Guidelines: Just a Few Tips Before You Begin Creative Journaling
How Often, How Long and When
You don't have to do journaling every day. The more you do, the more you'll benefit. It's up to you. Late evening is a good time, just before retiring. Some people prefer journaling early in the morning before they start their day. Block out at least fifteen minutes in any one session. Some activities take longer. The great thing about a journal is that you can use it practically anywhere. It's cheap and it's great therapy when you've got problems to resolve and it's a lot of fun.
It's best to have a quiet place where you can be alone with yourself and concentrate on journaling. Find a place that is free from loud noises, distractions and interruptions. Many people find that they have a favorite chair or desk or even a spot in nature where they like doing their Creative Journaling. Find the place that feels best for you a place that's safe, quiet and conducive to taking little journeys inside.
Structure and Spontaneity
It's a good idea to put the date on first page of each journal entry. This way you can go back and review where you've been during your little trips into "inner space." You're likley to see changes and growth. Sometimes you night uncover old patterns that you wish to change or new ones that you want to cultivate.
Express yourself as openly as possible. Don't edit or revise what you write or draw. Just let it all hang out. The important thing is to be as honest as honest and spontaneous as possible. Remember, no on is grading you or evaluating your work. There is no right way or wrong way to keep a journal. Find the way that works FOR YOU. After all, it's YOUR journal, it's your life.
Honesty and Privacy
In order to be really honest with yourself it is VERY IMPORTANT that you keep your journal private. This is a from of self-therapy and just as therapy is held confidential, so is journal work. If you're worried about what people will think about your feelings, thoughts, drawings and musings, you'll never be able to be really honest with yourself. Without total honesty, the Creative Journal will not yield the best results.
There are times when you may want to share an insight, a feeling a dream or some drawings with someone else. Be selective about who you share these special pieces with. Be sure the person is safe, won't criticize you and is supportive of you and your journal work. Sometimes you may want to share with your therapist, counselor, best friend or spouse (if it's safe). Whatever you do, avoid sharing with people who put you down, think journal-keeping is a waste of time or want to tell you how to think and feel or how to live your life. How you live your life is up to you. Don't let others talk you out of being and expressing who you really are in your journal.
The written and drawn illustrations were done by other journal-keepers just like you. Their work is meant to inspire you and spark your own creativity. It is not for you to copy or compare your work to. There is no right or wrong way to do Creative Journaling. Only YOUR way. Relax, express what's inside and get to know the real you. If you encounter self-doubt or blocks, there are exercises specifically for dealing with it. You do not need any experience, training or special talent in writing or art to do these journal activities. All you need is the willingness to explore yourself, experiment with new media of expression and have a good time with yourself.