Nature Journaling: How Doing Less Can Lead to More

In my struggle to do more nature journaling, I got some help from a recent episode of The Nature Journal Show by Marley Peifer on burnout. While I’m not burnt out, his advice helps make nature journaling both fun and easy to do. In fact, you can apply most of his advice to any creative activity you enjoy. Two of the eight tips in his 15-minute video have already helped me.

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Waiting for Inspiration? Spend the Time Practicing

There’s a belief that all the great artists are inspired, that what makes their work wonderful is a brilliant idea or new insight. But this is just a myth. A single moment of brilliance can be blinding to the rest of us, but there’s more to it than that. You can’t make use of inspiration if you don’t know how to use your medium. Great art comes from lots of work, which can be summed up in one word: practice.

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How Nature Journaling Inspired Me To Solve A Mystery

On our trip to Utah, I made a point of drawing daily. But my real goal was to journal about the natural world. Inspired by The Laws Guide to Nature Drawing and Journaling, I made an effort to more closely observe my surroundings and to ask questions about what I saw. I found myself looking around for the answers as well.

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Doing The Thing Every Day — Gently

Creativity takes practice, which is why people say “You should write every day” (or draw or sculpt or dance or play the tuba every day). There’s an understandable emphasis on consistency, on showing up again and again to do the thing, whatever it is. On working steadily, even if it’s slowly, so that, like the tortoise, we can cross the finish line. Even creativity guru Julia Cameron says so.

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Connections and Insights: The Gift of Sketching Daily

I started referring to our recent trip to Utah as “The Awe and Wonder Tour” when we’d only been there a few days. We were overdo for a vacation, and I adore the Canyonlands area and everything it entails. But I believe the real reason this vacation was so special was because I was sketching daily. I made connections and saw patterns I might have missed if I hadn’t been awakened by regular drawing.

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