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Starting A Creative Journal

Molly's left hand holding an open sketchbook

Choose yourself a simple book and a simple writing or drawing tool.

Right. Let's get started.

Why start a creative journal?

Ideas buzz around and sometimes they land on you, if you don't take note and at least jot it down somewhere, it might fly off again into the life abyss of stuff.

By noting down words, ideas or a simple drawing, it creates a prompt for your mind to remember it at a later date. It's a secret and personal reminder to your creativity.. You need to collect the dots in order to connect them later on.

Fear of the white page

Just getting started on anything is a huge pressure, remind yourself that this is a starting point for your ideas, if you feel like you want to develop them later, you can do. Don't let perfectionism stop you from making the first steps. This will be a book of ideas. This is a marathon, it's going to take a while and you need to not loose faith early on.

Put yourself into the work, it's 100% you and how you interpret the world around you, it's your journal. Have a look around you at what you might like to pay special attention to. You might want to note something from your day, an event, an object, a stranger on a train, a loved one wearing a stripy t-shirt, a particular pattern on a mug. Add your fashion sense into it, add your favourite patterns, add your story, what characters do you enjoy - use them!

Killers and fillers.

The goal in this book is quantity over quality, we want loads of good ideas, executed at an ok level. Like anything, good days, bad days, good pages, bad pages. I think 'killers and fillers' in my head.

Fillers are the ideas that fill the book, they don't need to be shared, they don't need to be developed. They are simply stretching the creative muscle and attention span muscle to keep that creativity ticking over.

Killers are the ideas that spark something. You might feel happy about sharing a killer, you might want to develop it later on - that's the one that sticks in your mind a little longer than the others.

You don't have to share your creative journal with anyone if you don't want to and you don't have to share it online either. It's nice to have a personal project.

A roughly drawn pencil

Keep it practical

In terms of drawing: find a simple tool that works for you. Anything claggy might stick your pages together, things like pen and ink tend to be more of a 'sitting at a desk' tool so bear that in mind if you want to create on the go. Mechanical pencils are great, you don't need to sharpen them.

As for your book, get yourself something that you can easily throw into your bag and take with you, you never know when an idea might strike. Sketchbooks don't need to be huge A3 ring-bound things that schools and colleges insist on using.

Things I use: (some of these are affiliate links)

Ready to get started?

  • There's even more inspiration on my Pinterest board

  • I've written more about the process of being inspired in my 'Idle Time' blog post

  • Is committing to a whole journal too much of a task right now? What about a creating a zine?

  • Bag yourself a list of 30 creative prompts when you sign up to my Round Up Newsletter at the top of my website


This post includes affiliate links. Whenever you buy something through one of these, I get a small commission without any extra cost to you. This helps to support my blog, thank you.



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