Monday, 6 August 2007

How Do You Journal?

I recently posted that I was back to journalling to stimulate my creativity, and the talented Elizabeth asked what I actually did in my journal. The answer is, everything! Everyone has a different way of doing things, but when I journal there are no rules, I believe it should simply be 'right' for you.

I actually have three journals that I run at the same time. I know this is probably crazy, but I find it works well for me. You may prefer to use just one.

The first one is a large spiral journal for painting. The idea here is no plans - paint loose and free, spontaneously experimenting with colour and line, fearlessly taking risks - this is where you discover all the juicy creative brilliance. Mistakes are welcome and you don't have to be neat.

A second one I use for sketching and doodling which usually evolves into designs. The third is for my personal thoughts and ideas. This is like writing 'morning pages', except I write at any time of day or night, whenever I feel like it. I use both these last two for writing poetry and will often write 'key' words down the page in fancy lettering, just to remind me of the mood or theme I might be searching for in either poem or art. These keywords will stimulate that creative spot in your brain. Often, I have begun doodling only to end up writing poetry or vice versa! You could scrapbook here too if you wanted, use gel pens, crayons, stencilling, anything - go crazy! No pressure to do it daily, but it does pay to show up regularly.

I recently read a post by Alyson B. Stanfield at her artbiz blog where she talks in a podcast about "gathering your artistic brilliance". Here she suggests using a box to collect all those written down creative ideas, saying that Julia Cameron's method of daily morning pages is "not for everyone". It's worth a listen if you're looking for a different way of doing things.

Magical artist Judy Wise regularly posts some really beautiful journal pages, and shares here, (titled "what I do") what journalling means for her.


  1. THANK YOU SO MUCH - a for the name check too :-) Very cool.

    I am very pleased to read your thoughts on journalling, as I am keen to start but not sure what exactly is involved. I have started doing some daily (well almost daily!) sketching, with a bit of doodling thrown in, but really like your idea of 3 journals. This is especially satisfying to my orderely mind... but will remember not to be 'neat' in the painting one ;-)

    I did pop over to tag you, as I have just nominated you for a 'Blogger Reflection Award' ... details on my blog.

    You're tagged!

  2. P.S. We have actually managed to have 3 days of sunshine here - I keep pinching myself to see if its real!

    Just posted the tag now...

  3. I agree, do whatever works for you, just keep on creating!

  4. I really enjoyed reading about your journals -- very inspiring and freeing -- very creative too. "Naked Dream" is really beautiful.

  5. I too journal, Patti, and enjoy reading about your process here. It sounds like you are very intentional about being creative, which is exciting and inspirational to me.


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