daily writing in your journal helps creativity blossom
I began journaling about 5 years ago when I took an email class based on the book "The Artist's Way". It was quite a struggle at first; finding time to write, wondering what to write, and even deciding whether to write in a notebook or on the computer.
I tended to get my journal written in on calm days and to neglect it for days at a time when life got hectic. I considered it something extra that I "should" do for my own good; something that was quickly sacrificed if other things needed to be done. At times I was simply distracted and forgot all about it. Sometimes I'd lapse for weeks then get back to writing, determined to be more faithful.
Gradually I found myself getting a little more consistent and felt a bit virtuous that I was journaling on a pretty regular basis. But life still gets in the way now and then and there were times I left the journaling by the wayside for a few days at a time. It was then that I realized that writing in my journal was no longer simply a good habit for me, it was a necessity.
Without my journaling "fix", I found my days were scattered and my mind spinning with regrets, responsibilities and frustrations. I began to realize the true benefit of my "Morning Pages". They weren't just for making plans or writing inspirations, though they did include both at time. The real magic in them is in a mysterious sort of "laying down" of my hopes, fears, problems and insights. Once placed on the page I could let go of the mind chatter and simply live the day based on the morning "sorting" done in my journal.
Once I understood how a journal helps form my days in this way I realized that many of my other concerns simply didn't matter. It didn't really matter if I wrote on a monitor screen or a sheet of paper. It didn't matter if I spent the morning grumbling about something , planning a project or describing the view outside my window. Whatever I wrote was what I needed to be writing that day. Often I started with mundane concerns of the day and once those were put down inspiration could slip in. But at times several days in my journal were filled with irritations and regrets until it seemed the writing itself had diminished them. This left room for appreciation of the beauty around me and my plans began to be filled with creativity. While I find I prefer writing in the morning there are times that writing in the evening makes more sense as I sort out the day. I have come to believe the time is less important than the simple act of writing.
So in answer to the question, "Can journal writing increase creativity?" I simply say that it creates a space in your life by helping you let go of those unresolved things that fill your mind. It then gives you a tool for gathering your insights and dreams as well as sorting things out. Is journaling for you? You can't know without giving it an extended trial. A few days or even weeks won't tell. I didn't really know what a difference it made until I had been writing most days for many months. And even then, I knew not by the writing but by the hole it left in my day when I didn't write.
Exploring Women's Creativity © 1999 Judy Anne Breneman
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