5 Benefits of Journaling: Creativity

Photo by Estée Janssens on Unsplash

Creativity – where does it come from? I don’t know about you, but I find a lot of whispers and shouts of inspiration pretty much everywhere I look. And the many journals I keep help me track the sources and flesh out the inspiration. Journaling lets me go on a little journey every time – without the demand to be a performance for others.

Quotes from books and films and music or the world at large, new ideas, old ideas, turning the new and old over like compost (buckets of egg shells, peels from carrots, onions, potatoes, and the ends of green beans…there’s an endless metaphor in there. I’ll have to explore it in my journal.) (See what I did there? ;-))

The creativity that bubbles up as you capture splinters and shards of inspiration is infinite. Scribble them into your journal pages to explore or simply to light you up. That’s rich and beautiful compost.

An aspect of creativity that doesn’t get addressed much is timing. Learning about timing and its place in the creative process is often painful. We have our timelines or worse, we have other people’s timelines which become our timelines… and it’s all imaginary. We tell ourselves, “I shall write this story and it shall be glorious and make me rich and famous and have all the cupcakes I ever wanted by April 1.”

Yeah, I’ve played that tale over and over and over. Let me tell you this – and I hope you hear me. We are all a storehouse of seeds. Some things don’t bear fruit for a long time while others surprise us and pop up seemingly overnight. The seed must have proper causes and conditions – the right soil, light, water, wind, and intentions to nourish and encourage. The seed holds all the potentiality but it cannot do it alone.

So, if a project seems blocked or stalled, we must nourish ourselves. How does journaling do that? It makes us pay attention, bring awareness to our life, slows us down to see what is fitting, what is extraneous, and what brings joy in this moment – not yesterday or tomorrow. Yep, journaling does all that.

What feels like “I’m stuck” is often the need for a little more inspiration and spaciousness. By journaling your way through this odyssey, you touch into your own timing. How? By stopping to smell the roses and the chocolate cake, scribbling about the tastes, smells, textures, and insights. If it’s not the time for this project, move on. If it’s important, it will have its right time. And if it doesn’t that is okay. It’s all okay.

So, capture what sparks you up. All your creative works will benefit. Quotes from books you read, a lyric you heard…play these back like you would an old mixed-tape (cue 80s reference). Rewind. Hit play. Rewind. Hit play again. Sit with it, then write through whatever rises to the surface and you’ll find new inspiration. I’m not saying run from one thing to the next trying to capture a high. It’s not about being in love with love but about taking your creative work seriously and to the next level. Get real by getting under the surface with it.

Creative work demands much from its maker. A journal lets you capture the elements from to-do lists to quotes to concerns and frustrations. It’s the best coach you’ll ever have because you see your bullshit and your wisdom. Trust it.

Check back on Monday for the final segment of this series on the Top 5 Benefits of Journaling series.

If you’re interested and ready to take your creative life to the next level, I can’t wait to share with you my upcoming new book “Writing for Creative Awakening.” It contains 6 intensive writing and journaling methods to bring you greater clarity, creative energy, and connection. Crack open your creative life and do the great work you are here to do. More on this soon.

Until next time,