Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Tuesday Tips and Techniques: Escape Your Journaling Rut!

Like it or not, we are creatures of habit, and that holds true for the way that we journal.  Want to break out of your journaling rut?  Here are some tips to help you change things up a little bit and give you a new perspective.

Journal Somewhere Else
If you're like me, you journal in the same location day after day.  Journal in a different room.  Use a different chair.  Journal outside.  Journal at a coffee shop.  Change your journaling location.

Change Your Strategy 
Do you always begin your journal page by writing your thoughts or other prompt?  Instead, begin with applying paint or collage to your page.  Do you always begin your journaling with an application of paint or other background, just playing with the materials you have at hand?  Begin your page with the written word instead.  Use quotes, lyrics or other thoughts and ideas.

Use Different Colors
We all gravitate to the same color palette.  If you have a tendency to use bright, bold, cheerful colors, opt instead for dark earth tones or soft pastel colors.  If you have a tendency to use cool tones, switch to warm tones and vice versa.

Change Your Music
Try listening to different genres of music.  If you listen to rock and roll, try classical or new age.  If you listen to classical or new age, try blues or jazz.  If you listen to current tunes, try listening to music from the 40s or 50s.  Try listening to music that you typically don't like.  

Change Your Materials
If your tendency is towards paint and other "wet" applications, opt for "dry" techniques with markers, pens and colored pencils.  If you always gravitate to "dry" applications, pull out the paint and mediums and get messy!

Change Your Objective
Determine why you journal.  Do you tend to journal about whatever comes to mind?  Do you journal about your experiences or events?  Do you try to work out problems when you journal?  Are your journal pages all about play and the act of creating?  Change your usual objective for journaling.

Change Your Journaling Time
If you go to work daily, this may be difficult to do.  Maybe evenings are the only time you have for journaling.  What you can do is jot things down during the day.  Doodle while you're on hold with that important phone call.  Sketch during your lunch time.  Collage these daily "art moments" into your journal.  You can try morning journaling on a lazy, weekend day.

Time Yourself
Do you usually spend an hour or more on a page?  Set a timer for 10 minutes and work hastily.  Let your intuition dictate what you put on your page.  Is 10 minutes more the average for your page completion?  Set your timer for an hour and fully embrace what you're doing.  Pay attention to detail.  Be fussy.  Let your mind wander.

Journal Your Anger
We're taught early on that anger is a bad emotion.  Learn to embrace your anger through journaling.  Your anger doesn't have to be about anything major. Your anger can be as mundane as forgetting an item at the grocery store or seeing that gas prices rose another 7 cents since your last fill.  Journaling anger is enlightening because one often finds that anger is often misdirected.  You might think you're angry because you forgot that item at the  store, but what you're really angry about is the fact that you have to come up with "Plan B" for dinner tonight!

Don't Journal Today
That's right! If you have a tendency to journal every day, skip a day or two.  "Feed the well".  Engage in a different activity during your journal time.  Take a walk, watch the birds, surf art on the Internet, go to a museum.  Visit family or friends. Do something different to stimulate your creativity!

My awesome son, Nick!

Life is both short and precious.  Remember to always take time to "Celebrate, LOVE, and Create!"


  1. Angelia, what a great post! Thanks for all the prompting and ideas. Mailing the book to you this week.

  2. Wnderful post today Angelia... some really great ideas to change things up a bit! I think the weather has many people out of their creative modes lately. It continues to snow here in Calgary! Yuck! I can't wait to go to Arizona in a few weeks!
    Hugs and blessings

  3. Fantastic tips, per usual. It makes me wish i could afford to fly to the beach and spend a weeks retreat with you journaling! I cant wait to try more of your tips and techniques this summer!

  4. Wow, Angelia--you continue to inspire me! You are a journaling banana, GF! Thanks for being my muse! Love, Katherine

  5. Great tips Angelia. Sometimes we need to get out of our comfort zone to realise all the new ideas and ways we can create. Thanks for the prompts.

  6. I loved your post today. It is good to try new things. Really great suggestions. I think I'll put on some different music right now while I try working on some different paper!


Thank you for sharing your thoughts with me! It's a pleasure sharing the creative world of art journaling with you. I love hearing from you, so comments and questions are always welcome.

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