Hello friends, creatives, journal keepers, small business owners and those looking to Find Their Creative Voice. Today I would like to share some tips on Journaling, especially for those who are just starting or want to start a journaling practice. What I share here is intended to help you build a strong, empowering foundation from the very beginning so that you'll want to come back to your journal again and again because you enJOY it so much!
This post, Your Journaling "Why" is the first in a series I plan to share here at Refresh Daily, with the aim and goal of giving you a step by step guide toward personal empowerment with journal keeping.
Today I would like to ask the question: Why do you want to keep a journal?
There can be a myriad of reasons:
1. You have heard that journaling can be beneficial for well being, for personal and emotional expression on the page.
2. You have seen others keep journals, whether through text, image or a mix of both, and you are curious about starting one of your own.
3. You enJOY writing and thought journaling would give you a similar benefit.
4. You've had other friends encourage you to try journal writing even though you have no idea where to start.
5. You think it might be fun.
Now all of these reasons can be completely legitimate and true. It can be truly inspiring to see others using their journals, to hear about the benefits of journaling and to use writing as a way to express yourself.
My goal and aim is to encourage you to reflect on the deeper "why" of this desire to record your thoughts in a book for safe keeping. When we determine what we hope to derive from such a practice, it can help us determine how to go about it so we can experience more longevity.
To help you get started and inspired, you are more than welcome to click on either image below and receive my 2 resources, The Art of Journaling Toolbox that contains 7 Power Tools for journal writing and The ART of Journaling Prompt PLAY Book, which contains 31 prompts, questions and image suggestions to bring more PLAY into your day!
Let me share with you my "Whys" for Journaling.
Journaling, for me, gives a place to express my Creative Voice, to record my intuitive hits (for a written track record when my intuition hits the bulls eye!), to hash out what is working for me creatively, to express my angst when boundaries are necessary for my well being, and to have a written record of my life insights and happenings, which are extremely important to me. Other reasons are for Clarity, Fun, Connection with Spirit, and a place to practice my doodling/hand lettering fun each evening. (Purchase the current journal/sketchbook that I'm using right now.)
So, what do You have in mind for the reason you would like to start one? How about recognizing patterns, especially ones that are no longer serving you, so you can create new ones that will enhance your well being and self-care? This ultimately initiates positive change that leads to personal empowerment.
Are you looking for something specific? Do you just want to have fun and see how it goes? Do you want to dive deeper into Who You Are and take a listen to The Higher Voice inside you that can tell you what you want to know?
I encourage you to give journaling a try. Use the resources, The ART of Journaling Tool Box and Prompt PLAY Book, that I have for you so you can get a jumpstart and not lose momentum. The 7 Power Tools keep things fresh so you don't have to do the same thing on repeat (unless you want to). Sometimes, folks get bored just writing down the same thoughts every day. These power tools will help you keep it fresh, fun and fabulous. Just click on either image above.
My aim and desire for you is to find your perfect sweet spot when it comes to journaling, and determining Why is a great first step toward getting a strong start that can make all the difference between journaling regularly with JOY and getting stuck and bored and forgetting about it altogether.
Start this entry by writing down three reasons you want to keep a journal. Be completely honest even if you think your reason is silly or outside the box. Determine which reason most resonates with you and go deeper with it in your journal, beyond Scratching the Surface.
Art Journal Prompt:
Using the word WHY in your spread, cut out letters or words to express your biggest reason to keep a visual journal.
"Why" can be a starting point word plus using Question Marks to highlight your reason.
Read these blog posts for more inspiration:
Scratching the Surface with Sketchbooks
Book Review on Joyful by Ingrid Fetell Lee
Copyright Text 2019 Dawn Herring
Copyright Header 2019 Dawn Herring
Here is the video replay from my first #JournalChat Live Facebook Video in our private group. I share how my journaling practice is relevant for me in my intuitive watercolor painting practice as well as in discovering life patterns where I want to create positive change. Plus I share news about my website, my blog, and social media and the ongoing #JournalChat OPEN HOUSE which you can contribute to right now.
Here are some links in connection with what I shared in the video:
JournalChat Live OPEN HOUSE
21 Day Refresh Intensive
My post on Dialogue called Making Conversation
Record any life patterns that are making you feel stuck and use dialogue to ask questions and get answers. Use alternating hands: dominant for the question and non dominant for the answer.
Art Journaling/ Doodle Prompt:
Use a page or spread in your art journal or create a doodle that emphasizes a life pattern you want to change and what you want it to look like in your re-alignment.
One of the things I often note with the issue of keeping a consistent journaling practice is the lack of relevance with what we write. Many folks start up keeping a journal but never find their particular groove of what really matters to them. They often find it depressing to write down how they're feeling or it just gets down right boring since they don't see their life as very interesting, maybe even not worth recording.
Of course, as host of #JournalChat Live for over 6 years, I beg to differ. Every life is worth recording because it's from your point of view, like no other, and your JOURNALING VOICE MATTERS. That's one of the reasons I determined to give folks a chance to share their journaling stories on their blogs and in social media statuses by offering to share their posts where #JournalChat is visible both here on my website (with reciprocating link) and here---> (Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn).
Of course you are welcome to share how your journaling has had the greatest relevance to your life this year. Just follow the guidelines here.
With today's post, I wanted to share with you how my journaling practice has had the greatest relevance for me in 2016...
Although I keep a journal daily, with both am and pm entries, and with evening doodles to make it visually fun as well, there is one technique and purpose that has shown up in my journal pages this year that I think might be helpful to you as well.
One of my favorite techniques is making conversation, or what most call Dialogue. With who?, you may ask. Well, with just about anything or yourself (all parts of you). My aim with dialogue is focused on my personal well being on all levels. So when something isn't right on any of those personal levels, I will head to my journal to figure out what went wrong and what I can do to get re-aligned.
And you know what? I always get an answer to my dilemma. It amazes me what I learn just from asking the questions I want answers to. Of course, it's imperative that I actually do what I'm directed to with the answers I receive (within reason, of course). That's one of the reasons why I know keeping a journal can be a powerful tool to promote and initiate positive change that leads to personal empowerment.
You might think it odd to ask a question of yourself and actually get an answer. And maybe at first it feels a bit strange. But if you're serious about getting what you need, that's often a good prerequisite toward success. You may need to do it more than once if you haven't done it before. But, don't be shy. After all, it's your journal. And it's there for you to help you figure stuff out. And dialogue can be the perfect way to get you there.
When you actually do dialigue in your journal, just use the names to suit your situation, whether it's an emotion, a body part, a situation, a relationship or anything else you need clarity on.
Here's some dialogue to make you smile:
Me: Do you understand the value of talking to yourself (Your Higher Self) in your journal?
You: I'm not sure. I guess it's worth a try.
You betcha! (Enjoy the conversation and create positive change in your life!)
Is there a particular situation or pain you are experiencing that you need answers to? Record this situation in detail in your journal. Now begin a dialogue with the part of it that frustrates you or pains you the most and start asking questions. Pause for the answers, listening intuitively for what you need.
Art Journal Prompt:
Using the word Dialogue as your prompt, doodle conversation that has great meaning for you. Use images that validate how you feel about this conversation and what result you would like to see from the situation this conversation stems from to help you gain clarity.
I always love it when I find a resource that just hits the spot for me as an artist and creative. And Danny Gregory's book, The Creative License, is just such an example. I discovered Danny Gregory through a Creative Living with Jamie Podcast on Jamie Ridler's website. I was so inspired and impressed with the interview, I decided to check out Danny's website and books.
I saw that he had several, one of which I wanted to read right away, a memoir called, Every Day Matters, but I decided to check out his book, The Creative License too. I'm so glad I did.
There are several reasons why I enjoyed and found myself inspired by this book. Danny has a way of presenting the act of drawing from a totally refreshed and relaxed approach, a way of observing your life and the many things and people around you, but in an almost Zen-like quality, totally focused, totally in the flow.
This approach really opened me up to the possibilities of where I could go with my Creative Practice, adding to it in a way I hadn't done before. I did contour and detail drawing in my youth, and did faces for a long time, but all basically from images. Danny's approach to drawing what you see from objects right in front of you intrigued me. I love his step by step narrative for those who have never drawn before or think they can't.
Another thing I loved about this book was Danny's voice: his attitude, his personality, his authenticity and his laugh-out-loud sense of humor. Even if you have never drawn anything before, just the read is worth it because Danny makes the whole explanation of why drawing can benefit you so much fun, entertaining and insightful.
This book is full of full color and black and white illustrations and Danny's no-nonsense attitude about getting a daily sketchbook practice going, with no concern for what it looks like, if it's any "good" artistically speaking, and seeing the whole experience as learning more about yourself and your world.
Danny inspired me so much through The Creative License, I decided to start a drawing practice in addition to my daily journaling, watercolor painting and doodling. I've presented several of these drawings just to give you an idea of how I've approached it, with no concern for how "artistic" it looks.
He does recommend starting with just black pen (no pencil, no erasing or correcting--just draw and don't worry about it!) so these drawings are just that.
As an artist, I've always had admiration for folks who keep a sketchbook full of pen and watercolor drawings, and Danny is one of those people. Thanks, Danny, for being a source of inspiration for me as an artist and observer of life.
Write down a way that you are an observer of your own life. Also, write down a way you would like to be an observer that you haven't tried before and what you can do to get started.
Using the word, Observe, create a spread that pays homage to how you view your world. How does your point of view enhance to the way you see life?
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In this Refresh with Dawn Herring Periscope Broadcast, I discuss the importance of documenting your life, as well as sharing some recent creative tidbits. This was recorded during the holiday season so many wishes are included. Happy New Year!!
Dawn engages in many roles: As Writer/Blogger and Artist/Creative and Founder of Refresh with Dawn Herring: Where Art and JOY Align, She enjoys sharing from her vast experience as award-winning, life-long artist and leader in the field of written journaling, offering encouragement and proven tips to other journal keepers. Dawn's focus is on written journal keeping, artistic expression and finding your Creative Voice, and positive change that leads personal empowerment, encouraging you to leave your authentic and positive mark in the world. Dawn is a Commercial artist, hand letterer/illustrator and writer/blogger and enjoys sharing insights, humor, and encouragement as she shares from her life experiences as a woman, wife, mother of two grown daughters and as a Grandparent to a special needs grandson. She enjoys keeping a journal and reading spiritual texts to help keep the light on. May JOY Align with Your Creative Heart.