What daily practice can help you grow in creativity, both in the arts and in problem solving? Keep a creative journal, and you will amaze yourself with your own innovations. Remember that there is no one right way to keep a journal. Creative journaling is about trying things until you find your own favorite methods of expressing yourself.
First, let yourself off the hook when it comes to having every page picture perfect. Either use a loose-leaf and discard the mistakes, or invest in some erasable pens. Better yet, learn to see an occasional mess as an inevitable sign of your own humanness, and nothing to be ashamed of. Mistakes are simply stepping stones in your growth and understanding. Besides, your journal is for you and no one else, unless you decide to make it public. Who cares about an occasional flub?
So don’t let perfectionism stop you in your tracks. Now that that’s been said, let’s consider what it means to be creative in your journal.
POETRY: A journal is a terrific place to write those snips of poetry that come to you from time to time. Don’t worry about rhyming or not rhyming. If you like poems that rhyme, let it go. Never mind that rhyming poetry is out of vogue if it works for you. In fact, try a structured rhyme scheme, like a sonnet.
CREATIVE WRITING ASSIGNMENTS: If you have dreams of being a published writer, work through writing books in your journal. Do the assignments in your journal and you will be amazed what gems of wit you will have, and all collected in one place, too.
PERSONAL FRUSTRATIONS: Intersperse poems and writing assignments with your frustrating moments. Perhaps on paper, the humor of an impossible situation will begin to emerge. Never underestimate the healing benefit of a sense of humor.
WISHES, HOPES, DREAMS, AND PRAYERS: What would you most like to see happen during your lifetime? Do you dream of business success or fame? Do you long for a relationship with a special person? Do you have altruistic desires, wishing that underprivileged or downtrodden people could have a better life? Is there someone you love who is sick or has an addiction? Pour out your heartfelt desires and prayers for their recovery. Scientists are beginning to document just how much real power there is in prayer.
LISTS: They may not look very creative, but lists make wonderful journal entries. List your goals or your favorite things. List the qualities you adore about your cat. List the decorative changes you’d like to make in your bedroom. List the staples you’d like to always have on hand in your pantry. Of course, these are just ideas, but lists can be both creative and practical.
COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS: To take time to remember what you have going for you might be the biggest benefit of your journal when it comes to improving your attitude and preserving your mental health. Get creative as you think of things you appreciate. Have you considered the good highways you have to travel? How about that nice quality set of pots and pans you have for cooking for your family? Do you have your own washer and dryer, or one you can access easily? Write down all those little blessings that are so easy to forget.
Remember that there is no one right way of keeping a creative journal. The goal is to find the ways that work the best for you. Let these ideas get your own creative juices flowing, so that your personal journal Zinnia becomes your very own unique expression of who you are.