Journaling has been a common theme throughout my life. As a child I dreamt of having a diary with a lock and key to share my deepest secrets. I still have that journal, and all the ones that came after that. Journaling was one of those tools that helped me during some of the most challenging and lonely times of my life.
From all my time journaling I’ve learned a lot, so I thought I might share some of my findings with you:
Judgment and Self-Criticism is the Enemy of Creativity
Many of us are socialized to criticize ourselves while we're writing. Writing brings us back to that place in school where we had to read our work out loud, or that teacher that corrected our spelling or grammar. I think this causes us a lot of issues when we are trying to channel that creativity.
When writing creatively, a lot of that same judgement can come up again.
We sit there with a blank page and start wondering if what we're writing is any good or if we even should be writing down these thoughts at all. But as I said, judgment is the enemy of creativity. It holds you back from expressing yourself fully and freely.
So my first suggestion would be to try to let go of a lot of that judgment.
Think of your journal as a safe space, a place that isn't meant to be read, but instead to be for your own eyes. This may help you feel more freedom.
When I started writing for me, my thoughts started flowing a lot more freely.
Allow there to be Seasons of Expression
We often think of journaling as an all-or-nothing endeavour. Either you write daily, or you don’t write at all.
This just simply isn't true. There are going to be seasons of your life where you are ready and willing to write down a lot of what's going on. Maybe you're struggling with some intrusive thoughts? or something has come up in your relationship?
This is when you're going to feel more called to go to your journal, and you’ll find yourself writing a lot more.
What I love most about journaling during these creative periods is that it becomes almost an archive of your memories. A place where you can document a season in your life, and look back on it.
They're also going to be times in your life where you don't write so much. Where opening up those blank pages in your Journal feels like a chore. I try not to judge myself when I take breaks from my journal, or when I forget about my journal and let it collect dust on my nightstand. It’s okay to not want to look inward sometimes.
I want my journal to be a safe space for thoughts, and that's why I try not to put pressure on myself to use it when I am not feeling up to it. It’ll still be that place I can turn to when I am upset, or want to share something.
Try different mediums.
I don't believe that there is one right way to express yourself.
Sometimes I doodle when I don’t know what to say.
Sometimes I write poems.
Sometimes I write to-do lists, or daily affirmations.
I think when I stopped trying to just make it a diary, and realized I could use it to express myself creatively in different ways, I started using it more.
I would recommend that you try the same thing! Journal the way that feels right for you in that moment, instead of trying to mold your self expression into something conventional!
I hope that these tips on journaling help you as much as they helped me. Journaling is an immensely powerful tool for self discovery, and understanding your thoughts and intuition. I wish you the best of luck with your journaling & feel free to find us on Instagram and let us know how it goes!
Ps. If you’re looking to purchase some journals check out some of ours are cheekpeachdesigns.com