Starting A Creativity Journal: Why You Should Have Started Yesterday
As a creative person, I naturally need a creative way to store my creative work. A few years ago, I decided I needed a physical collection of my work. While having all of my writings stored on my computer was convenient and guaranteed me I’d never lose them, the physicality of turning pages of poetry and short stories is so much more appealing and satisfying. It’s comparable to preferring physical books to ebooks. As such, I decided to make this week’s post about my Creativity Journal so that it may inspire you to create and/or organize your art.
Disclaimer: I am a writer, not an artist, so my art will be terribly mediocre. And that’s being modest.
Obviously the first step to beginning a creativity journal is to obtain a creativity journal. It could be a binder, sketchbook, hell, you could go the extra mile and make your own creativity journal. Personally, I found a binder at Walmart that was visually appealing:
And of course you need a cover page to introduce any readers to the work they’ll be viewing:
Now that you have the journal and the cover page, the rest is up to you. You could fill it with artwork, short stories, photographs, your daily ramblings–whatever your creative muse inspires you to document. Personally, I’ve divided my journal up by sections: Songs; Poems; Writing Journal Entries (which honestly is any written work that doesn’t fit into the first two categories); Otherworldly, the name of the novel I’ve put on perpetual hold; and lastly, random junk that didn’t fit anywhere else.
One of the perks to having a creativity journal is that you get to see improvements in your work. Yes, some of it may be cringe worthy, take this monstrosity of a poem, “Good Enough,” I wrote for example, but seeing your work improve is so inspiring. As a writer, I completely understand the feeling of never being good enough; that there’s always someone else out there who’s better than you. But having physical proof that you’re skills are progressing is such a confidence boost. Sure that poem was bad (seriously did you read it? Shudder), but it was written five years ago when I was 18. It’s allowed to be bad, which is something a lot of artists don’t realize: it’s okay to suck! Because you get better as long as you keep working at it. Need proof? Here’s a recent poem, “I Came as an Echo,” I wrote that’s light years ahead of that five-year-old poem. And I never would have noticed the improvements had I not kept all of my sucky poetry from when I was still an angsty teenager.
Another advantage to owning a creativity journal, if you attend some form of critique sessions, is you can put critiques from other artists into your journal. I like to put the best (meaning most helpful, not nicest) ones in with the original for my benefit. If I choose to revisit the piece, I can review the suggestions others have made and revise accordingly.
Lastly, I also keep old copies of work I’ve revised to see how they’ve transformed. I think it’s fun to see where I was going with an idea originally, and where it ended up.
Fun fact: I actually don’t keep copies of my blog posts in my creativity journal. I have a different journal for that all together.
Creativity journals are a fun way to keep your creative work organized. It feels good to have a binder full of your creations–art you’ve slaved over and are attached to as if they were your children. If you haven’t started a creativity journal, then start now! The earlier the better because you wouldn’t want to miss out on remembering the early years of your artistic career. It may be cringe worthy, but it’s satisfying at the same time to know you’ve come this far.
Inspire me with your work! It could be photographs, stories, makeup, anything that invokes the creative eye. I love hearing from you!
I’ll see you guys on Wednesday!
For funsies, here are some pages from my random section: