Journaling is the route to creativity, that much I knowThe creative economy is booming. The creative industries’ record contribution to UK economy in 2016 demonstrates it’s a sector worth £92bn and is actually growing at twice the rate of the economy. How utterly exciting is that? Journaling is up there as a key skill Personally, I think creativity has never been a more saleable commodity. Finally my creative approach that got me into so much trouble at school is finally in fashion. What took you so long I say?
Journaling needs to become a key skill practised everywhereIt’s all very well saying that we should be more creative but what might that look like? Are creatives born that way? Is it nature or nurture? Can we learn to lead a more creative life or are some people simply blessed? Get outta here! Personally speaking I think creativity stems from mindfulness. Yes, I know it all sounds rather touchy feely but in my opinion it’s true. If you are not thinking about what you are doing how can you ever find connections or notice synchronicity?
One of the suggested techniques to promote a more creative approach is to spend time free thinking.That means you take yourself away form the centre of technology, noise, conversation, smart phones or any other time sucker and let yourself take time to think. What am I going to think you’re probably asking? I don’t know. That’s the point. We all need to give our brains time to freely associate, find connections, create networks, links and chains. It’s a way of filtering out the noise and pondering what you know, what you don’t, what’s important, trivial, annoying. When you get shot of all that what you’re left with is some empty space. Thoughts and connection of the strangest types then tend to flood in. Think about dreams. Isn’t that a time when the brain goes pottering off and rifling through all the detritus of the day?
What is my journaling ritual?My journaling starts the moment I rise. The ritual begins like this: pick some lemon verbena leaves, put them in a cup. Whilst I’m in the garden the kettle is boiling. I make the infusion and carry it to my little writing studio outside and start writing. I have a very specific journal, usually without lines and I use a very specific black Pilot pen and nothing else will do. I often start writing my journal in my head as I wake and it’s this that kicks me out of bed.
What impact does my journaling have?
The weird thing is I don’t read my journals back. It is enough to have written them. I begin, usually top left hand side of a left hand page. I put my pen to the paper and start. If I’m desperate I talk about the cloud formation, what I can see, hear, smell and just start limbering up. I usually begin by whining about something: feel cold, too tired, headache etc. I get all that out onto the page and it stops me from thinking about them and spoiling my day. I started this new book on the 9th July and this mrning I decided to read what I had written. What a shock!
Learn much more about yourselfI didn’t realise how nihilistic I had been feeling at the beginning of last month. I had lost focus, there were lots of things wrong, I knew I had to make a tangible difference but wasn’t doing any of it. Why? It was because I had been unable to write for twelve months as I had an issue with my thumb. My doctor had suggested a break. It nearly killed me. I was frustrated, angry, lacking purpose, felt distinctly uncreative and felt like I couldn’t string two words together. Thats’ not true of course but it felt like that at times.
Plan your life with your journalObviously much of what i had written really resonated as reading back I realised I have mopped up all the problems I was experiencing just four weeks ago. One morning, out of the blue I outlined a book that I wanted to write, I didn’t even realise that was the case. Within minutes I had 18 chapter headings written out. Let me tell you that the book now has a cover and around 50 pages completed and edited. On the back of this a photo shoot for 40+ women has been set up. These women have all taken a 360 degree turn in their careers.
Journaling makes you alive to a myriad of possibilitiesI don’t think I would have written this book without the daily journaling ritual. I love the silence of the early morning and the crisp possibilities hanging in the air. I am touch with my thoughts and I have a glimpse into what exactly is going around in my head. I have resisted showing anyone what’s in these journals as they are intensely private. However, I would like to take some extracts and use them in the book. Scary I know but I think they may well be useful to other people starting their journaling journey. I’m not 100% convinced but I am seriously giving it some thought.
A journal prompts actionI know that I cannot keep writing the same things in my journal without taking action. It might be mundane things like : I must quit smoking/ drinking/eating so much or I should take more exercise. In the end those thoughts become so insistent you have to tackle them. There is an intense feeling of power when you actually write something, consider it then do something positive. When I looked back over the month this morning and saw the outline of the book it was exciting to think how much progress had been made since then. If you need to know more about journaling here are some ideas.
Give journaling a try; you have everything to gainGo give it a try, you may discover things about yourself you may have never imagined. Journaling is about rediscovering your excitement about life, about your possibilities and opportunities you can create for yourself. These feelings flow into your life. They develop thinking skills and the ability to come up with numerous solutions to mundane problems and issues. Journaling also helps to manage stress too.
- If you are interested the book in question is published at the end of September. It’s called Create, work, earn and it’s a book about freelancing for freelancers and potential entrants to this world. If you have ever wanted to earn a living through creativity then you should definitely read this book. To read more about Creativity: create, work, earn click right here.