Today I’m talking to all the folks out there who have found their perfect, ideal journal and are holding on to it, waiting for inspiration to strike. Today I’m travelling back in time to a post I wrote a couple of years ago that still holds true.
It’s all about slowing down, paying attention to yourself and your surroundings, and taking your time. I’ve got three exercises for you to try that should bring some focus and invite eagerness to begin using your journal.
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After the conclusion of a large project, or the close of a busy holiday season I often find myself searching for what’s next. Obviously I’ve got all the ‘business’ things to keep the left side of my brain busy these days. But what about the next steps for the creativity that drives Sprouts Press, what will the next collection of journals be? What function will they serve or what questions will they answer, if any? Will they just be pretty objects that also happen to be books or something else?
I’ve found myself circling around a few topics and activities over the last couple of weeks that seem to be influencing these decisions. While I’m not going to share what they are, (yet, sorry!) I’d love to tell you how I reached them, with the hope that other kindred spirits are also on this type of quest and might find it useful.
So, this is what I do:
1. Go to the library. Take the library bag. Spend around 2/3 of the time in the non-fiction section and 1/3 in the fiction section. I like to choose books that are a combination of inspiring and instructional, and books on things that I’ve never tried before (ie. traditional Norwegian knitting!! So beautiful!). And while I probably won’t actually learn traditional Norwegian knitting, I will certainly enjoy the craftsmanship and detail of the pieces in the book.
Gather enough books to max out your library card. Seriously. (It doesn’t cost anything, unless you don’t return them on time. I *may* have done this once or twice). While it’s nice to know exactly what you want to look at, it’s so great to just wander the stacks and see what pops out, what titles catch your eye.
2. Drink tea in the sunshine. This one requires a bit more patience, for me anyways. To find a sunny window and really enjoy a cup of my favourite tea while not thinking about anything else, just the tea. I will be honest, it’s rare that I can do this for an entire cup of tea. Usually it’s just half the cup, then I get sidetracked/eager to look at my library books. I still enjoy the tea, but more in a gulping look-at-that-awesome-piece-of-artwork kind of way. In the summertime this is an outdoor/backyard/cafe patio activity!
3. Tidy up the workspace. I’ve said this before, but a tidy workspace really is so inviting when starting a new project. Everything is easily found and nothing needs to be moved out of the way to clear another corner of the desk. I suppose it’s the same idea with a journal; the blank page is uncluttered and prepped for your ideas and creativity.
On days when I do these things in the morning, I find the rest of the day just flies by with me working away and before I know it, it’s time to start dinner. I get completely lost in designing or creating or researching, and I love it! Give it a try and let me know how it goes.