We all need a little bit of inspiration sometimes to get those creative juices flowing. These creative journal ideas are intended to help you spark that fire!
Whether you want to journal as a way to relax and let go, or you want to develop a mindfulness practice, you will likely find that you get even more from journaling than you expected. Creative journaling is a beautiful way to both take the time to get in touch with yourself and remove any blocks around creativity.
However, as we mentioned, even when we have the best of intentions, we can feel at a loss for what to journal. In that situation, hopefully you’ll find some of these ideas helpful.
6 Creative Journal Ideas You Should Try
Morning pages are an indispensable tool for many creatives. The term was conceived by Julia Cameron, a guiding light for creative rehab seekers everywhere and author of The Artist’s Way.
Morning pages are a useful tool for anyone who wants to wake up their innate creativity — or just get out of their own head.
To do the morning pages, you simply fill 3 pages of a notebook with a stream of consciousness, first thing, every morning. The idea is that you don’t lift your pen from the page. And nothing that you write matters. That is, just write, without thinking about what to write. The point of the exercise is that you dump out all the clutter in your mind. By putting all the swirling thoughts onto paper, you clear away the mess and find a clarity beneath. Through this newly opened space in your mind, creativity can shine through.
Free writing is basically the same as morning pages, only it is not relegated to mornings or number of pages. You can sit down to free write any time. It can be helpful if you have a problem you are working through or are feeling emotional and need to let off some steam.
Some people like to set a number of pages, or set a timer, but you can write until you feel a release. Free writing can also be helpful when you want to write, but don’t know what you want to write. After a while, you may enter a sort of trance and begin to write without knowing what you write. It can be interesting and insightful to access this stream of consciousness.
Draw a Picture or Doodle
Creative journaling doesn’t need to be just about words. In fact, sometimes writing is too cerebral and what you really need is a bit of coloring to get out of the thinking mind.
Your journal is a fantastic place to create a bit of art. And don’t worry — you don’t need to be “artistic.” You can simply doodle, if you want.
Explore different mediums to see what feels good: markers, colored pencils, water colors, crayons, ink, or pencil sketching are all fun and easy to implement in a journal. Think of it as playing and just see what comes out.
Another artistic way to get playful in your journal is through collage. Cut out pictures, colors, and words you like. Then glue them together in a way that is pleasing to you. Collages can be quite complex and beautiful art pieces — or simply a collection of things you enjoy.
Creative Writing Prompts
A writing prompt can be exactly what you need to break out of your mind’s own limits. When following a prompt, allow yourself to get as silly or “out there” as you can. Some of the greatest stuff comes when you let yourself get loose!
There are loads of creative writing prompts out there to get you in the writing flow. Here a few to give you a taste:
Super Hero & Villain Prompt: Journal about your greatest strengths and greatest weaknesses. Now create a superhero based on your strengths and their nemesis — a super villain — based on your weaknesses. Be sure to round them out by giving the hero a vulnerability or shortcoming and the villain a point of humanity.
Found Word Poem: Collect 15 words from magazines, books, posters or anywhere else. You can approach this in a couple of ways.
The first is to choose the words at random — or ask someone else to provide you with words. Now write a poem, being sure to end each line with one of the words you found, until you’ve created 15 lines of poetry.
The second method is to choose words you don’t recognize. For example, you could go through a science or mechanical magazine — choose any subject that contains an entire vocabulary you are unfamiliar with. Don’t look them up. Now write a poem, inserting these words as if they have a meaning.
Overheard Conversation: Eavesdrop on some conversations around you (it’s ok, because you’re doing it for a creative journal). When you hear a line that sparks interest in you, turn it into a poem.
Make lists. Lists of anything — and everything. Write a list about things that are pink. Or blue. Or begin with the letter T. Make a list about things you hate, things that feel good, and things that make you sad. Make a list of words that rhyme with “boat”.
Creating a list is a quick way to make yourself start writing — it really unblocks any resistance, because lists are fun, and fairly easy to do. Plus, a list can turn into a great poem or inspire an entire essay or reflection.
Want More Great Journal Ideas?
Want to dive into journaling with accountability and helpful guidance along the way? Betterly offers a 12-box monthly subscription series entirely focused on the art of journaling. You’ll get journals, prompts, markers, stickers, and manuals to help you develop your journaling practice.