7 Fun Creative Journaling Ideas and Prompts

  • 10 min read
swirls and curls pattern representing creative journaling ideas

Wouldn’t it be nice if creative ideas flowed out of you like water from a faucet? 

It seems like creative juices only flow when we’re busy doing something non-creative, so it’s safe to say we all need a little help sometimes.

That’s where creative journaling comes in! 

There are a lot of creative journaling ideas that can help you tap into your creativity every day.

But first …

 

What Is Creative Journaling?

hand drawn illustration of a mushroom tree in the rain

Creative journaling is a way to express yourself artistically. It can be done through writing, drawing, painting, collaging, or any other creative outlet. It’s a way to reflect, explore your feelings and thoughts in imaginative ways, and tap into those creative juices when they’ve seemingly stopped flowing.

Creative journaling can be used for many purposes, such as exploring themes that interest you creatively, practicing new skills like writing prompts or drawing exercises, and doing visual thinking exercises.

It’s often used to get in touch with the creative genius inside by following creative prompts and filling up pages (sometimes without even realizing it) with drawings, doodles, quotes, colors, and anything inspiring!

 

Is Journaling a Creative Activity?

Simply writing in a journal is in itself a very creative act. You’re putting your thoughts, dreams, aspirations, goals and dreams, and your daily happenings into words on paper.

That process of creating is what fuels your creativity.

It’s more than just the act of actually writing, which can be done with any old notebook—it’s also about how you approach it and what you put into it.

 

What Do You Write in a Creative Writing Journal?

Short answer: anything!

Long answer: creative writing prompts to try creative exercises or anything that sparks your creative juices!

You can write the craziest stories from your day while you’re at work and then draw pictures of them when you get home.

Even if it’s just for a moment or if it helps you tap into creativity in any way, go ahead and fill up the page with whatever expression you feel like indulging at the moment.

There are no rules on what you can or can’t do with your creative journal. What you choose to do is entirely up to you.

Your creative journal could double as an art journal, a dream journal, or a place where you can just try new creative ideas.

It should be fun and creative. That’s how you’ll get those creative juices flowing like a faucet.

 

How Can I Make My Journal More Creative?

There are no rules to journaling, just a few suggestive guidelines.

Try using doodles, color pictures, cute notes, pressed flowers, dirt, magazine cutouts, washi tapes, and stickers.

Give your imagination endless opportunities to explore the depths of your creativity. Remember, there are no rules in journaling. Most importantly, there’s no right or wrong way to express yourself artistically.

Follow your heart and your mind when it comes to being creative in your journal. You’ll eventually find a style you prefer and perfect it. Meantime, do anything and everything until then.

Having a creative journal allows you to express your creative ideas and thoughts that may be ignored unintentionally.

In short, it is a creative outlet, and you as a creative person need creative outlets to stay fresh.

Go with what you feel!

 

Your Creative Mind Is Waiting: Making Journaling Fun

abstract watercolor painting in a journal

If you’re still thinking, “How can I make my journal more creative?” then follow these guidelines to get your creative juices flowing.

Pre-Step: Give yourself permission to be creative and play around with different materials and techniques. You won’t know if you like a certain technique or style until you try it, so try it all!

1. Incorporate Mixed Media

Mix it up with a variety of creative materials like:

  • Crayons, color pencils, markers, and watercolor paints
  • Washi tape, stickers, and other intricate decorations like wallpaper
  • Scrap paper for doodles and drawings
  • Cutting or tearing up pieces of old magazines
  • Glue sticks, sewing kits, and other artistic arts materials
  • Random objects like leaves or sandpaper for texture
  • Whatever artistic supplies you have on hand!

Just use your imagination to find inventive ways of including different textures in your journal. Use what you have around the house, and avoid spending money if you don’t need to. This should be fun and mostly free, with the exception of buying a journal.

2. Go Beyond Writing

Journal entries don’t have to be all words. Let’s be honest, that’s kind of boring to keep doing over and over every single day. Add some terrible sketches that will make you laugh when you re-read your journal or add a photo of friends sharing a special moment.

No creative journal should be boring, and you shouldn’t sit down to write with the same anticipation of boredom every day. This is your creative outlet!

Try new things like drawing or painting pictures that are related to what you’re writing.

The more artistic avenues you take, the more your mental health benefits.

Journaling does have great long-term and short-term benefits, especially when it comes to mental health benefits. So don’t be afraid to explore the unknown creative territory.

3. Use Decorative Paper and Cool Backgrounds

Add illusion to your blank pages, many crafters use decorative paper and different backgrounds for added dimension to their journals.

Think of your creative journal as a scrapbook that spans years instead of months, so use papers from the past to create new creations on top of them!

This will help you to connect the dots on past events that seemed unrelated in the beginning.

Experiment!

Ask yourself, “What can I do to make this entry vividly express what I’m saying without words?”

Take the answer your brain throws out and follow it without questions.

Let go of the fear of being judged. Your creation is only for your eyes unless you have the urge to share it with someone else or to the whole world through social media.

Again, the choice is still and will always be yours.

4. Include Inspirational Quotes

Tough Times Don't Last Tough People Do Quote on a journal page in watercolor paint

Remember that quote you read that got you through a rough patch in your life?

Add it to your journal pages and decorate it, so it’s different from the rest of your writing.

Use it as a reminder that you’re not alone in this crazy world, and we all have our moments where life seems overwhelming.

Include all the quotes that have inspired you in the past to remind you that there are people in this world who think, feel, and go through difficult times just like you, but they all came out with more wisdom on the other side.

As an avid reader, I often find great solace in other people’s words. Some people just know exactly what to say.

Include their statements in your journal, so it’s easily accessible when you need them the most.

5. Constantly Break Your Rules

  • Start on the last page and work your way back to the first page.
  • Write in reverse.
  • Use your non-dominant hand to write.
  • Sketch whatever comes into your head when reading a sentence as opposed to writing it out.
  • Add pictures of anything that intrigues you

Breaking down creativity barriers can be achieved by exploring different journaling ideas; don’t be afraid!

You can always go back if something doesn’t work. However, always be willing to try it first because sometimes what seems crazy will become an ingenious idea with a little exploration.

Have you ever wondered why most artists seem weird to other people?

They exude eccentricity because they’re not afraid to step outside the box and try extraordinary things, so channel your inner artist and don’t be afraid of the results.

6. Sketch and Paint Your Thoughts

Your thoughts are imaginative shapes and colors. Why not capture them on paper?

Sketch and paint your thoughts to separate yourself from reality for a few moments. It’s an escape that will give you mental clarity and a short break from this chaotic world.

The best things in life are found through creativity, and with time you’ll start seeing the purpose behind your life’s journey.

Don’t worry about the aesthetic value of your creations; just get it out of your head and onto the journal.

Create nonstop. Then create some more to keep that faucet of creativity flowing endlessly.

7. Use Prompts to Spark Creativity

It’s okay to need help when you’re stuck. That’s what journal prompts are for.

Use them as a way to spark creativity and banish mental blocks.

Most prompts are either

word-based

  • meaning there are questions that need answering

time-based

  • which means there is a certain allotted time for the prompt and a certain time for journaling

theme-based

  • which means there are many prompts that fall under a wide category

The best thing about using these is that you can mix and match them to find the one that fits your style!

Prompts allow people of all levels of creativity to start or continue their journey because they’re not too overwhelmed.

Use them to your advantage. It’s okay to need help and be lost at times; it’s part of being human!

Speaking of prompts, here are a few to get you going …

 

7 Creative Writing Prompts

  1. Create a mood board about the best day of your life.
  2. What is one thing you would do if you had all the money in the world?
  3. Draw three ways that your life has changed in the last year.
  4. Describe what it was like when you were five years old.
  5. Think of a product idea that could make life easier for you and other people, then name it and write about how it will work. 
  6. Draw, cut, and paste some things that are making you happy right now.
  7. Write a story about your favorite thing that you did today.

A journal is a powerful tool because it helps you to get your thoughts and feelings out of your head.

Keeping a journal provides a great release and doubles as a coping mechanism.

The creative journaling ideas listed here should provide some inspiration for your journaling journey.

Go with your gut feeling, explore avenues you’ve never thought about, and be open to new things.

It’s not about the destination; it’s all about the journey.

So go ahead and grab yourself a journal. It’s never too late or too early!

Be prepared to embark on an exciting journey of self-discovery.

No matter your reasons, there is always an outlet to express what’s in your head. You just have to be willing to find it and use it.

Try these tips out yourself, or share them with someone who needs encouragement today!

What are some helpful journaling ideas that have helped you get your thoughts and emotions out of your head when they feel like they’re all over the place?

Share with us in the comments below.

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Jody

Jody is a creative writer, artist, graphic designer, and a digital nomad who also helps people live more fulfilling lives by finding creative solutions to their personal growth and development problems and lifestyle challenges.

6 thoughts on “7 Fun Creative Journaling Ideas and Prompts”

  1. I journal…but I’m not as consistent as I want to be. I may incorporate some of these other ways to journal. Thanks

    1. Jody

      Try many different ways LaToya until you find your own style, don’t give up to quickly

  2. Loved this article. I especially loved #5-Constantly break all the rules. So true.

    1. Jody

      Hey Angie, thanks for reading. Sometimes the rules need to be broken!

  3. I love this idea. It would be fun to look back through a creative journal in the years to come. I keep reading about journalling as a self-care activity and am feeling it is something I need to embrace.

    1. Jody

      Journaling is a great self-care activity Dori so embrace your curiosity and dive in! Also, thanks for reading!

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