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A Beginner's Guide to Creative Journaling

Creative Journaling by Akinwale Arokodare

It was a dark time in my life, probably one of the darkest. I was drowning in financial troubles, going through an ugly divorce that left me shattered, and completely lost about what direction my future would even take. Back then, creativity, self-expression, putting pen to paper – those were like foreign concepts to me.

Most days, my mind was a tornado of jumbled thoughts and turbulent emotions that I just couldn't make sense of. But then something shifted – I started replacing my bad habits with good ones. And at the very top of that list was journaling. I had no clue back then just how life-changing it would be.

It was like finding a secret door that led me out of the chaos inside my head and into this whole other realm of self-discovery, healing, and tapping into the artistic side I never knew I had. That's what creative journaling gave me, and now I'm here to be your guide on this journey.

So what exactly is creative journaling? It's using a journal or notebook as your personal canvas to express yourself. A space to play around with different art forms, writing styles, creative techniques – all while exploring the depths of your thoughts, feelings, and experiences.

And the beauty of it? There are no rules whatsoever. It's a total judgment-free zone where you can be unapologetically you. No need to worry about grammar, spelling or if you can even draw a decent stick figure. Whether you're a seasoned artist or haven't picked up an art supply since kindergarten, creative journaling invites you to simply play, get creative and rediscover that childlike wonder.

Keen to start? Here are the steps that helped me dive into the art of journaling:

1.     Choose your tools mindfully. Hit up that cute stationary store and browse the aisles until a notebook or pen leaps out at you. When you pick it up, tune into how it makes you feel. Is there a sense of calm, an intuitive connection? That's your green light – the start of your creative journey.

2.     Name your journal. Quirky, I know, but this step is low-key crucial. It sparks creativity right off the bat. For me, I have an overarching name I give all my journals, like it's a whole book series just for me. It makes the whole thing feel like a story I'm crafting.

3.     Just write. Don't overthink it. Let those words tumble out and fill the pages. Vent about your day, that thing that's been weighing you down, your hopes and dreams. Writing freely like that is the gateway to those deeper thoughts and emotions you may have been stuffing down.

4.     Play with different mediums. Journaling isn't just about words. It's your creativity playground. So pick up those colored pencils and doodle. Paint friggin' abstract masterpieces. Collage like your life depends on it. Use ticket stubs, dried flowers, anything! Mix it up and really get those creative juices flowing.

5.     Carve out a sacred creative nook. Find your cozy journaling spot away from distractions. Maybe it's that sunny corner draped in fuzzy blankets. Or a bustling cafe with the perfect ambient white noise. Wherever it is, make it your haven. Light candles, cue the music, set the vibes.

6.     Use prompts when you're stuck. Creativity hit a wall? No worries, that's what prompts are for. Word associations, inspiring images, thought-provoking questions – lean on them to get you out of that rut.

7.     Embrace the mess. Your journal isn't a masterpiece to be graded, it's a safe space for you to freely express yourself. Don't get hung up on perfection. The magic is in the chaos, the unfiltered you spilling onto those pages.

Looking back, incorporating creative journaling into my life was one of the best decisions I ever made. It's become a ritual, a sacred time to block out the noise and be totally present with myself.

My countless journals have been witness to my highs and lows, my growth over the years.

So if you're feeling lost, stuck, or just in need of an expressive outlet, take my advice – grab a journal and let your soul flow onto those pages. You might just stumble upon the path toward a more authentic, fulfilling life. One colorful, messy, imperfect stroke at a time.

Download a FREE journaling book for beginners, filled with prompts to unleash your creativity.

Enroll in my Online Creative Journaling Course for Beginners. Take your journaling to the next level.

A Beginner's Guide to Creative Journaling.




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