Journal as a Springboard to Creativity

Guest Blog Post by Mary Jo Campbell 

Journaling post by Mary Jo CampbellYou want to hear a secret? I rewrote this post about eight times. Wouldn’t think that much time went into a short blurb, right? And that’s when the real theme of this post hit me. It doesn’t have to be perfect. I don’t have to be perfect. Journaling, especially, isn’t perfect.

Journaling means something different to everyone who practices, even to those who don’t practice and just have their opinions.

Journaling can be used as a dumping ground. Some of my journal pages are filled with angry rapid strokes of pen, ranting about family, my day job, my lack of time and my abundance of guilt. So I wander off, away from the TV, the people, the internet, the noises in my head throbbing to get out.

Clear out the sludge that drowns the Creative Sprite sleeping inside of you. Her wings are covered and soggy. Write it out; remove the skin of anger, despair, loneliness, regret, boredom, guilt and worry. Write it out and the layers of negativity fall from her wings. She can flap and flutter and her color returns as she swirls up from your belly, warming your heart and bursting through your throat. Your Creative Sprite flies freely from you. This is where the magic happens in your writing. In your clarity and in your true expression.

Journaling is like a playground, where maybe you’re the loner kid. Not because you have B.O. or wear headgear, but out of personal preference. The need for space, and reflection.  Journal to tap into your wild mind and all its crevices. Sometimes there are concrete details and gems winking up from the page at you, whispering “use me!” and you see how it could fit in your current work-in-progress, or springboard into a new character or place or title, a or poem.

Wish I could just disappear from here and sleep in the wind.

Journal to observe and reflect on the things you see in your day to day life. What stories can emerge? What emotions?

Kids of all ages wearing “I’m walking for Jack” t-shirts swarm around a tall lanky boy wearing “I’m Jack” tee.

Glenda’s too-small large-gapped teeth

Pat’s half-smile and sad eyes

Mom’s adult diaper, soggy, on the floor

Greasy brown paper bags from Cozy Corner slumping on the counter

Need life direction? Conduct an interview with yourself:

What is your next book going to be about?

What projects must you get done before you die?

What themes have developed in your work over the decades?

Manifest your future through Visualization:

“There will be a morning when I can…”

Journaling can be random thoughts spilt on the page or a structured Q&A with your alter ego. You never know what revelation will emerge.

I’ll leave you with a glimpse into my journal…


I am contemplating not going back in to work. Wouldn’t that be freeing? To just leave? Take off? I feel so wound up and achy and bogged down and pointless. I need fulfilling work. I need to connect, even with myself. If my core essence is screaming BORE! Wasteful! While I go about my day of planning meetings and answering emails and gathering data for spreadsheets - how do I function? I have such a bubbling anxiety that shakes me from within. To stop. To get off this ride. And stroll on a worn path in the woods. Breathe in and out. Listen to the leaves twist on the limbs, animals skit and scat through bushes, over rocks, under logs. To be in nature. I should have been born a tree.

How will you use the magic of Journaling?  Dare to share a bit from your pages?


                                             About the AuthorMary Jo Campbell 

When Mary Jo Campbell isn’t scribbling down strange thoughts or snippets of “borrowed” conversations, she’s revising her YA Novel (yes, again!), inspiring young writers and sharing life with her man and their two sons. Follow her @mjcwriter or visit

If you want to learn how journaling can help you tackle life's challenges, please download the free eBook, The Journaling Guide to Manage The Stress and Strains of Life 

Are you new to journaling? Or perhaps you're an experienced journaler who wishes to restart a daily journaling practice? Our Build a Lasting Journaling Practice in 14 Days self-paced journaling course shows you the tools and techniques you need to build a lifelong journaling practice.