notebook and pen

The power of the creativity journal

When I refocused this blog a few months ago, I maintained an ambitious goal of posting approximately once per week.

Clearly I do not regularly meet that goal.

In my defense, I have a lot going on at this juncture. That’s not an excuse but an admission to myself that there are several other things competing for my time and attention.

Something that’s also taking a hit of late is my creative work. I had developed a creative writing routine in the past few months that led me to accomplish some great things; I also had some external deadlines to give me the motivation I needed to finalize some projects. But, as project drafts are wrapped up, new work doesn’t materialize.

What’s helped me maintain a habit of writing and also provided me with an outlet for exploring my frustrations and ideas is what I’m calling a creativity journal.

I’ve written about work journals in the past (and I do occasionally journal about this). What’s different than “here’s what’s going on in my day” of a standard journal is “here’s what’s going on in my head with regard to my craft.”

You can write about how your commitments are proving to be a distraction. You can mull over an idea for a project. You can write about your insecurities large and small in a space that no one is going to encounter.

collage of journal and pages

I write in a paper notebook but of course this can be digital. (I like using paper because this is one of the few moments when I get to handwrite something instead of typing.)

You can pick whatever frequency works best for you. I aim for once per day, even though that doesn’t always happen. Maybe you shoot for one longer entry once per week, to really do a deep dive on whatever’s been on your mind.

The benefits:

  • You have to write. Even if you’re stuck creatively, you commit to journaling on a regular basis.
  • You get to explore whatever’s on your mind. Identify themes and connect your life to your creative endeavors.
  • This is for creative work. Do your best to aim your thinking toward this goal.

What do you think? Have you used–do you currently use–a journal to help cultivate creativity and keep you on track when things are busy?

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