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How to Start Journaling for Better Creativity and Relaxation

Sep 16th 2022

As I poured through my endless Pinterest mood boards and magazines sprawled on the floor and stacks of books with colorful tags and illegible lists of random ideas scratched into four different notepads, I felt lost as a creative. How do I tackle everything on my creative bucket list — flip three thrifted dresses, sew my first A-line skirt, write five short stories, paint with a broader range of color palettes — and where should I start? How can I organize my thoughts and goals? The last thing I wanted to do was make my happiness dependent on the final goals alone, so I also wanted to find a way to define and celebrate my small victories. (Without celebrating too often that I get nothing done.)

If this sounds anything like yourself —whether your hobby looks more like quilting, embroidery, macramé, cross-stitch, or pottery — I cannot stress enough the value of journaling. Journaling is a habit worth building. I’m not just talking about a standard, college-ruled notebook. For creatives, there is The Big Book of Little Sparks Creativity Journal by Carrie Bloomston. Carrie is a professional artist, textile designer, abstract painter, writer, and teacher, so you can only imagine how hectic it could be to juggle all her passions at once. She figured it out and put together The Big Book of Little Sparks Creativity Journal. 

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Carrie brings you a hands-on interactive experience and guides you through 32 creative exercises, "Sparks," to ignite your creative fire and nurture your artist’s soul. Below is a sample page on creating tiny goals.

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The workbook is beautifully illustrated by UK-based designer Ruth Burrows and has thought-provoking exercises, lessons, and activities.

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Here are some journaling tips to help you get started.

1. Find a journaling schedule that works for you.

You can do one “Spark” a day for 32 days or one a week for 32 weeks. How you fit the journal into your lifestyle is up to you. Make sure to do it consistently to make it a habit and ensure your creative journey keeps a good momentum.

2. Create a space for you to journal

I call this my “journaling zen zone.” Typically, I use the same cozy corner of my room, next to the window, to journal. For you, it can look like a space in your backyard, a study, or a cafe. The takeaway is that this space should be relaxing and stress-free for you. To create a stronger habit, pair your space with a ritual activity. A ritual activity can look like making tea, lighting a candle, or playing music (notice how the activities should also be what makes you feel most relaxed).

3. Be honest with yourself.

I could say I wake up every morning at 5 am to work out, shower, journal, and make breakfast before work everyday, but I would be lying to myself (if this looks like your morning routine, major respect to you). I could also say my goal is to write 100 pages a day to become a better writer, but the reality of being a student and full-time employee and person with friends and family and a boyfriend and a dog speaks otherwise. When using this journal to make goals and reflect on your current habits, be honest with yourself and avoid creating over-the-top ones that compromise your well-being and non-creative (but still important) parts of your life. 

This blog post is written by C&T Marketing Coordinator Valerie Palacios.

Shop The Big Book of Little Sparks Creativity Journal

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