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Creative Journal Writing: The Art and Heart of Reflection
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Creative Journal Writing: The Art and Heart of Reflection

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  291 ratings  ·  59 reviews
From the #1 creativity publisher in the country comes our latest creativity bestseller?Creative Journal Writing? the ultimate book for those who are looking to use this powerful tool to heal, expand, and transform their lives.

In this exceptionally positive and encouraging book, Stephanie Dowrick frees the journal writer she believes is in virtually everyone, showing throu
Paperback, 259 pages
Published February 5th 2009 by Tarcherperigee (first published January 1st 2007)
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geneva  warbucks
Mar 14, 2009 rated it liked it
If you're a long-time journaler (like me), this book won't necessarily revolutionize the way you think about the process of journaling. What it did do for me was give me some new ideas about how to both journal and think about journaling differently. Some of the exercises were really useful.

If you're new to the game, this book will provide a nice introduction to a lot of things that journaling can bring to your life.
Mar 18, 2015 rated it really liked it
The title sums it up well. :) This is a book that I'll have close by when I'm feeling stuck and need some inspiration - there are thoughtful, thought-provoking exercises throughout and a list of 125 helpful prompts at the end.
Mar 30, 2011 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: New journal-writers, habitual journal writers who feel bound by routine
Overall, I liked this book. Flip to any page, and you'll find yourself inspired to pick up a pen and open to a new page. Stephanie Dowrick encourages you to write with freedom (I think 'instinctively' is her most frequently-used word), ignoring any of the voices in your head that say you 'have' to do something.

The one main problem in this book is that, for those of use who picked it off the shelf expecting a treasure-trove of unique techniques and intriguing exercises, it is a bit of a disappoi
Elaine D
Mar 01, 2014 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: new writers
Shelves: non-fiction, help-me
This book was a roller coaster of literary engagement. When I started, I loved it. I felt inspired, informed, & ravenous for prompts to get me thinking deeper. There was a lot of excellent information and points to ponder in here for sure! Particularly, the bits that prompted you to probe your past and "retire your inner critic." I think those are both crucial to having a successful experience as a journalist. It is absolutely essential not to judge yourself & edit, because then you're not being ...more
Jan 05, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: owned-books
It wasn't everything I had hoped it would be, but Creative Journal Writing is not terrible, and a pretty handy reference. I have been an on-and-off-again journal writer for some time, and was looking for some inspiration to keep with the habit, and to get out of my own way, as I think it would a) keep me in the habit of writing in general and b) make it easier to track life changes and such (especially regarding mental health issues).

Creative Journal Writing started out all right, but Dowrick's
David Brown
Feb 17, 2011 rated it it was ok
There are a few good pointers for journal writing in this book; but on the whole, the author is very vague on just what journal writing is and how best to go about it. The book is filled with exercises that are mostly just expanded or pretty much the same as the ones that are in previous chapters.

There are some interesting journal excerpts from other writers, but the ones by the author are boring and poorly written. Much like the rest of her writing in the book.

Save your time and/or money, get
Jun 30, 2014 rated it liked it
I was bored in a lot of the book and my first impulse was to give it a two star. But if this is the first book ever i had read on journaling i would have probably liked it a bit more so i left it at three. As it was i thought it was nothing different - both from other books that talk about journaling and also for anyone who has been journalling for a while. I think journalling regularly itself would lead you to experiment with writing and you might discover for yourself many of the exercises sug ...more
Jun 09, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
The first chapter of this book talks about how to use the book. It encourages you to read the whole book all the way through and then to go back and to follow the instructions in the book. That is what I have done with the book. So, far I have read it through and feel motivated, so I plan to now start going back and doing some of the writing prompts. For someone who has fallen out of journal writing and is trying to find the motivation in or back in I would suggest this book.

Stephen Tuck
This is a good book in its own way, but not really my cup of tea. It's very much a guide to journalling as a means of therapy and self discovery, where my interests as a writer are rather more down to earth. The style is warm, however, and a person who wanted to expand their inner life would certainly get quite a lot out of it.
Lisa Miller
Dec 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed this book. There are some good ideas in this book. it is easy to read. you can become an active reader in this book if you want. There are ideas along the way to pull through and it does not pull you down.
3 1/2 stars

This is a great book for beginning journal writers. There are several exercises that may inspire someone new to writing. Many of the exercises build upon previous exercises which could help improve the process of journal writing.
Dec 23, 2017 rated it liked it
Excellent and thorough overview of creative journaling with lots of ideas and prompts that inspired my journal writing
Dec 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Whether you are new to journal writing or have been a longtime journaler, this book can give you some new ideas on writing. I found this book to be helpful in generating new ideas to write about by doing the writing exercises. There are many reasons why people enjoy writing, but reflection seems to be the main theme for this book. It can be help to just take a few minutes to write and reflect on your day because everyone has some story to tell.
Chris Waterford
Dec 03, 2018 rated it liked it
I was hoping for some impetus for my own journal/diary writing and I got a bit. The main message I got was to write more honestly. I would have liked more "live" entries rather than writers writing about their experience of journal writing.
Veena Hari
Mar 12, 2020 rated it liked it
Interesting and light read to reinforce my incessant notebook keeping habit. Some of the practical suggestions are useful and it gave me a lot of ideas to expand the scope of my journals and notebooks.
Feb 22, 2019 rated it it was ok
This book was far too long considering the amount of information it actually contained. Perhaps I’m just not the audience for it.
May 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: creative-living
Challenges: Borrowathon Round 6 - Explore item from bucket list (1). Of the three things on my bucket list, the second is to develop myself more creatively. An ordained interfaith minister, and writer of commentary on poet Rainer Maria Rilke, Stephanie Dowrick has inspired me to begin writing again in journals (that I recently purchased) with fresh approaches of looking beyond success and seeking acceptance of things when resolution cannot be realized. My goal is now to savor a life lived and th ...more
K Rae
Dowrick has a beautiful way with words. She is very inspiring and encouraging, and for someone who is either new to the journaling experience or someone who has not journaled in a while, I recommend this book. I actually recommend this book for writers, as well, because her writing style will motivate you and give you many ideas.
Aug 08, 2011 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anyone looking to start keeping a journal
Recommended to Heather by: God, maybe?
Shelves: own-it, non-fiction
Review of Creative Journal Writing by Stephanie Dowrick

I’m not the sort of person who usually reads any book that might be labeled “Self Help”. I consider most of what is found in those books a lot of nonsense. Some I’ve seen act like worrying about things is a conscious choice – as if I like being anxious about things or don’t have enough faith in God to let Him take care of my problems. I’m afraid those books have turned me off the entire “genre”.

This book, however, is really helpful in how it
Erik Akre
Aug 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: journal writers looking for inspiration
Shelves: artmaking
The room fills with a haze of myrrh, a thick Saturday morning smoky scent that I dedicate to Hel, my great Goddess of Death. With pen in hand and journal beneath it, I feel the freedom to begin my writing with purpose. I know not what purpose, yet, but I do feel freedom: The possibilities for journal writing are infinite, and setting the table with Hel's power will lend something to whatever ends up written or unwritten.

Dowrick did not directly inspire this experience, but her book challenges it
Dawn Herring
Nov 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing
When I began to read Stephanie Dowrick's Creative Journal Writing, I was quite pleased with her overall voice and tone which is soft and gentle in quality, drawing you in to the pleasures of a discovery-based journal writing practice; the furthest thing from the mind is a sense of obligation or doing it wrong.

She provides a series of wonderfully enlightening journal exercises, or really questions, focused on a specific topic, with encouragement to write down associations and noting your feeling
Feb 01, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone who has wanted to start a journal, but hasn't for whatever reason.

this book is geared to someone who has never journaled.

i started using this book a couple of weeks ago to get begin a new journal and get myself writing *something* every day - even if it's just 15 minutes. i love it.

i have been writing/journaling since i was 9 so i am no beginner. however, this book reminds even a lifetime journaler like myself why i journal. there are so many prompts and exercises that are v
Jan 27, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2017, journal-keeping
I have to admit, this one was disappointing. I have been a lifelong journal writer and occasionally I like to read books on keeping a journal to find new prompts and a fresh way of looking at things. This is not creative journal writing, let me just say that. This is a book for people who have never written in a journal before. For crying out loud, the first almost 50 pages are to try to convince a person that keeping a journal isn't just for teenage girls. (Really!)

One good part of the book is
Sky Diamond
Feb 23, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: inspiration
So far, I'm only on page 89, and I can't exactly say I'm actually enjoying this book all that much. Most of the time, the things I'm reading are flying over my head and I'll reread a page and not think I've read it and then realise I have. There are FAR too many 'fancy' words being used, that are more suitable for a novel, than a self-help book.

One thing I have noticed though, not so much in my journal writing, but I am a writer of short stories and novels, my writing there has became freer. I
Jan 17, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
I've been toying with the idea of expanding my journal writing from the weekly summary I currently write each Sunday. This book has some interesting prompts, but I'm not sure I'm ready for such a big switch from my linear style. Just reading about doing a prompt on "freedom" made me irritable. On the other hand, reading the prompts about "home" inspired me to take care of some small home improvement projects that have been languishing. I'm also not sure I can handle the self-knowledge she claims ...more
Jun 20, 2010 rated it it was ok
I only found about 20 pages to be of use for me. I'm not sure why I attempt to read how-to books on journaling when I've been journaling for years. I've been journaling for years, extensively since Oct 2008, so this & the other book(s) I've looked at recently are too much at the beginner level for me. I like Dowrick's "Choosing Happiness" book and plan on reading another but ended up skimming a bunch of this.
Maybe why I look at these books on journaling is similar to why I look at books on inte
Mar 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I own this book. I've also kept journals for many years. And Dowrick opened a zipper in my mind and all kinds of wonderful things came tumbling out, demanding that I scribble them on my journal pages. Maybe the book doesn't affect everyone like that, but it certainly revved me up! Please don't allow the naysayers to ruin what could be a great experience for you. If you don't want to buy a copy right away, at least read a library copy and find out for yourself what this book can do for you. Who k ...more
Deb Tregilgas
Sep 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing
A fantastic book that not only develops a sense of the worth of writing a journal but guides you into it in such a way as to leave you constantly inspired and hopeful. The author, an Aussie woman, has found a way to encourage rather than impel in a voice that appeals to the inner writer in us all. She covers all moods and purposes for writing and looks at the long term gain, not just the short term outcomes. Well worth reading by anyone whether you are just starting out writing or have been writ ...more
Literary Mama
As my children grew from preschoolers to high schoolers, entries to my childhood diary increased while my responses to writing prompts became more and more sporadic; those one-line prompts didn't always strike the right chord to get my creative juices flowing. I started to rethink “journaling” and how I spent my writing time, and turned to these books for guidance.

Read Literary Mama's full review here:
Feb 02, 2011 rated it it was amazing
A fantastic resource for journal writers or ones that desire to write a journal but need a bit of a push or a head start. Has some great excerpts from other journals, some journal prompts and details what creative journal writing is all about.

This is my first book of Stephanie Dowrick and I really loved her style.

I've already recommended this to someone I crossed paths with who wanted to get into journaling and she also found this book hugely motivating.
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