Creative journaling is a close sibling of personal journaling; you may even consider them to be twins, but not identical twins. These twins look and walk quite differently, they engage you quite differently, they reason quite differently.
There are many brilliant books and other wonderful sources dedicated to keeping a personal journal. These works generally concentrate on the opening of a doorway to the 'inner mind' via writing techniques, of letting the words ‘flow’, of making a spiritual connection. In the main, they propose reflective mental awareness and health benefits as being the prime profits from personal journaling.
This site, however, is not about personal journaling. It is about journaling for creativity and is aimed at writers and artists who wish to tap into the power of creativity journaling and use that power to improve their awareness, creativity, productivity, and the quality of their craft.
There are places where creativity and personal journaling merge, both producing similar results and hence they are easily and often confused. Throughout this site, whenever we refer to the common perception of personal journaling, we will call it just that, ‘personal journaling’ in order to make it obvious and avoid confusion. When we refer to journaling for creativity it will be referred to as either ‘creativity journaling’ or just simply as ‘journaling’.
The main difference
Personal journaling tends to be mostly introspective and inwardly focused. Pages are filled with reflective notes on a day’s actions and thoughts about the writer’s passage through them. Other times they may be populated with pensive predictions about tomorrow’s actions.
The focus of creativity journaling is outwards. A part of a creativity journal will always be about personal awareness, personal growth, personal thoughts, but we are so incredibly small compared to the massive world around us and the journal reflects this. The journal is filled from the enormous world around us. Filled by being aware and looking for the seen and the unseen, the why and the why not, the ‘what was’ and the ‘what will be’ that surrounds us all.
And in order for us to see, to really see, the world around us, it becomes necessary for us to renew our senses.
"The only real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes”
Marcel Proust, "À la recherche du temps perdu"
The series of articles on this site will effectively form a definitive reference work on Creative Journaling. The table of contents below demonstrates the wealth of information that will be available once serialisation is complete.
As each article is posted, the relevant heading will become an active link to the new article. So the reader only needs to link to this page in order to have an ordered and active table of contents to the archive.
Journaling for Creativity Contents
Computers and silicon
Questions (Available from 18th Aug)
Room for new drafts
Notes and lists
Plots and outlines
Free writing in your free time
Mind Maps and Cluster Maps
Night Notes explained
Project journals, how they are different
Beware the plagiarist when transcribing
Physical or virtual? You choose
When is the pencil greater than the pen?
Time or rather the lack of it
How attitude affects available time
Why knowing how long it takes is important
How to make, steal or buy extra time
Journaling around friends and family
Training your senses; Overview
The sixth sense
Criticism – your own worst enemy
The expectation to be inquisitive
Car journeys and ironing
Characters, interviews and Proust
Mental maps and similar aids
Planning and reviewing
Note book, putting pen to notebook
Cameras, smart phones, Post-it notes and ?
What goes wrong (and how to fix it)
Life, circumstance and sod's law
Journal not to hand
Too busy right now
The glass bubble
Photo credit: Sherri vs. Terri, by J D Hancock.
“Creative Journaling” by Andy Shackcloth is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.