The Creative Journey - Doodling Journal

If you have been thinking about starting a visual journal, but feel that you don't know what to write or you just don't want to reveal your feelings on paper, a doodling journal may be the perfect thing for you.

You could just doodle on scrap paper that you may or may not keep, but an actual sketch pad or journal that shows your drawings in dated sequence will provide you with a progressive history that will reveal far more about you.

So, here is your first assignment:
  • Get a sketch or drawing pad just for your daily doodles - I prefer a 9 x 12 pad with a top spiral for freer hand movement.  If this size is too large and intimidating, go smaller and try to eventually go to the larger size.  If you're ready to start, but don't have a pad, use copy paper or whatever you have.
  • Use whatever you prefer to draw with:  pencils, markers, chalk pastel pencils or sticks or crayons.  I  prefer a #4 pencil for my daily journal because I usually just do simple, quick abstract drawings without the influence of color, but a plain old #2 is just fine. 
  • When you're ready, close your eyes for a moment to clear your mind of any clutter.  Meditate or make an intention to allow the flow of creativity to flow through your spirit into your body and onto the paper.
  • You may have to find little ways to outsmart yourself if you are a perfectionist, critical or are having a problem letting go.  (We'll get more into this in later posts.)  Just keep in mind that it's just a sheet of paper.  If you feel that you are wasting money, get an inexpensive newsprint pad.  This may sound silly, but sometimes starting on the 2nd page feels better - do whatever it takes to get you started.
  • Pay attention while drawing to what you are feeling both emotionally and physically.  Where are you feeling it and what is triggering it?
  • If you start hearing the voice of the critic - ignore it.  It will take a while to silence it.
  • Learn to trust your intuition.  Sometimes you will be urged to draw something that seems strange to you.  Just allow it to emerge.  If that's hard for you to do, just do it out of curiosity to see what it becomes!  Remember, your intuition knows best.  You will almost always find that the drawings that were inspired by your intuition rather than guided by your mind, will be the more interesting ones.
  • Learn about yourself from your drawings, but don't take yourself too seriously.  I love the drawings that come out that are offbeat, strange or a little goofy.
  • Use your doodle time to let off steam.  In fact, if you are in a negative state, getting it on paper will help get it out of your system.  Don't be afraid to just scribble - mimic what you are feeling on paper.  Maybe it's a jumbled mess or maybe it's daggar-like slashes.  It's an excellent way to drain off toxic emotions.  Do additional pages until you see a shift in the look of your drawings.
  • Give yourself at least a few minutes every day to keep the creative flow going.
  • Doodle when you need ideas or answers - you will be amazed how much faster they will come to you.
  • Doodle when you're tense, doodle when your bored.  Make doodling your therapy!  You will begin to see your personal style and symbols develop and you will be better able to identify what you are feeling.
  • Try to remember to date your drawings to monitor your progress.  It'll be interesing to look back at your old journals.  The dates will help you remember what was going at the time.
Happy Doodling!