On why journals are splendid things….

I’m in the throes of putting together a brand spanking new eCourse on Creative Journalling, so it’s a good time to talk about why I think this habit is an important one to cultivate…..

Like many people, I kept a journal when I was younger, full of secret yearnings, naughty thoughts, forbidden crushes and complaints about how unfair life was. You know the kind of thing!

On my art degree, we had to keep a ‘reflective’ journal, which was scrutinised by our tutors and counted towards our marks. I wobbled between being quite good at these (I still have them all!) and throwing them together in a panic the night before an assessment.

After I graduated, I kept a ‘dear diary’ style journal to pour my frustrations into, which ultimately wasn’t much fun so I didn’t do it very much. I also started creating a ‘Grimoire’ full of my rituals, meditations and spiritual practice as a solitary Pagan, which I still add to now.

Then, life got a lot more busy, so I gave it all up, leaving half finished journals on the shelves as I got on with the business of making my dreams a reality.
It wasn’t until I came up for air after the first year of The Art House that I thought I may like to try journalling again. This time, I wanted it to have a creative focus and use it to reflect, celebrate and keep life in balance.

There are a few journal myths I have busted over the years, starting with the one that says your journals are a place for secrets. Mine really aren’t and you can even browse through a lot of them on my Facebook profile.

The benefits of journals are manifold, however my top 10 reasons to keep a journal would be:-

1) It’s a simple, ongoing creative practice to keep you in touch with your inner artist even through busy or ‘fallow’ times.

2) It enables you to step back from life experiences and really see the truth, beauty and meaning in them.

3) It helps with decisions. There’s nothing like a good ‘pro’ and ‘con’ list to make things clear!

4) Your sense of self becomes stronger and you find your authentic voice.

5) You can practice new techniques and play with new ideas in a judgement-free space.

6) You can practice new techniques and play with new ideas in a judgement-free space.

7) Helps connect your inner world with what’s happening outside of yourself – it’s astonishing how this can slip without some regular practice to keep it on track & too much introspection (or not enough) can lead to yuk stuff.

8) It makes every day an adventure that you illustrate and tell stories about.

9) Whatever your spiritual path, journalling can really support it.

10) It’s super fun and you get colourful, fat, groovy books about your life which you can read when you’re old!

Sure, I examine my life, list gratitudes and so on, but primarily my journals are now a place to play.

Other myths include that you have to write every day (you really don’t), that you have to write (also not necessary) and that journals have to be in chronological order (mine aren’t, I usually have 3/4 on the go at any one time, and if one gets lost at the bottom of a pile of books it can have long, long gaps in it!).

11) Once you journal regularly, you start to look for things to journal about – this makes life so much more interesting!





On why journals are splendid things…. — 1 Comment

  1. Hi Jani, i’ve really enjoyed your other course over the last few weeks, it’s given me so much inspiration and ideas for art. I’m really looking forward to this course too. I love journalling, but do sometimes struggle to find time, and then feel guilty that I haven’t written for a while, so i’m sure this course will be a big help to me. Love Kelly xx