Today’s post is on the benefits of keeping a creative journal. Let me tell you how I started my creative journal. Ever since I received my first pocket Hello Kitty diary as a 9 year old, I have kept a journal/diary. At first, the entries were about what I did or had planned for that day (went to the skating rink with best friend 💕 Aruni 💕, or buy birthday present for Mom etc.) In my teens, I copied down my favorite poems and quotes (T.S. Eliot, Wordsworth, Shelley, Oscar Wilde) into my journal plus I wrote my own poetry ( the Titanic was a huge inspiration!). I loved looking through the pages and having all my favorite quotes in one place. I also had scrap books filled with pictures of the British royal family, places I wanted to travel to, graphics and ads from magazines- if it appealed to me, it went into one of my books. Somewhere along the way, my writing journal and scrapbooks came together and I started using my written words with drawings, scraps of paper, greeting cards, comic strips etc. to chronicle my creative inspiration and process.
So, what is a creative journal? A journal where you express yourself through your words, art, pictures or mixed media collages. Who should keep one? I think everyone should try it! Yes, artists have always kept creative journals, but it’s not the territory of creatives alone. Nor is it something that you only do when you are younger! Don’t dismiss it as silly! I never thought of myself as creative until I was in my 30’s, but when I look back at some of my earlier journals now, I can see that I have always been visually inclined, and by that I mean, pictures do take the place of a thousand words for me. I also loved the juxtaposition of words and pictures. The advantages of writing in a journal are many, but when I added the visual element, it helped me really connect with what inspires me. I use creative journaling to bookmark what inspires me, to write down my thoughts, to process emotions, and to set personal and professional goals (like creating vision boards). And because I love gorgeous photographs, the journal is filled with pictures I have taken as well as magazine cutouts; it is something I keep on my bedside and flip through often. I can see what was in my thoughts 2 years ago and how it’s changed. Recurring themes. Blocks. Patterns. Most importantly for me, I feel awesome and light as a young child when I take out the scissors, my journal and magazines. There is something about the physical act of putting it down in a book that makes everything more tangible.
Now it’s your turn! Do you keep a creative journal? I would love to hear your thoughts! If you’d like to read about the benefits of journaling, here are two links (1, 2) that talk about its therapeutic value.
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