Journal Writing Tips: Re-Inspire Your Writing

by Amber Lea Starfire on February 11, 2013

Japanese Garden

If you struggle with journaling on a regular basis, or your journaling feels parched of life, as though instead of writing about your day you’re attempting to cross an entire desert, stop. Instead of pushing forward, filled with a thirst to do something “writerly,” break out of your routine by taking a sensuality break. Yes, I do mean sensuality.

You can inspire creativity and stimulate animated, lively writing simply by turning away from boring routines and paying attention to the world in which you live — of course, the best way to do that is through the senses.

Here are three simple ways to inspire your journal writing:

  1. Get outdoors. Take a walk, visit your local park, or find a peaceful place in your yard. Find a place to sit and close your eyes. Take a couple of deep, slow breaths, and then —without opening your eyes — take note of everything you hear, smell, and feel. Are insects buzzing near you? Is it cold, wet, crisp? Are birds singing or rustling in the nearby brush? Squirrels chattering? What fragrances linger in the air? Traffic sounds and smells? What about the sun or the feel of the breeze on your skin? Just sit and notice everything you can for about five minutes (set a timer before you begin). Now, open your journal and describe everything you can remember, as vividly as possible.
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  2. Take a food break. We all love to eat, and this sensual inspiration can take any form you wish, from a simple coffee break to a full feast. If you are drinking something, notice the weight and form of the cup or glass in your hand. Feel the sensation of the edge of it against your lips. Is the liquid cool or hot? Does the steam rise into your face, or bubbles tickle your nose? Feel the fork or spoon in your hand, the force applied to cut or scoop or skewer the food. Notice how it feels in your mouth. Does your mouth water? Can you roll the food around in your mouth? Is it sweet, salty, or sour? What are your surroundings like? Take note of and savor every sensory moment of your food break. When you are done, open your journal and write.
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  3. Appreciate art. Visit a museum, stand in front of a local sculpture, or revisit a piece of art in your home. Let your eyes and, if it’s a sculpture that’s okay to touch, your hands, take in the shapes, colors, textures of the art. Notice the way your eyes follow the form. Notice any emotions or thoughts evoked by the art. Observe the surroundings in which the art is placed. How does it fit or not fit? After a minimum of five minutes of observation, taking in as many details as possible, open your journal and write a description of the piece of art and any emotions, thoughts, or memories it evoked.

Now it’s your turn. Share what you wrote after your sensuality break — or tell us what helps bring creativity back into your writing.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

patsy ann taylor February 12, 2013 at 3:21 pm

Thank you for the suggestions. My journal entries sometimes end up looking like a list of “what I did today” notes. Patsy

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Amber Lea Starfire February 17, 2013 at 9:20 pm

Mine, too, Patsy! We need to be constantly changing up techniques, refreshing how we go about our journal writing. Otherwise it gets stale.

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