I enjoy boxed sets, series and themes because there’s comfort in order. And because my OCD is sated when matched items are lined up on a shelf. But I also find themes profoundly inspiring because they encourage brainstorming and boost idea generation, essentially making you smarter.
While discussing seasonal journaling the other day with one of my fellow writers, my thoughts flew to the Jill Bliss mini journal boxed set I’d been aching for. Suddenly, I had an excuse to buy this beautiful set of four deliciously flowered little journals, wrapped in a scrumptious hard case that looks fabulous on the shelf even before you start writing.
The four journals in the set are begging to be turned into a themed series of some stripe. I’m thinking seasons – one for each. Even the colors lend themselves to this natural division.
If you’ve got a boxed set of four journals like this, what elements of your life could you capture in detail? Four trips? Four kids? Four choose-your-own-adventure endings to a situation? Four intense days of introspection?
Boosting your smarts with themes works in other areas besides journaling, too. Try this next time you’re seized by a great idea for a project. Can you dream up a few more along the same vein? Perhaps one for each holiday? How about one for each month? Each family member? Each state? Your thoughts eagerly branch out in new directions when you give them a path to follow.
Themes encourage lateral brainstorming, too. I do this with website post ideas. A post on journaling to prepare for a challenging event, for example, easily blossoms into a series: prepare for a career change, a wedding, a birth, a move, a death, a vacation with the in-laws.
The brain seeks patterns. Use this to your advantage and you’ll always have a pool of bright ideas to choose from.
My new journal boxed set fairly glows with inspiration. The possibilities are endless. How would you use them?