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Can Your Journaling Practice Really Boost Creativity?

The deal with journaling and how it can power up your creative mojo.

Einstein did it, Frida Kahlo did it, Emma Watson does it, and so does Lady Gaga. What do all of these people have in common other than their obvious successes? They’re all creative minds.

Lots of people swear by keeping a journal for various reasons: self-guided therapy, recording memories, practicing mindfulness, exploring emotions, and sparking creativity. There are so many different ways to practice journalling, it can take time to discover the one that feels right for you. In fact, Emma Watson has said she keeps 10 different diaries, each serving its own purpose.

The two most common ways people journal are what we can call open and reflective journaling. What’s the difference you ask? The biggest difference between open and reflective journaling is the time of day you put your thoughts on paper. The effect of the time of day can be significant because your frame of mind, emotions, and how you feel physically, often change as you go about your day.

If you’re preference is for bedtime journalling, you’re more inclined to reflect on your day — thus taking on a more reflective journalling practice. Your thoughts will naturally revolve around what you experienced that day and the benefits of self-reflection are endless and ranging from increased emotional intelligence to new levels of personal confidence.

Writing in the morning, however, works a bit differently because you’re prepping your mind for the coming day.

Morning Pages

Have you heard of Morning Pages? Morning Pages are a popular journaling method by Julia Cameron, an author and artist with a 30-year career. Basically, you wake up and go through your morning routine which includes writing three pages by hand about anything. Anything that comes to mind, you write it down. And then you never give it a second thought (if that’s what you want to do).

It’s a stream-of-consciousness, free-form, open style of writing that helps you clear out whatever is nagging at you and release it from your mind. A set-it and forget-it type of brain dump. It can be a great way to clear your headspace and start fresh on the projects and work you have set out for the rest of the day.

And Morning Pages are just one way to do it, you can totally develop your own personal method to take on an open journalling approach that works for you.

There are a few ways this type of open mental release can help boost your creativity. The first benefit of writing in the morning is that you can clear your mind of any thoughts that won’t add value to your day. Because you took a moment to address the many items that float about your mind, they can be swept away to make room for the day’s priorities and your creative outlet.

Another benefit of a morning brain-dump is that it’s super freeing if you’re not concerned about what you’re producing. What you put down on paper can be the worst thing you’ve ever put into words, or maybe, it’ll be an amazing creative breakthrough. Likely, it’ll be something in between but whatever comes out can become great fodder for your next creative venture.

So, are you looking for a way to unlock or boost your creativity? Adopting a journalling practice might just be the ticket to channeling your next breakthrough. The coming of the blue moon (the second full moon of any month) gives us a chance to double up on boosting that creative mojo, so there’s no better time to start.


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