Three ways a daily journaling practice will help you cultivate your creativity
Maybe you've read The Artist's Way and are interested in the idea of morning pages, or perhaps you've heard the buzz around journaling but aren't sure where you would start. What do you have to write, after all? Isn't keeping a diary for children? (Spoiler alert: the answer is no.) Well, I'm not you, so I won't have all the answers for you, but I do feel confident that daily journaling is a helpful practice for everyone. We all are creative, and enabling our creative sides to grow and flourish helps both us and the world around us. So even if you aren't a writer, here are a few reasons to start your daily journaling practice today.
1. Practicing putting words onto the page will help you start to evade your inner critic and let yourself flow.
When we're trying to be creative, especially if it's a new habit to form, we're often blocked by our own feelings of inadequacy. We see other art around us that we want to emulate, and because we haven't gained the skills yet, our art falls short. This can stop us in our tracks -- why even keep moving forward? But we have to get around that voice if we're ever going to get started!
Journaling is a great way to do this because you can create a space where you aren't holding yourself to any standard of quality. You could write "this is awful and I hate it" on the page repeatedly, and as long as you show up and put pen to page, you've done the thing! (And I assure you after like 30 seconds of writing "this is awful I hate it" over and over again, you're going to want to write something else.)
So to me, a core part of starting a journaling practice is making a commitment to yourself that you will show up. What happens after that doesn't matter, and you don't need to judge yourself. Personally, I set a timer for 15 minutes when I sit down. My commitment is that I will sit down and do the thing for those 15 minutes. I will write about whatever comes into my little head and just work to keep the pen moving. Some folks measure pages (get to the end of three pages). Do something that works for you, but make the commitment about showing up, not about what you produce.
2. Journaling creates intentional space for you to engage with your own thoughts and feelings, so you can start to see patterns and trends.
As you keep creating pages of words, some of them are bound to be something that isn't "why am I writing this, I don't know what to write." 🤣 And you'll start to see trends in what you've been thinking and feelings, themes you're exploring, issues that keep arising -- whatever it is, you'll have a written record of it. This is a treasure trove both for personal development and cultivating your creativity. One day we may feel something very strongly but later not quite recall what was going on. Writing it down helps you work through it at the time, but also reference it later.
3. As you start to feel more comfortable regularly expressing yourself in a journal, you'll find yourself more free to express yourself in the other areas of your life.
Practice makes progress, and if you commit to your journaling practice of self expression, it will naturally bleed into the other areas of your (creative) life. The best way to get through a creative block is to keep creating. That routine of expression will help you continue to push through the more difficult times. When you're not feeling like creating for public consumption, that's okay! But continuing to get something out can help you maintain the routing and the practice, so that when inspiration strikes again, you're ready to capture it.
There are many other great reasons to keep a daily journal, and these are just a few. Are you a regular journal? Or are you just starting a journaling practice? If you need a new journal to write in, you can check out some I have available here. It's always nice to have something beautiful to write in, to keep you wanting to return to it.
I'd love to hear any of the other reasons you like to journal! Let me know in the comments, or come check out my Discord community the Soft Heart Society and take a look at the regular journal prompts we share there 📝💜
Thank you for being here 👋 I'm a queer artist who has intentionally built a life where I can work remotely and travel the world. Along the way, I'm trying to figure out how to be a good human.
I want to work together to help you create the world you want to live in. I write, make art, and create community spaces for us to to share thoughts, feelings, & opportunities for us to explore together. Being human is hard, but we can make it easier for each other. I believe in us. 💜