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Journaling for Creativity.

Journaling for Creativity

TwinsCreative 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

What is Journaling for creativity?

Creativity and personal journaling

Journaling might not be for you

Why journal?

Journaling for capturing

Journaling to train

Effect of journaling on the senses

Journaling for organisation

Journaling to generate ideas

Journaling to write

What media options are there with Creativity Journaling?

What to write on

A time for graphics

Capture those sounds

Computers and silicon

How to organise media files

Folders, binders and boxes

Types of Entry

Project plan and overview

The personal dialogue entry

Delayed response

Speed writing

Letter to a friend

Naming your journal

Momentary thoughts and inspirations

Personal ponderings, growth and affirmations

Recording things

Observations and descriptions

Everyday things


Snippets of dialogue

Emotions and thoughts

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


About you


Awareness of the 'Ripples of Existance'

Awareness prompt: The tale told by movement

Awareness prompt: Beware of assumptions

Asking questions

Training your senses; Overview






The sixth sense

Criticism – your own worst enemy

Writers block

The expectation to be inquisitive

About method

Journaling dates and Artist dates

Your passenger

Car journeys and ironing

Characters, interviews and Proust


Mental maps and similar aids

Planning and reviewing

Brain games for creative development

Mind training: Sensory impressions

Mind training: Ten quirky thoughts

Mind training: Passion and the Devil's advocates

Mind training: In the dark with your mind open

Mind training: A small epiphany

Mind training: Paradoxically

Word game: Find five words

Word game: Write about a word you don't like

Word game: Write about a tactile sensation

Mind training: Looking carefully at quotes

Word game: A starter for…

Mind training: Anti-self protection

Word game: Doing your lines

Word game: With this brick

Word game: Finding metaphors

Mind training: The ripples of existance

Mind training: Forming portmanteaus

Mind training: lluminating alliterations

Word game: Using recurrence

Mind training: All about a stranger

Word game: The power of three

Mind training game: My thing is special because

The simple complexity of oxymorons

Tension in similar word pairs

Varing the focal length

Finding physical similes

Perpetual journal prompts

Complete the story game

Story in the title game

About equipment

Note book, putting pen to notebook

Cameras, smart phones, Post-it notes and ?

What goes wrong (and how to fix it)


Self doubt


Lost pleasures

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.

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