The blank journal page. It can be so overwhelming sometimes! Some days it comes easy. Other days, not so much. Facing that page can feel paralyzing! It even happens in your nature journal.
I think my biggest fear is that I’ll waste my precious time and materials on something that won’t turn out like I want it to. But, I’ve learned that I just can’t worry about that. Like anything, just the practice of showing up and doing the work is what it takes to transform us into the natural journalers we want to be. But getting motivated to start can be tricky. So, I thought I’d share some simple tips today to help you (and me) when we are staring down at our blank nature journal page.
Let’s get started!
Sometimes the best way to start is to have a little bit of fun. So my first tip is:
Make It a Game
- Close your eyes and try to identify 10 different sounds. This will help open up your ears and mind to what is really going on around you.
- Play the alphabet game! Start at the beginning and find something that starts with the letter A and so on. Stop when you feel inspired.
- Do a contour drawing of something that overwhelms you.
- Write a poem about your surroundings or make up a story about the birds or animals around you.
- Go to your backyard and draw or write about the first thing you see.
Draw from a Picture on Your Phone
Sometimes this is seen as a no-no in the nature journaling community but I don’t agree! There are days when I really want to get close up to a squirrel or bird for instance and just can’t. I’m happy to find a reference photo on my phone and study that while outside enjoying the sounds and sights of that specific animal. Reference photos help me see the details I may have missed and help give me an appreciation for the animal. But I will caution you. Try not to do this everytime you go out. You may miss something amazing while staring at your screen. 🙂
Stumped on where to start?
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Other Ideas to Get Your Juices Flowing:
- Add some leaf or tree rubbings
- Record some measurements/charts/ – look for patterns
- Poetry – Write your own or copy down a poem from your phone
- Quotes – Charlotte Mason or John Muir quotes are both great places to start
- Nature stamps (collect objects and paint them and press into your journal)
- Smear some juice from a berry or fruit you are drawing.
- Lists of birds, insects, leaves, or flowers you have observed
- Record sit spot seasons – sit in the same spot at least once during each season. Record how it is different
- Make a record of animal tracks – ask questions like: where are they going? Who do they belong to?
- Seeds (either from a plant you are observing or taken from a packet you plan to plant – record how it is growing)
- Ask yourself: What does this remind me of? Why? Let yourself wonder and come up with answers on your own without the help of a field guide or your phone. Write them down and check later to see if you were close!
I hope these tips have been helpful to you. Just have fun. I try to always remember that I’m not going for perfection. Just progress! The Resource Library is full of great resources for you to use in your journaling. If you don’t have a password yet, just fill out the form below and I’ll get it right to you! Have a great day and remember Your Life is Your Art.
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