Ways To Start A Creative Journal

Ways To Start A Creative Journal

Making a journal can be more than just words.
Jade H
Jade H

If you've ever tried and failed to keep up a daily journal where you write down each and every intimate thought you have, you're definitely not alone. These traditional daily journals can seem daunting with a daily demand for content, and to be honest can feel repetitive if you're the kind of person who has a usual routine.

Why, then, do we write journals? Personally, whenever I think of a journal or diary, I think of memories. Getting to go back in time and see my thoughts and what my life was like in the past, and having a record of things I definitely want to remember are all reasons I've attempted journaling in the past. I've always failed, though, until I came across a new way to think about it.

Creative journaling is a type of journaling that doesn't have to be done every single day, and there are countless ways to go about doing it. All you need is a blank notebook, a few scrapbooking supplies such as decorative tapes and stickers, and if you really want a scrapbook feeling, a method of printing out small pictures. If you're artistically inclined, you can also draw pictures, color things in, or anything else you can think of. There are very few rules other than to have fun!

The point of this type of journal is not necessarily to make entries every day, but make an entry every time something special or meaningful to you happens that you'd like to hold onto, or every time inspiration for a page strikes. If you take a trip, hang out with new friends somewhere, or start a new activity, these are all great examples of when to journal.

One of the first things you want to do is figure out what you want out of your journal. Do you want to write long entries about what's happening, take quick notes beside other mementos you've taped in, or find another way to visually represent what happened?

The first method is pretty easy. This is what is closest to a traditional journal or diary. Whenever you feel like writing, you can fill the pages with almost entirely your own writing, then go back after and decorate any blank spaces or borders with things like stickers, decorative tape, sticky notes, or anything else you can think of to put in. Spending time making the page look the way you want it will not only help your memories stay strong, but will leave you with a really pretty journal!

The next possible method is my personal favorite. It's a pretty even mix of writing and mixed media on a page. Say you go somewhere you've never been to before, and you get different pamphlets, notes, or even shopping tags while you're there. You could glue or tape in pieces of the flyers, pretty tags you found, and even pictures you might have taken into the journal. Around each memento, you can jot down the details of the day. Again, you're left with a visually interesting and memory-filled page.

The final way is for anyone who really likes drawing or doodling, and the journal would be more of a sketch journal. Any event you want to remember, you can draw out in any way that makes sense to you. A bit of scenery from the day, abstract representations, or even stick figures of yourself all make up a perfectly good way to make memories. Any medium you can think to put in such as marker or watercolor will also liven up the page with a bit of color.

These are just a few of the options available as well. Anything you can think of putting on a page is as good as the next! If you thrift and craft with clothing, bits of cloth on the page can serve as reminders of accomplishments. Pressing flowers or leaves is a classic. The only limit is what you can imagine.

So the next time you ever think of journaling or want a fun way to remember special events in your life, think about taking up creative journaling. And always remember; there is not pressure to create a perfect product. Just have fun with what you do and keep some special memories!

Cover Image Credit: heidiwigmore

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8 Reasons Why My Dad Is the Most Important Man In My Life

Forever my number one guy.

Growing up, there's been one consistent man I can always count on, my father. In any aspect of my life, my dad has always been there, showing me unconditional love and respect every day. No matter what, I know that my dad will always be the most important man in my life for many reasons.

1. He has always been there.

Literally. From the day I was born until today, I have never not been able to count on my dad to be there for me, uplift me and be the best dad he can be.

2. He learned to adapt and suffer through girly trends to make me happy.

I'm sure when my dad was younger and pictured his future, he didn't think about the Barbie pretend pageants, dressing up as a princess, perfecting my pigtails and enduring other countless girly events. My dad never turned me down when I wanted to play a game, no matter what and was always willing to help me pick out cute outfits and do my hair before preschool.

3. He sends the cutest texts.

Random text messages since I have gotten my own cell phone have always come my way from my dad. Those randoms "I love you so much" and "I am so proud of you" never fail to make me smile, and I can always count on my dad for an adorable text message when I'm feeling down.

4. He taught me how to be brave.

When I needed to learn how to swim, he threw me in the pool. When I needed to learn how to ride a bike, he went alongside me and made sure I didn't fall too badly. When I needed to learn how to drive, he was there next to me, making sure I didn't crash.

5. He encourages me to best the best I can be.

My dad sees the best in me, no matter how much I fail. He's always there to support me and turn my failures into successes. He can sit on the phone with me for hours, talking future career stuff and listening to me lay out my future plans and goals. He wants the absolute best for me, and no is never an option, he is always willing to do whatever it takes to get me where I need to be.

6. He gets sentimental way too often, but it's cute.

Whether you're sitting down at the kitchen table, reminiscing about your childhood, or that one song comes on that your dad insists you will dance to together on your wedding day, your dad's emotions often come out in the cutest possible way, forever reminding you how loved you are.

7. He supports you, emotionally and financially.

Need to vent about a guy in your life that isn't treating you well? My dad is there. Need some extra cash to help fund spring break? He's there for that, too.

8. He shows me how I should be treated.

Yes, my dad treats me like a princess, and I don't expect every guy I meet to wait on me hand and foot, but I do expect respect, and that's exactly what my dad showed I deserve. From the way he loves, admires, and respects me, he shows me that there are guys out there who will one day come along and treat me like that. My dad always advises me to not put up with less than I deserve and assures me that the right guy will come along one day.

For these reasons and more, my dad will forever be my No. 1 man. I love you!

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From One Nerd To Another

My contemplation of the complexities between different forms of art.


Aside from reading Guy Harrison's guide to eliminating scientific ignorance called, "At Least Know This: Essential Science to Enhance Your Life" and, "The Breakthrough: Immunotherapy and the Race to Cure Cancer" by Charles Graeber, an informative and emotional historical account explaining the potential use of our own immune systems to cure cancer, I read articles and worked on my own writing in order to keep learning while enjoying my winter break back in December. I also took a trip to the Guggenheim Museum.

I wish I was artistic. Generally, I walk through museums in awe of what artists can do. The colors and dainty details simultaneously inspire me and remind me of what little talent I posses holding a paintbrush. Walking through the Guggenheim was no exception. Most of the pieces are done by Hilma af Klint, a 20th-century Swedish artist expressing her beliefs and curiosity about the universe through her abstract painting. I was mostly at the exhibit to appease my mom (a K - 8th-grade art teacher), but as we continued to look at each piece and read their descriptions, I slowly began to appreciate them and their underlying meanings.

I like writing that integrates symbols, double meanings, and metaphors into its message because I think that the best works of art are the ones that have to be sought after. If the writer simply tells you exactly what they were thinking and how their words should be interpreted, there's no room for imagination. An unpopular opinion in high school was that reading "The Scarlet Letter" by Nathaniel Hawthorne was fun. Well, I thought it was. At the beginning of the book, there's a scene where Hawthorne describes a wild rosebush that sits just outside of the community prison. As you read, you are free to decide whether it's an image of morality, the last taste of freedom and natural beauty for criminals walking toward their doom, or a symbol of the relationship between the Puritans with their prison-like expectations and Hester, the main character, who blossoms into herself throughout the novel. Whichever one you think it is doesn't matter, the point is that the rosebush can symbolize whatever you want it to. It's the same with paintings - they can be interpreted however you want them to be.

As we walked through the building, its spiral design leading us further and further upwards, we were able to catch glimpses of af Klint's life through the strokes of her brush. My favorite of her collections was one titled, "Evolution." As a science nerd myself, the idea that the story of our existence was being incorporated into art intrigued me. One piece represented the eras of geological time through her use of spirals and snails colored abstractly. She clued you into the story she was telling by using different colors and tones to represent different periods. It felt like reading "The Scarlet Letter" and my biology textbook at the same time. Maybe that sounds like the worst thing ever, but to me it was heaven. Art isn't just art and science isn't just science. Aspects of different studies coexist and join together to form something amazing that will speak to even the most untalented patron walking through the museum halls.

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