How I use journaling to help with my creative journey
So I’m about to share something very personal (and I’m not a sharer), but I thought my insight into how I use journaling to cope with the creative journey might help someone else, so here goes…
I’m a lifelong believer in journals. There’s something oddly powerful about writing down thoughts. Two things happen…First, you commit to a much needed purge of all the “stuff” banging around between your two ears. Second, it’s an opportunity to create a sense of balance by exploring both sides of the coin.
A few days ago I found myself at a complete standstill. I became paralyzed by all the negative thoughts and feelings swirling around in my head. At this point I had no choice but to turn around and face all the doubt, overwhelm, and negativity that has been ruling my thoughts for far too long now. I simply hit that proverbial wall and something had to give.
In that dark moment, this is what I wrote:
“I am an insecure artist, designer, photographer, and writer. I have been coming from a place of insecurity and uncertainty instead of inspiration and passion. I am constantly obsessed with this need to earn an income and it’s placing a great deal of pressure on me to figure out how to monetize my creations. I’m constantly trying different things in my effort to find a way to bring in some money, and in the process doubting the stuff I am already doing. This process is pulling me in so many different directions and spreading me so thin that I am losing all sense of accomplishment and pride in my work. I feel worthless, even though I have moved mountains over the past two years despite all of the setbacks and barriers. I am so focused on an income that I am having trouble allowing my heart to appreciate all that I have done in just two years. I can’t see the massive changes and improvements to my web site, blog, social media. I can’t feel pride in the improvement of my skills in decorating, floral design, photography, writing, drawing, painting, and DIY projects. And when I do finish projects or build up material I am overwhelmed with the idea of figuring out how to put it out to the world. I feel disconnected, worthless, and insecure. My reality is colored grey instead of the technicolor that I know exists. And I feel trapped in there, while the muffled voices of the happy people echo all around me. No amount of self care seems to be dispelling the grey fog. I’m lost and wandering and can’t find my way out…
But in reality it’s not all dark, is it?
I have created several new gorgeous floral designs for my online shop, my web site (although it’s still a work in progress) is coming along fantastically, I’ve written a well researched blog on Irish fairy lore, and my practice drawing thumbnails are looking quite good. I am very close to returning to the various wood burned art pieces that are in progress, and each one is at a stage where I can finish relatively quickly. This means by June I will have several new art pieces for my online shop.”
Something powerful happened here…I allowed myself to acknowledge all the negative shit BUT I then flipped the coin to point out all of my latest accomplishments. This is where hope lives, and we can’t thrive without it. I’d like to say that today I feel 100%—I don’t—but I am in a much better place to move forward. I’m starting to focus more, and that fog…well, I can just see some light peeking through!
I can only say that if you are struggling (and what creative person doesn’t), a journal can be a very powerful tool in your arsenal to help dispel the shadows and get refocused on the things that matter, the things you can control, and the things you do well.
Has anyone else worked with journaling as a means of self care and reflection? I’d love to know if this is something other people do and how it has helped in the creative journey!
- Diane M. Lilly
I too work from a perceived place of Darkness. Bipolar. Brain. Thing is that what I see as a sign of weakness./ Insecurity/fear/extreme perfectionism about my creations. I have decided is simply my brains conflicting chemical reactions to what it believes is stress. Fight or flight response. Which I believe is a form of evolution because my spirit my soul the energy I channel directly from the universe which I am one with Is challenging me to greatness and eventual inner peace. The piece I am now working on is one such effort. I am amazed at how it is evolving. I dont normally like my paintings . Yet I love this one
Thank you so much for this post and for sharing your journey. I also fight those feelings and frustrations, daily! I have a notebook going at all times for thoughts, ideas, musings and lists. Writing out how we feel can be so so cathartic. Again, thanks. I am off to do some much-needed writing… 🙂
You’re so welcome! Happy writing!
Many of my public blogs result from my journaling or doing something similar using video and audio.
This is so awesome!! Thank you for sharing! Powerful!
Thank you! This was so raw, I almost didn’t post it…but I feel like it is important to illuminate the struggle we creative souls deal with on the daily! I swear by journaling. It’s a very powerful tool to help work things out…and cheaper than therapy!