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Journaling for Creativity.

Types of journal entry: Observations and descriptions

One of the types of entry in a journal will be from observations and descriptions of the things you encounter. Let us just spend a while considering the differences between these two terms.

Some journal entries can be a straightforward list of observations. This list can form a scene or be no more than a collection of facts, for example;
“Norman Church, grey flint, white lime mortar, altar of grey sandstone, peeling paint, crazed varnish, black pews with rounded edges, delicate glass held by sagging lead, plaster patched…” –
Or the entry can be all the same facts plus the fleeting uncertain extras that occur whilst observing, the combination of which makes for an emotive description;

Awareness prompt: Beware of assumptions

“…Without knowing anything about the person we make strong value judgments from the clothes they wear, the colours they choose, the accessories they carry and the poses they strike.

In the main these judgements are made spontaneously and subconsciously, and our behaviour and further assumptions are both slaves to the original value judgements that were made.

Whether these judgements are right or wrong is irrelevant, we as writers and creative journalers should have an awareness of the judgements we make and must develop the ability to question them and control them.

It is vitally important to not let them control us….”

Awareness prompt: The tale told by movement

This post is a small exercise in awareness, and is included in the techniques section because fundamentally it is designed to assist the reader in developing an awareness of how a person’s personal history is reflected in their physical movements. Once developed they can then use this awareness to recognise their own physical movements and identify what significant personal information is being broadcast to their world.

However, the reader may like to add the first part of the exercise to their growing collection of journaling for creativity games, since it provides an enjoyable technique to develop the ability to focus on how people have been affected by their past life and where they believe they are in the present.

Awareness of the ‘ripples of existence’

This week’s post looks at how you can use journaling for creativity to see beyond the obvious and gain awareness of events and choices from long ago; developing active observation to see the defining signature of someone or something by their choices and of choices made for them.

Mind training games: The ripples of existence

This weeks game is a game best played when you have time to relax and ponder.

The concept of the game is straightforward; think about or study a person, item or event, then describe it by using the effects it causes without ever mentioning it.

Nothing exists in isolation; simply by existing, an item will cause some effects in the world around it. Visualise these as if things are a rock surrounded by water and from it ripples are spreading out and away, affecting the watery world around it.

Media Options: What to capture images with, pt3

Ok, I hope that I have established that when journaling for creativity, art is important. What then can be used to make an art based entry in your journal?
An easy question, with no easy answer.

Journaling word games: Describe a tactile sensation

When we include these memories and emotions, we start to begin to form tactile metaphors to describe the surface. In the above sentences, the first surface is ‘treacherous’ whilst the second is a ‘clean page’. Both are from the same root, both are slippery, and yet the two metaphors used here guide the reader’s thoughts quite differently.

Journaling word games: Write about a word you don’t like

This is a journaling word game that asks you to confront and rationalise your own strong emotions in a safe manner. It is a short game, played in two parts, and is perfect for filling the slightly longer gaps in your busy day.

Mind training games: A small epiphany

The main purpose of this mind training game is simply to remove the dull veneer of familiarity that covers every commonplace object around us, and to re-introduce a childlike wonder into our daily lives.
The game also introduces a simple but deceptively powerful technique that allows us to make rapid and complex notes whilst keeping the logical-mind sub-dominant.

The effect of journaling on the senses

At first, creative journaling trains you to see beyond the cursory glance, to become aware of the details that envelop a scene, event or object. But to capture the holistic experience presented to you, you will need to see beyond detail. You will need to let your mind touch those observed details and with your minds-eye see its past, present and future, feel where it exists in the world, and draw on the emotive as well as that which is not present.