If your creativity needs a kick in the pants, then it might be time to start journaling.
I’m not talking about starting a diary. I’m talking about writing intentionally to capture inspiration in everyday ordinary circumstances.
But how can we go about that?
Here’s a guide on how to boost your creativity with a journal.
Journaling Forms the Foundation
This summer, I engaged in a personal development program that revolved around keeping seven daily habits for 21 days.
(Actually, I ended up taking the course twice.)
I chose journaling as one of my core habits both times, because I knew that if I spent more time in reflection, I’d begin to identify patterns and become clearer on what mattered to me.
Since then, I’ve been using my journal to take notes on the books I read, dream up products and marketing strategies, and even engage in my #StrategySunday planning sessions.
The reality is, there are some entries I will never look at again. And there are more ideas in my journal than I will ever get around to implementing or using.
Despite that, my journaling will form the basis of many things I write, publish, create, execute, and more.
Would you like to boost your creativity? Here’s how to do it with your journal.
Speculate on Possibilities
The number one thing that stops creatives and creators from journaling is perfectionism.The number one thing that stops creatives and creators from journaling is perfectionism. Click To Tweet
Even when we don’t necessarily have all the right questions, we still try to get all the right answers, like we were frazzled teens facing our final exams in high school.
Quotes like this don’t necessarily help:
The quality of your life is a direct reflection of the quality of the questions you are asking yourself. – Tony Robbins
I’m not saying Tony’s wrong. But we need to leave high school in its proper place – in the past.
But that’s why, instead of trying to be perfect, I like to speculate on possibilities.
For instance, I might ask myself “how am I going to market my next book?”
Then I will proceed to brainstorm ideas. And no idea is a wrong idea because I’m just speculating on possibilities. I’m not trying to be perfect.
If I am stuck in any area of life or business, I find this to be a valuable exercise. It helps me come up with more ideas where I might be otherwise stopped.
Next time you’re stuck, maybe try speculating on possibilities instead of merely brainstorming or trying to ask the right questions.
Make Note Taking a Habit
How many conversations, meetings, or events do we sit through without takeaways? In the age of “Zoom Gloom,” quite a few, right?
While I don’t want to come across as a productivity fiend, you may as well not have attended a meeting you didn’t take notes on.You may as well not have attended a meeting you didn’t take notes on. Click To Tweet
Meetings and conversations are a treasure trove of useful information and inspiration just waiting to be captured.
- You might hear about a book or resource that intrigues you and want to look up later.
- You might hear a sentence that could be turned into a poem, blog post, book, or a song.
- Action items may come up in conversation, and if you don’t write them down, you may forget them.
- You may have spur of the moment inspiration that needs to be captured then and there.
- And so on.
I’m not saying every conversation or meeting has got to be productive. I’m just saying every conversation or meeting is an opportunity, and the opportunity is to listen for inspiration.
Document Your Journey
Documenting your journey is also something you can do with a blog, as it gives you the opportunity to let others in on what you’re doing.
Either way, writing down your thoughts, ideas, feelings, and so on, can have more long-term value than you even realize.
First, writing is known to help you organize your thoughts. Many people try to organize their thoughts first, and then write. I suggest going about it the other way. This is not a term paper. Practice will make you better. Just get started and don’t worry about today’s journal entry or blog post.
Second, writing helps with memory retention. If there are things you want to remember for later, you should certainly write them down.
Third, the opposite is also true – you can also journal away emotional baggage. Oftentimes we feel stuck, not because of present circumstances, but because we think the past will just keep repeating itself in our lives. Try on the idea that this is within you, not outside of you, and see if you can journal it away.
Fourth, you can return to your journal entries later and scan them for memories, thoughts, ideas, action items, and anything else you’ve taken down. Many songwriters and poets like to begin with a great title, and you just never know where a great title might be hidden.
Finally, your journey can also help and inspire others.
There are many ways to journal, and more benefits than I can count. So, the above should not be considered comprehensive.
The point is to get started and stay started. Don’t worry about trying to get it right or being perfect. That’s not the point.
Your journal is only valuable or helpful to you to the extent that you use it. So, start using it!
How do you use your journal? What’s the greatest value you’ve derived from it?
Let me know in the comments.
Shh… Don’t tell anyone. Only the cool kids are talking about it.
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