Creativity As A Spiritual Response

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June = Journals

Many years ago I imagined the ideal journal and method of journaling.  The ideal journal would have a blue cover and the writing within would emulate the style of ship’s logs – just the facts of the day – neatly recorded daily, on lined paper, in beautiful cursive script.  This would be truly a collector’s item for those of later generations to learn from and reference.  For those for whom this is a natural style and preference, I wish you all the best.  It isn’t mine.

Therefore, I went on a search for what was the ideal journal for me.  As an artist, I needed space to draw images, paint, and write about what was happening in my life.  I attempted keeping two journals, one for artistic images and a different one for writing.  This had the effect of separating the expression in one form from the other.  I found it wasn’t ideal as one expression was often leading to the other, or reflecting on it.

As a spiritual person, I also desired a place to reflect upon Scripture and spiritual writing, prayer and what was happening in my daily life.   Through the centuries, journals have been used in precisely this manner.  However, often this became a third journal that was self-consciously written,  and only rarely contained images.

I did come to a solution, or rather solutions, to this dilemma.  I do find that the process is an evolving one as my definition of what constitutes a journal widens.   I have certainly moved sailed far away from the tidy ship’s log that I imagined earlier with all its inherent constraints.

What I do know now is that the process of choosing a journal is highly individualistic.  What works for me, might not work for you.  And, your way may not be mine.  That is a good thing if we are to freely reflect upon our own individual feelings, concerns, and growing places.  If someone suggests a way of keeping a journal that is an ideal method for them ask yourself: does their method fit the person that you are, or are becoming?  If not, keep exploring.

May the process of keeping a journal be an open one.


18 thoughts on “Creativity As A Spiritual Response

  1. Kathleen says:

    I LOVE School Supplies! Notebook binders, Folders, Pens, Oh gosh, paper of any type! I write everywhere but am inconsistent! I think I also have writer’s ADD!

    • Earthenware Ministry says:

      I love the excitement of purchasing school supplies, imagining how I will use them, and then using them. I get inconsistency and the challenge of a discipline. I certainly don’t claim perfection in keeping a journal. However, I do see value in the attempt to journal, and to find ways in which I can reflect on more, rather than less. I think you may find Marie’s comments interesting and potentially useful.

  2. Marie says:

    My version of journaling is Vlogging; this is a very good way for me to think through my problems. When doing introspective work, I enjoy speaking out loud what is going on inwardly and recording. Watching my process is insightful, and sometimes I catch something on the replay I missed going through the first time. I also love the ability to have the experience of the person on the inside (the person processing) and the person on the outside (the viewer).

    • Earthenware Ministry says:

      I certainly think this is possible although I don’t currently do it myself. Thank you for pushing the envelope while using newer technology than pen and paper. I believe the key is in your willingness to be introspective, to process, and to view that process. It is with consistency and a willingness to be introspective that the benefits are received. Good for you for finding your way!

  3. mitchteemley says:

    Yes! However, in my case, even though I write creatively for a living (and sometimes sketch), I treat my journal as more of a meat-and-potatoes effort, chronicling what’s going on and, when it seems particularly relevant, how I’m feeling. God gets a lot of page time, however, since there’s nothing He’s not a part of.

    • Earthenware Ministry says:

      God and meat & potatoes. I love the order in your journal process. It makes me smile. Carry on!

  4. Beverley Golden says:

    I have a collection of journals I’ve been drawn to over the years. Often it is the cover design that draws me in, so I buy it to use at some time in the future. I also have used scrapbooks, so I have the size I want and then decorate the cover myself. I also created a journal/book for the Sketchbook Project and was honestly very sad to let it go. It was a labour of love and a book dedicated to telling a little bit of my mother’s life story.

    • Earthenware Ministry says:

      Beverly, thanks for sharing this. I am like you in that I can be drawn to the covers. Unfortunately often then I won’t want to use these journals because they are “special”. Scrapbooks and decorating the covers yourself is certainly a great option. I feel your sadness in the Sketchbook Project. I hope that sadness will eventually lead to other creations that you don’t let go of until you are ready.

  5. CK Kochis says:

    I find great pleasure in creating my own journals. Sure, I love to caress the hard covered journals from time to time, but my handcrafted journals feel like home to me. Great article!

    • Earthenware Ministry says:

      I love that you take pleasure in creating the containers for further reflection and creative expression. Awesome!

  6. Rachel Kieffer says:

    Love this Meghan. I think that many creative pursuits can connect us to our spirituality and healing journey. I personally love a journal where I can write, draw, paint, glue images and create.

    • Earthenware Ministry says:

      It sounds as though you have found your “method”. I am happy that you have found a container for your writing, painting, images and other creations. I am happy for you!

  7. barbparcellswritingalife says:

    Every once in a while I treat myself to a pretty, hard-covered journal with a beautiful cover and lined pages, but what has always worked best for me is the old reliable spiral notebook with lined pages. I can write, and write, and write, and past pictures, and copy quotes, and just run with it. It has served me well for more years than I can remember!

    • Earthenware Ministry says:

      I believe that the container used in keeping a journal is important only if it facilitates the process. If a notebook serves you well, that is your container. Thanks for commenting!

    • Earthenware Ministry says:

      I don’t know you but my impression is that you are higher on the extraversion scale than I am. Journal writing and the search for an appropriate container is often an introvert activity. So how as an extravert do you reflect on private experience and feelings? One thought that comes to me is possibly ditching the written form and instead doing a very short daily video meant for yourself only. I believe that would, over time, provide many of the same benefits as writing. Just a thought.

  8. Crystal says:

    I do like pretty books with fancy covers and special pens to go along with my journals. However, I have seen where others have utilized a multi-media means in a scrap book style-where they utilize their own way of binding their thoughts, musings and sketches, even collages together. If I am actively participating in a work, that is typically where most of my journaling goes-loose leaf paper within the teaching materials.

    • Earthenware Ministry says:

      I like the pretty books with fancy covers and special pens too. It sounds as though you have found a means that works for you. Loose leaf paper, clear page covers, three hole binders, glue, items to collage, water colors, markers, pens and glitter are all part of a good supply collection for journals.

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