What you need to know about creative journaling

Creative journaling has been my solution to struggling with ‘traditional‘ journaling.

In my eyes, traditional journaling was the whole ‘dear diary’ thing and I was totally rubbish at that. Keeping, or in my case not keeping, a daily diary was just a stick to beat myself with. And although I find real benefit to writing out my thoughts, experiences and emotions of the day I’m certainly not drawn to do it daily.

I needed a solution.

It had to be one I could maintain without feeling like a failure. And I wanted to incorporate regular creativity into the mix as finding a way to bring in the benefits of the creative arts was certainly appealing.

My Journaling Evolution

My journaling journey has had many steps:

1. Morning pages – I have to admit I started this because everyone else was doing it and I like to do what the cool kids are doing (this explains 20 years of my life!…but that’s another story which probably requires some journaling). Morning pages were made popular by Julia Cameron and her book, The Artists Way and basically involve writing everything that’s in your mind onto the page for the first 10-15 minutes of the day. This is a way to empty your head and get everything in order. And while I wholeheartedly agree with the principle, and know it works when I do it but I absolutely can’t stick to it.

2. List Journal – Now I like this one, and still do it to a certain extent. Lists are my bag. I’m more comfortable with a list than I am with a beautifully crafted paragraph of thoughts and feelings – That’s what you get for being born with your Moon in Capricorn! Basically you just pop your mind out onto the page in the form of a list or a categorised set of lists. I tend to do this on a night time just before I turn off the light to go to sleep because that’s when my brain would like to remind me of everything I’ve forgotten to do in my life EVER! Getting it out of my brain allows me to sleep and I can review the list in the morning.

3. Moon Journal – This is where creative journaling started. With my failed daily journaling attempts I still had the urge to journal. In fact, I craved it. So I began creating sets of journaling prompts and tarot card spreads to help me work through the themes and lessons of the New and Full Moon’s each month. This then evolved into something much bigger and finally became The Magickal Moon School which has been running for a over a year now.

4. Creative Lunar Witchcraft Journal – The next evolution was all about getting more creative with my Moon Journal and that’s where the experimenting started. I’d always been drawn to the idea of creating a Magickal Grimoire or Book of Shadows. I remember when I was younger watching the TV series Charmed and wanting that book the sisters kept in the attic. Creative Lunar Journaling involves lots of different styles of art from scrapbooking and collage to ink drawing and watercolour. From this my online programme Lunar Witchcraft Creative Journaling was born.

How to Start Creative Journaling

I’ve written another blog addressing some of the blocks to creativity which would make a good read right about now so I’ve added the link below. In it, I look at the following:

  1. I don’t have time
  2. I don’t know where to start
  3. I’m not artistic

Just click the image below or >>here<< to read in full

Now let’s take a look at how to get started:

1. Get Creative Inspiration

This is how I start everything creative. I get inspiration. One of the amazing benefits of social media and the internet is that there is inspiration everywhere.

There are many potential styles of creative journaling so finding what you are drawn to will really benefit you when getting off the starting blocks.

However, if you choose something that doesn’t work out for you, don’t worry. My creative journaling style has changed many times and I completely embrace it.

My own Moon Journal is a bit of a combination of the following journaling types:  

I’ve linked in my Pinterest boards for you to take a look at the different styles.

  1. Bullet Journal
  2. Art Journal / Sketchbook Journal
  3. Mixed Media Art Journal
  4. Creative Journal / Smash Book /Scrapbook

Also, check out these great hashtags for Instagram searches WARNING – you may loose many hours of your life to the beauty that is creative journaling on Instagram!

2. Find Your Style

Here are some top tips for finding your own style. I really wish I’d know about number 3 before I started as that one caused a big delay for me.

  • Work with your natural creativity

Even if you don’t feel creative or artistic, there is a form of art journal which will suit you. Start where you feel comfortable and remember you don’t have to create everything from scratch as there are plenty of forms of journaling which use artwork and decoration from other sources.

  • Be Kind to Yourself

I want you to make a promise to yourself that you will be gentle during this process. Remove judgement and negative self-talk as there’s no space for that here. This is a place of exploration, adventure and fun.

  • Don’t Compare Yourself to Others

This can be hard when we are looking for inspiration but it’s important to detach yourself from the results of someone else. What you’re looking for instead is something which triggers your imagination to produce your version of what you’ve just seen. That means it’s never going to look exactly like someone elses…….and that’s a good thing. Remember there is no room for jealousy or envy and it’s not a competition.

  • Make Your Own Rules then Break Them Again and Again

What someone else does in their journal is down to them. You can do whatever you feel drawn to. Just make sure not to get too stuck in your own way of doing things as breaking the rules and trying new things is all part of the fun.

  • Practice

I try to do a little bit of art journaling most days. Sometimes I only get 30 minutes before bed and other times I hide away in my studio for a full day to indulge. Try to make art journaling something you do often and you will soon get into the flow.

  • Look for Inspiration Everywhere

I collect things from all over the place. It could be a leaflet, some craft paper or a pretty envelope but I’m always thinking of what I can load into the craft drawer.

My Journal Style Evolution

The below video is taken from my Lunar Witchcraft Creative Journaling Course where I show my creative journal evolution over the past 18 months or so. This is a very honest look at how I change and evolve my journaling style quite often.

PLEASE NOTE: I do refer to other content available to programme members in this video which I hope doesn’t confuse you too much.

Choosing Your Creative Journal – Book Choices

As you will have seen from the above video of my journal evolution. The book you choose can have a big impact. However I don’t want this to be a block to you getting started. Instead I have a few things for you to consider.

  • If you are going to use watercolour, then you will need paper which will hold watercolour
  • If you plan to scrapbook/collage then make sure you have a book which can cope with the expanding page width as you stick stuff into it.
  • If you want to include more writing than art, then you may want lined paper.
  • Do you want to carry it around with you? Then something small might be your preference.
  • Or perhaps you will bind your own then in that case it’s all about the paper and the way you plan to bind it.

Are you ready to start creative journaling?

Join Lunar Witchcraft Creative Journaling Online Programme

This magickal journey is starting again on 13th April for the third intake! Yay I am so excited.

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Hi, I’m Sarah Cornforth and I'm a Creatrix of Magick.  I have never really considered myself creative or artistic as I'm too much of a perfectionist for that and I still find it hard to accept the word ‘artist’ as a title for myself. Initially creating art was a way of coping with the curveballs of life. When I draw, or paint or craft I feel calmer, my mind slows down to a pace I can cope with and life becomes easier. I also love working closely with the phases of the moon and the cycles of nature in everything I do as the benefits are huge. At the end of 2017 a dear friend nudged me in the direction of creating art to sell, and if it had been anyone else who encouraged me I would have thought they were mad. But this particular friend has a special gift. She can see the life purpose of others. So I listened and I took every piece of advice she had to give me.....and here I am, creating art, working with the Moon, teaching people how to heal through Mandala art, feeling happy and sharing what I love with the world. Thank you for joining me on this journey.

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