9 Creative Journaling Ideas to Steal
Perhaps you want to journal but feel like you must write down everything about your life. This is something you are neither interested in nor have the time to do. Here are some suggestions to explore to enhance your already creative journaling adventures. Or, maybe you are looking to get started now.
Let us know if you disagree but writing down every single detail of every single day is boring. Unless, of course, you’re practicing some form of creative writing where observation is what counts. But, under normal conditions, it is boring for the reader, and boring for the person who writes them. Journals are meant to express yourself in your own unique and creative way. Write about the milestones and special events, and go in detail only if your heart desires it. Otherwise, keep it to the point. Make sure to date it – when you read it several years down the road, you will get a nice reminder of how things used to be and how you’ve changed over time.
Get in touch with your 5 senses
Involve the five senses into your journaling session and watch your writing elevate. After all, all the great writers do it. Let’s say you’re describing a special day in your journal. Define the senses, the experience of which may have been unique to you only. What did you see? Colours, shapes, forms, light, etc. What did you hear, taste, and smell? What did you feel – perhaps external sensations or those you felt inside your heart? Use descriptive words.
We will never stop saying the word “gratitude”. As a matter of fact, we don’t say it enough. It is too easy to forget all the things we have in our lives that are pure blessings. The human mind operates on a primal instinct to ensure survival. So, to find happiness, you have to force and train the mind to feel it, and to make positivity a part of our everyday life. Gratitude is perhaps the simplest and the most effective way to do this. Gratitude makes you focus on what’s good in front of you instead of what’s wrong. By practicing gratitude every day and writing about it, you essentially train your mind so stay in positivity mode.
It simply means to create a visual for yourself in your journal. This method is used to easily plan things, detangle and deconstruct challenges, or simply, take notes and remember them. It requires you to write down a main idea or central theme I the middle of the page. Then, you come up with ideas that generate around that idea or theme. A good practice is to create branches or sub-themes to keep your thoughts organized.
To explain, consider this simple example. Let’s say you want to write out a list of things you must do before you are take a trip. In the middle of the page you will say “things to do before I leave for my trip” (or you can draw yourself holding your luggage and exiting at the front door. Before you go, you may have some work-related tasks to complete, so one branch will be called “work”. Then, you must tell your neighbour to water your plants and watch out for your mail. You must also empty out the dishwasher and clean out the fridge – for all this, you may have another branch called “tasks at home”. Finally, you may have a list of things you must buy for your trip, so that’s another branch called “shopping”. And so on…
Answer some deep questions for yourself
Come up with some thought-provoking and deeply personal questions and answer them in your journal.
Perhaps you'd like to get started by answering some of all of these following 10 questions for yourself and then take it from there.
- Not including any people who inspire you, what are the top five things that inspire you in your life the most?
- How can one make you smile instantly on a good or bad day?
- What has been your greatest accomplishment so far?
- Looking back 7-10 years of your life, what are some of the life lessons have you learned that have changed you for the better/made you stronger?
- What are ten most favourite things about yourself? (CHALLENGE: You MUST list at least 10 things – after that, the more, the merrier.)
- What is your oldest memory?
- If a magic lamp happened to materialize itself for you, what would be your three wishes? (RULE: you cannot wish for unlimited wishes.)
- How does it feel to be your age?
- What does happiness mean to you?
- Why are you passionate about what you do?
Every journal ever deserves 2-4 pages (minimum) for doodling purposes. Let it flow out as it will.
If you must be proper and have a nice organized looking drawing, try out zentangles. What? It's just when you draw structured patterns into shapes (or freestyle). These patterns are called "tangles".
For example, here are two glorious examples by Swati H Das, a professional artist.
Make a list of 50 things you want to do in your life
Some ideas of categories: family goals, and goals for travel, personal finances, learning new things, pursuing hobbies you’ve always wondered about, charity and giving, etc.
Collect quotes and reflect on them
The greatest quotes are the ones that resonate with us the deepest. So many of us take screenshots of these quotes and keep them on our phones to read them again and again. Especially if the quote resonated with you so deeply that you want to incorporate its teaching in your own life, journal about it and write out why it resonated with you.
Keep a journal next to your bed and, as soon as you wake up, write down as much description as you can. You know it, in a few minutes, you are likely never going to be able to recall those dreams fully, especially their details. In doing so, you may strike an inspiration for creative ideas. Therefore, it is important to not interpret your dreams, but to just record. If you are good at drawing, even sketch them out.
Let us know if you have any other great ideas you would like to share with us. Add a comment below.
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