Regularly journaling can benefit your creative writing in many ways. In this post, we’ll be going through five different journaling methods that will help you:
1. Dream Journaling
A dream journal is a fantastic way to develop new ideas for stories. Our dreams are often either vividly mundane or downright strange. Either way, they are rich with imagery, characters and plot-worthy situations.
To start dream journaling, you’ll need to keep a scratch notebook and pen by your bed. If you prefer, you can also dictate your dream. Either way, note down as much as you can before your night-time wanderings fade from your mind.
From your dreams, be sure to make notes about the following:
After a few weeks of dream journaling, patterns may start to emerge. Exploring recurring dreams can be an excellent starting point for a new story.
2. Nature Journaling
Nature journaling is a great way to explore new settings for your stories. Stepping away from your desk to go outside can often spark ideas for new settings.
When you’re taking notes outside, be aware of:
Try making notes at different times of day and in different seasons. Try to record what you’re experiencing without the use of clichés. Instead, take the time to see what most of us take for granted in new and exciting ways.
Once you’ve spent time outside, copy the details you like to begin bringing your character’s world to life.
3. Character Journaling
Character journaling is a lovely way to get to know your characters better. This is especially helpful if you’re struggling with developing a character’s voice or understanding a character's motivation.
To start character journaling, pick one character from your current WIP. Then choose a scene from the same WIP and write a diary entry about that scene from your character’s point of view.
In your character journal, let your character tell you how they feel about the scene. Then, let your character reflect on how they acted and how they wished things could have turned out. Now you should have a better understanding of your character.
4. Art Journaling
Art journaling is an excellent way to introduce a new medium to our creativity. Art journaling is also beneficial if you’re feeling burnout from writing.
To start art journaling, gather any art supplies from around the house. These supplies could be:
Then let your inner child go wild. Don’t worry too much about the end result. This type of journaling is all about letting your creativity breathe.
Feel free to explore the imagery and themes in your creative writing that have cropped up in your art journal.
5. Stream of Consciousness Journaling
Stream of consciousness journaling is all about letting go of the outcome. To only focus on the act of writing. Stream of consciousness journaling helps if you’ve either become tangled up with writer’s block or fallen out of the habit of writing.
The aim of stream of consciousness journaling is not to stop writing until:
If you don’t know what to write, begin with I don’t know what to write. Pushing through doubt can help silence your inner critic, which is the first step out of writer's block. If you journal like this often, your return to your creative writing may feel less daunting.
If you would like feedback that will benefit your writing further, please contact one of our lovely Writing Advisors.
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