“The creative force flows over the terrain of our psyches looking for the natural hollows,
the arroyos, the channels that exist in us.
We become its tributaries, its basins; we are its pools, ponds, streams, and sanctuaries.
The wild creative force flows into whatever beds we have,
those we are born with as well as those we dig with our own hands.
We don’t have to fill them, we only have to build them.”
— Clarissa Pinkola Estés, in Women Who Run with the Wolves
Keeping a journal is a way of making a container that can hold anything.
All feelings, experiences, dreams, and ideas find their place on the waiting page.
Having a container at the ready makes it possible for whatever wants to emerge from within us to find a place to land.
Otherwise, we are walking around with so much going on inside, and no real way to express it, process it, look at it. Or remember all those good ideas that float in.
At least that’s been my experience.
When I haven’t journaled in a while, when I’ve dropped my creative practice, I start feeling out of sorts.
I barely notice it, until there is some kind of build up: I get a migraine that lasts for days, I’m not sleeping well for several nights in a row, I’m cranky for no reason, or it’s hard to find my energy and focus. Or all of the above!
Time and again, even after decades of practice and getting out of practice, I am astonished at what happens when I come back to my creative container: my journal / sketchbook / and the practices I do within the blank pages.
It’s not about doing anything perfectly, or having rigid expectations about the “right” way to journal, or how often we “should” be doing it.
As you journal, you’ll naturally find a rhythm and flow that works best for you. And this will change from time to time, to match the contours of your life experience as it, too, changes.
Travel, having a baby, a new relationship, moving house and having all of your notebooks and supplies backed up, starting a new job or career, going back to school, as well as prolonged illness, caretaking others, and death…all of these things alter our rhythm and flow.
Especially if we’ve been gobsmacked with a handful of those high-stress events all at once. That’s what my 2014 was like, by the way. (No, I didn’t have a baby).
It’s natural to depart from whatever our old routine was and then find our way into another. This is a natural part of creative practice. It has to adapt and change the way we do, the way life does.
Having a creative container at the ready is like having a nice, big bucket or ceramic vessel ready to catch that wild creative force within that Dr. Estés so poetically describes in today’s quote.
Photo: Traditional pottery from Oaxaca, Mexico at one of the markets near where I live. These at the bottom are for cooking hot chocolate. But I also have several to store my paint brushes.
My hope for you is that this 30 Day Journal Project has given you some ideas and inspiration to try this out for yourself.
Today’s Journal Prompts:
My wild creative force looks like…
My wild creative force feels like…
My wild creative force is asking me to…
My wild creative force wants me to experience…
If you liked today’s quote, I wrote about it here, too: The Wild Creative Force. It includes an example of how I used the quote in one of my sketchbooks.
Demystifiying art supplies, and keeping everything accessible and portable are three are my top tips for being more effortlessly creative in your everyday life. I share how to do all of this (and much more) in the upcoming Dreaming on Paper course, described below.
Dreaming on Paper: The Creative Sketchbook
I want to help you give voice to your creativity. That’s why I do what I do.
You, too, can create freely in your own beautiful style.
When we create freely, whole new worlds of possibility open up for us. In ways we cannot plan or expect.
Dreaming On Paper helps you excavate your own true desires, innate wisdom, and intuition, with ease, gentleness and joy.
This workshop is one of the foundational, prerequisite courses for the facilitator training.
In A Manifesto for the Hesitant Dreamer I share more about what Dreaming on Paper is all about, and what we do.
Why bother keeping an art journal or sketchbook? Yeah, I used to ask myself that from time to time, too.
This post is part of the 30 Day Journal Project.
No more blank page. No more writer’s block.
Last year when I offered the first 30 Day Journal Project, I found that having the prompts printed out in advance helped me get right into my journaling for the day.
I think of this as lazy journaling. 🙂
Fill in the blank, and you’re done!
After I made these for myself, I prettied up the design (and added another layout) so you could use them, too.
This is what I’m using for my own journaling.
There is another layout for cutting and pasting into an existing journal. I’ll share photos or a video of these at some point this month.
Get ALL 30 days of prompts & quotes (plus one bonus day) with 2 different layout designs.