Finding Your Creativity Through Journaling
Journaling is an absolutely fantastic activity that has so many benefits. It can be really useful as a tool for improving your mental wellbeing, as well as organising your life. However, as well as the practical applications, it’s also great as an outlet for creativity.
In this article, we’ll explore how you can use journaling to express yourself in a creative way, and to really unlock your imagination. If you’re brand new to journaling, you should take a look at this article on how to get started. There are so many different ways to implement your personal style into a journal, so let’s break it down!
Choosing Your Focus
To maintain a journal, you have to think about what you’re looking to get out of it. It’s still possible to be creative whilst just using it as a daily diary, however, you have a lot more options if you include specific focus pages too. These will vary depending on what kind of person you are, and what aspects there are to your life. For example, I have pages that track my habits, my mood, my finances, what I’m watching/ reading, and my accomplishments. It’s also always a lot of fun to include a themed cover page, and a calendar is a really useful inclusion. You could include pages that are specific to your life, so for example if you enjoy exercise, then maybe you could have a page with various workout routines for different days.
There’s no limit to how many or how few focus pages you should have in your journal, but it’s recommended to do them every month. Separating your journal into months is a great way to stay organised, and also allows you to have a monthly theme, which can be a great way to mix things up. Having a monthly theme means that you can create a strong visual distinction between months, and it’s a way of linking all the pages together. Beauty is an excellent motivator, so if you pick a theme that you find pleasant to look at, then you may feel more inclined to journal more frequently.
Deciding on an Aesthetic
Now, it’s up to you whether you want to have a similar aesthetic running through your entire journal, or whether you want to completely change it every month. You’ll likely want to flip through your old journals in the future, so you should think about how it will look all together. Think about whether you want to use colour in your journal, or whether you’d prefer an elegant black and white colour scheme. You could also find something in between, and go with a monochromatic colour scheme other than black, such as all red, or all blue. If you’re unsure what to do with it, check out this handy article about Colour Theory and choosing a colour scheme.
Personally, I’d recommend picking one broad aesthetic for the whole journal (colour/ no colour, etc), and then choosing themes that work with it, but it is entirely up to you. Do consider though that it might be visually jarring if some months only use grey pencil, whereas other months are awash with vibrancy. But perhaps you’re the kind of person who would enjoy that contrast, after all, journaling is a solitary activity, designed to be purely for your own self-expression.
Allowing Yourself to be Free
Now, this part could be the most difficult for some of you. Once you’ve decided on your aesthetic choice, it’s time to actually bring it to life on the page. Most arts and crafts are designed to be seen by other people. Their purpose is to be shown off and enjoyed by many, and as a result, they’re expected to be perfect. You have to work really hard to ensure that there are no mistakes, and that you create something worthy of being seen by others. Journaling isn’t like that.
Because journaling is a personal experience, and the only person who will see your pages is you, it means that you have entire creative freedom. You can make the pages that you want to see, and you don’t have to worry about what other people will think. You can go with ideas that you think other people might find ugly. You can cut corners and make it rough around the edges. You can mix mediums, or choose colours that you like but other people find garish.
Your journal should look exactly how you want it to. It can sometimes be hard to let go of that inner voice telling us that we should be aiming for perfection, but that’s not what journaling is about, unless it’s something that’s important to you. You just want to create pages that will make you feel motivated to use your journal regularly. Once you embrace that feeling, it can be very freeing, and you may find an entirely new creative side to yourself, unconstrained by what other people are doing.
You have a whole range of options when it comes to getting creative in your journal. You may be under the misconception that you need a vast range of supplies to decorate your journal with, but that’s not the case at all. You can be creative with even just a pencil or a standard biro. The important thing is to find a style that you like. You might want to try experimenting with writing titles in different fonts such as calligraphy. You can also add little drawings and doodles to your pages to make them more personalised.
If drawing isn’t your thing, it doesn’t mean you can’t have a well decorated journal. You can buy stickers or washi tape to add some splashes of colour and detail to your pages. Stickers come in all sorts of styles, and you can buy cheaper generic ones on sites like Amazon or Wish, or you can go to Etsy and buy from small artists if you want unique stickers. You could even have a browse through the thousands of graphics available on the Creative Fabrica website, and print some out to stick in your journal.
Journaling is such a fun, creative activity that allows you to tap into your very soul and express yourself in a way that’s personal to you. You can choose which supplies you use, and how you use them. It’s a great way to stay organised in your life, whilst still finding room for imagination.