The Creative Process of Journaling
Are you still grappling to increase your creative potential? Do you think creativity involves a mystical state of mind attained only by a blessed few? I’m here to tell you that you don’t have to drink exotic herbal teas or meditate for 8 hours like the monks. Labeling the creative mind as mystical and putting it up on an unattainable pedestal does no good. In fact, it’s a myth that you need to bust at the earliest! According to Forbes, Creativity is the skill of the future! Today I’m going to talk about a very simple practice that can open the doors of creativity in your mind. The simple practice of journaling. Transferring your thoughts into words. The purpose behind journaling is not only writing thoughts and feelings in a book. It’s a journey towards an unknown destination. A journey of self discovery.
A Creative Process as Profound as Meditation
Journaling is more like meditation. Everyone knows what to do and yet, can’t get themselves to do it! When you want to meditate, you find a quiet place, sit down, close your eyes and focus on your breath, but how many of us actually do it the first time? Whereas in journaling, you find a quiet place, get out a book& pen and start writing. Sounds easy, isn’t it? But how many of us can actually get words onto paper at will? What’s interesting is, in meditation the thoughts don’t go away and in journaling the right thoughts don’t come to us!! Yet both are powerful methods to connect with ourselves and get our creative juices flowing. Without digressing, let’s get into the topic for today, Journaling.
Journaling is still one of the easiest and profound ways to open the gates of creativity for anyone! Even kids! Contrary to what most people think, You don’t have to be a skillful writer to write down your thoughts. It has nothing to do with vocabulary, grammar, or having a superior command in a certain language. Nor do you have to confine it to only words. Pictures, symbols or anything that gives some kind of meaning to your thoughts is a great way to unleash your creative abilities. It is all about giving meaning and form to abstract thoughts. This is where it gets interesting! When we consistently get our thoughts on paper, we unknowingly tap into emotions and ideas that are volatile and sometimes not easy to comprehend unless given a form.
Every Creative process needs Discipline
When I first started journaling, I was looking for an outlet to clear out stalled emotions. Emotions that were no longer serving me. My intention was to process the thoughts and emotions that were gnawing my insides away like a termite. An urgent need to make space for balance and calm nudged me to start journaling. I had started and stopped several times before, waiting for my muse to magically transmute my thoughts into the perfect words. Well, not this time. I knew what I had to do and yet, a book and pen were somehow not enough. Nor were my uncomfortable emotions enough motivation to start this wonderful practice! This is where you bring in your resolve and discipline. Anyone who has achieved anything in life will tell you, It is the first step that is difficult, but once you start, the rest falls into place.
Journaling is a unique creative process. It serves different purposes to different people. Today we’re going to explore some simple ways we can practice journaling and open the door of creativity and innovation. Something you never thought existed.
Your Unique Creative Process
This type of journaling is exactly what the term freestyle means. Write without a plan or structure. So pull out a notebook for this specific purpose, or a word doc and start writing or typing whatever comes to mind. Now the main idea here is to not over think your thoughts or judge them for what they are. Simply pour in whatever thoughts come to mind without putting any kind of filter on it. For God’s sake, don’t let your inner editor out! Freestyle journaling is simply a brain dump exercise. A peep into the recesses of your mind.
A gratitude journal is for people focusing or gratitude. If you intend to shift your perspective to a more positive and cheerful outlook, then this is a great way to start. Write down whatever you are grateful for. The difference between thinking about gratitude and writing it is, that writing gives our mind a much more solid proof and makes it more real.
This kind of journaling is to boost your self-confidence and to train the mind to appreciate yourself and others. To look for only good. Take out a journal and start writing out everything that you appreciate in yourself and others. This isn’t about vanity or pride, but a genuine effort to pat yourself for the person you’ve become. Sometimes we don’t realize our own worth. An appreciation journal can help with just that.
Clearing or therapy-
The last one I’m going to talk about today is journaling to clear out unwanted thoughts and emotions. Now, When you write to clear your mind, it is not advisable to go back and read through the entries of your clearing journal. This is to release negative emotions and thoughts that might be hindering you. Write it, release it and forget it. Here’s a quick read from The University of Rochester on the topic.
The Creative process of YOU!
There are many other ways to journal. Start with whatever your heart desires. With time, the magic begins to happen. You gain clarity and tap into ideas and thoughts that can lead you to wonderful journeys of self discovery and creativity. If you’re feeling a little more adventurous, check out my previous post on using your non-dominant hand to journal! So what is your journaling story? Which one is your favorite kind? I’d love to know in the comments below. Happy journaling!