GROWTH

Wellbeing

Get Your Ideas Flowing - Keep a Journal

Creativity is an integral part of our lives. It does not matter whether you are an artist or an accountant, creativity helps us look at situations in unique ways, and it improves our ability to solve problems and identify patterns. Being creative has the potential to make our lives generally easier or, at least, more interesting and fun. It may seem creativity comes to us randomly when we are in the right mood or the right setting, but what if we actively spent time practicing and improving it as any other skill? This is something journaling can help with! 

All you need is the right supplies and time! I think having a journal that makes you excited to write in plays an important part, and with the number of options of different notebooks, journals, and writing supplies, anybody can find what they like. What can be more challenging is finding the right time, but everything becomes easier when it is implemented into a routine, and the same goes for journaling. It works best if you dedicate some time to it every day; you can even set a goal for yourself on how much you want to write each time. Personally, I write in the morning in those quiet moments before I embark on a new day. Talking about starting, you may be unsure what to start with, or what to write about in general. The amazing thing about journaling is that you do not have to start at the beginning, and you do not have to write about anything specific. What you write down does not have to be perfect and ready to be published, it is an exercise that allows you to free yourself from expectations and pressure, and asks you to let your thoughts flow freely. Start with the first thought that comes to mind when you open your journal and grab your pen.

“The best way to become a producer is to sit down every day and create. If you do that enough, you’ll consistently open yourself up to creating awe-inspiring work.” - Blake Powell

Ideas come from everything, and writing freely, without the fear of being judged, can help trigger the best ones. It is a very private exercise that should allow you to open up and let loose if we assume no one else will be reading it (at least not while you are alive anyway). When the stream of consciousness starts flowing, you may notice or capture things and ideas that were not visible to you before. Since we can get caught up in our thoughts, our mind can feel like a maze at times. It offers so much freedom to make it your own; take your journal to your favorite café, or the park, and describe what surrounds you and how it makes you feel. Write down what you did the day before, what you are planning for the following day, what are you excited about, or what you fear. By focusing on yourself or the world around you, journaling helps you become more present and attentive. Keep track of what you do, and you will start seeing a pattern - when do you feel the most inspired … the most creative?

“Just make something. It might be something crummy or awkward or not ready for prime time. If you make something, you are creative.” - Sonia Simone

You do not have to write three pages every day, it is enough to just always try, even if it will look like a shopping list with bullet points. You also do not have to take your journal with you everywhere, just use anything else when you feel an idea coming - any notes app on your phone or computer, a recipe from the grocery store, a napkin at a café, etc. I’ve created a habit for myself of writing down any idea that pops into my head because I had lost way too many of them already by just trying to remember them for later, and what a nice surprise it is to find a note you wrote that you do not even recall anymore. You can breathe a new life into it and work to create something amazing from it.

“Keep in mind that ideas are generally fleeting and must be captured as they arise. Some will hang around and let you mull them over, but most are like a flash of lightning and need instant attention.” - Bill West

The most important thing is to make it your own, have fun with it! There is no limit, you can add cut-outs from brochures or newspapers, create a mood board for yourself, add pictures, and decorate it however you prefer. I usually have one journal for one year, I dedicate one page for each new month, and make space to note my favorite books, movies, or music that I find in that month. Since I try to write every day, I put the date and time on top of each page. I decorate some pages with dried flowers and doodles or glue down notes that I wrote on random pieces of paper. It all depends on my mood; I love that it gets messy and is far from perfect. It is beautiful to look through my old journals and be reminded of what has happened and how I have changed and progressed. So, I encourage you to get yourself a journal, find your own unique style, and write, write, WRITE!

Nahotaduse (Natalia J.)

April 12, 2022

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