It doesn't have a deadline or an outline. It's just you and your ideas, however you want to express them. This can lead to breakthroughs in your writing.
Can help you overcome writer's block
Sometimes you may struggle with staring at a blank page and realizing you cannot write, otherwise known as writer's block. In this case, being creative can help.
You write differently than you usually do, but you can express your ideas by drawing, painting, word art, or whatever you want. So when the words aren't flowing, using a different tool can help you move past it.
8 Key tips for creative journaling
Before you get started with this new idea, you should get organized and decide what type of activity you want to try out for your journaling process. Then you can focus on being creative.
1. Have supplies
First thing, you should gather supplies. You'll obviously want pens, pencils, erasers, and a notebook or journal.
But beyond that, you can also use markers, stickers, multi-colored pens and pencils, glitter, photographs, scrapbooking supplies, etc. Whatever you think will help you to be creative.
It's essential that you get all your supplies ready before you start your writing session because once you begin, you don't want to interrupt the creative process.
2. Make it a practice or habit
Although you can reach for your journal at any time, if you make a practice of it by journaling, say, once or twice a week, you'll eventually make it a habit that you do consistently.
If you make a practice or schedule for journaling, you're also more likely to keep up with it and not forget. This can help your writing for your book or for freelance writing, as well.
3. Try bullet journaling
If your brain is too exhausted from writing all day to form complete sentences, you can try bullet journaling.
This practice allows you to write down just the main ideas you want to convey and use artwork if you want. These could be ideas for a story, details you want to remember with your work, etc.
A great place to start is to use your bullet journal to keep track of writing goals, though people use bullet journals for many different things.
4. Draw characters from your book or stories
If you're an author, you can draw the characters from your book to help add detail to the characters and be more creative when you write scenes. If you're an artist, that's great. But if you aren't, don't let that stop you.
It's your creative journal, so the drawings are just for you. They don't have to be perfect.
You could write down a character's name and the important aspects of their personality and then create a drawing of them.
5. Try freewriting but add extra creativity
If you have too many ideas or thoughts about your story - or not enough - try freewriting. This is a practice where you set a timer and write whatever is on your mind until the time is done.
You can write about anything but you can also focus on a certain topic if you prefer, and doing this can help you find a great idea you didn't know you had or move past writer's block.
To make this more of a creative process, you can decorate your freewriting pages with stickers, drawings, etc. It might help to write down everything you can think of and then sort through it in an artistic way.
6. Use mind mapping
Mind mapping starts with one main idea, and then you write other sub-topic ideas around it. This is extremely useful for building stories and book chapters. It also might help with writing articles if the article is long and you want to create more structure.
As you build your mind map, you can also draw or add specific colors to the subjects in the mind map. By doing this, you can organize your ideas for later use.
7. Write with journaling prompts
Journaling prompts are really helpful when you have no idea what to write. The prompts are questions or ideas that you can write about. This is great for authors writing a story, freelance writers trying to come up with ideas for an article, or anyone else.
Here are a few examples:
- What is the biggest challenge the main character in your story is facing?
- What are the details of the main point you want to make with your article?
- How would you explain a scene in your story from a different perspective than the one you are currently using?
8. Make an art project
If you're dealing with writer's block or need to give your brain a break from thinking about a story or article, try creating an art project in your creative journal.
You can do this in multiple ways, from scrapbooking to drawing. You can also use a lot of mediums, such as stickers, paint, or glitter.
Taking the time to create something new can help you process writer's block, focus on a particular character's story, or simply stop thinking about writing so you can clear your head and go back to work with fresh ideas.
For example, you might do an art project expressing your story's main idea. Or you could create something that describes how you feel when writing is difficult. It's up to you!
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Anyone can use creative journaling to become a better writer
Creative journaling is a fun and relaxing way to let your brain rest or think differently. Doing this regularly will allow you to become a better writer or author. It's helpful to think creatively and in different ways than usual because you can come up with more ideas.
In addition, anyone can journal creatively. You can do this for fun, to help you meet your writing goals and deadlines, or to think of new ideas for your manuscript.
Whatever way you choose to be creative, know that creative journaling is a great tool to help you with your writing!