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Have you ever been engrossed in a video of someone else creating a visual journal page and thought “I love this!…But I could never do that.”

Or have you ever had the urge to start journaling but felt blocked when words wouldn’t come?

Have you just recently heard of “visual journaling” and wondered what it was all about?

Or have you ever longed for an outlet for your emotions, dreams, hopes, desires, but didn’t think you had the artistic chops to paint or draw them?

There’s a lot of confusion out there about what exactly “visual journaling” is, what it does, and who it’s for. But let me be the one to tell you, it’s for everyone and anyone. Especially you.

Let’s start by comparing traditional journaling (in diary / log format) and visual journaling:



Most people know what a traditional journal is. A visual journal is really not much different in terms of what it’s meant to do. It’s meant to provide a place to express, explore, and discover. Many people use it to record the goings-on in their lives, or their feelings, wishes, fears, and dreams. Still others use it as a place to practice gratitude, or set intentions. The purpose of the journal is the same for both. But where they vary are the tools used to create the entry, and the approach to creation in the first place.

Visual journaling, in my opinion, has the upper hand. Why? Well, for one thing, you aren’t limited to using words alone. Don’t get me wrong – I’m a writer. I LOVE words. Words are my people. I could bathe  in them. But they don’t always come and it can be hard to coax out the important ones when it’s just me and them and the blank page at the end of a difficult day.

But a visual journal? Well, the rules are different. If I’m not feeling “writterly” at the moment, I can just cut up a bunch of random scraps and glue them down or slap a coat of paint onto the page. Or go a little crazy with the leaf stencil.

Anything counts, as long as it makes a mark. And every mark is important. And it’s not.

One of the most beautiful things about a visual journal is the lack of sacred reverence that comes with a journal dedicated only to writing. At least for me. The freedom of a space that encourages play, and messes, and exploration, where there are no mistakes and everything is fair game, is unmatched by the traditional counterpart.

So is visual journaling a good fit for you? Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Would you benefit from a place where there were no boundaries and you are free to express yourself without worry or concern?
  • Do you have access to an old notebook, textbook, phonebook, or pile of file folders that could be converted into a visual journal? (It’s easy! I’ll show you how soon, I promise!)
  • Do you have ANYthing in your house that could be used to create images? Crayons, magazines that can be cut up, stamps, stencils, pens, paints, even coffee? (I made one of my favorite visual journal entries out of a lipstick I didn’t like. Seriously anything  goes.)

If you said “yes” to any of these, it’s a fit for you. There can be absolutely no harm in you giving it a go. Visual journaling can be fun, therapeutic, and beneficial to absolutely anyone, anywhere. And if you clicked on this article, you’re either already in the camp that digs it or you’re curious enough to try it. So give it a shot!

Here’s what you don’t have to be to get the benefits:

  • an artist
  • a writer
  • fully-stocked with fancy art supplies and a 200.00 journal from Etsy

Let me repeat. Anything goes. You can literally do this with a phone book and a sharpie. Be sure to come back to every Wednesday for inspiration, resources, tutorials, and support in your visual journaling adventures!

Want to see how I prep my visual journal for the week? Click here to read about my prep process!

Today’s post originally appeared on Gift Your Stories



Gift Your Stories

Kristina Garner is the head writer for Gift Your Stories – dedicated to promoting thoughtfulness and self-love through creativity.

You can also find her at Gift Your Stories’ sister website, Blossom and Root

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