The Essential Elements of Journaling and Spilling Your Brain

Do you know what the essential elements of journaling are?

➡ something to write with
➡ something to write in
➡ your thoughts

that’s it.

When I started journaling 15 years ago I was determined that my journal HAD TO BE handmade by me. Back then, as a creative teaching mixed media, it felt wrong to use a journal that was store-bought. That type of thinking added a year to actually starting because I suffered by perfectionism.

➡️ then it was blank page syndrome
➡️ then it was lack of creativity
➡️ then it was frustrating because I just couldn’t get it

The problem was looking to Pinterest for inspiration.

I saw all those beautiful journals with colour, amazing layouts and so organized. Bloggers who showed how easy it was to create layouts and this, and that, and more.

All I wanted to do was spill my brain on paper (that sounds so Dexter doesn’t it 🧠)

The simple solution was to stop looking at what other people were doing and simply write. Writing non-stop for 5 minutes, let the ideas change 50 times and just write, following my train of thoughts.

The technical term is “stream of consciousness” and holy wackadoodle, does it work! It clears your mind without overworking it.

Don’t believe me? try this every day for 5 days… you’ll have to choose when to take your 5 minutes. If you tell me you don’t have 5 minutes… bring paper and your pen into the bathroom…you always have time for that right 😂

Use your phone and set a timer for 5 minutes. Get the writing started by writing about how you feel about doing this exercise right now, wait a few seconds and as soon as the thoughts come into your mind, start writing them down. Keep writing and when your thoughts change to something else, write those thoughts. Don’t stop, don’t ponder what you are writings, just transcribe what your thinking and write it down on paper. If a really strange thought pops into your mind, write it down and write about why you think it popped into your mind.

Then stop when the timer goes off. Don’t read what you wrote. Flip the page and in a couple of sentences, write down how you feel right now.

Close your book and do it again tomorrow.

Let me know how this journaling experiment worked out for you.