Friday, April 3, 2020

Tap Into the Power of Creative Joy

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

For the first two weeks of this pandemic, I was interested in all the posts that offered tips about writing during this difficult times. I’ve written and published several here on this site. They’re an important part of processing what we’re going through. 

But if I read too many of them, they get to be a little bit overwhelming. 

So I’m taking a step back from all the options and coping skills and embracing joy…

Creative joy.

That’s what fuels my soul. And I suspect that’s what fuels yours as well. 

So today I’m issuing a challenge. I’m you all to join me in the practice of keeping a joy journal. You can use any means you choose—
  • Notebook
  • Journal
  • Loose leaf paper in a three ring binder

Just pick a means that feeds your joy, and does NOT add to your stress. 

Many of you know that I’m an advocate of journaling in general and bullet journaling specifically. I also regularly include a gratitude journal layout for every month in my planner. But a Joy Journal is slightly different than a gratitude journal. 

What is a Joy Journal?
Keeping a joy journal is the practice of recording things that bring you joy. Yes, it can be something you’re grateful for, but it’s broader than that. Here are some ideas to get you started:
  • Cover a page with different shades of a color that bring you joy (for me that would be robin’s egg blue).
  • Pick up beautiful feather while you’re outside and you tape to the page. 
  • Write out a quote that makes you smile.
  • Compose a poem.
  • Write a Bible verse.
  • Write out a prayer.
  • Snap a picture with your phone and print it out. If you don’t have access to a printer, describe the scene.

Now go one step further. We’re all writers here, so the next thing I'm asking you to do is to describe how you’re feeling and why this particular thing/experience/thought brings you joy. 

The important thing to remember is that this joy journal is for you. It brings you joy. Unless you want to share, no one else will see this. And you’re not allowed to say horrible things to yourself while you’re creating it. Things like these are not allowed:
  • This is stupid.
  • I can’t draw.
  • I’m not doing this right.
  • If anyone saw this they’d laugh.

Writers are creatives. We’re also husbands, wives, fathers, mothers, sons and daughters. And during this crisis, so many of us have a heightened sense of the need to be responsible and care for those around us. 

But I’ve discovered I can’t pour water from an 
empty vessel.

Stress will eat us from the inside out if we don’t feed our souls. 

That means taking a little time to remember the joy. For me, that joy begins and ends with the blessings God puts all around me. The trick is concentrating on that for a little while each day. When I do that, the strength I need is there—along with an indescribable peace. 

I’d love to know who’s with me on this challenge? Post a comment below and lets encourage each other to creative joy!

Don’t forget to join the conversation,


Edie Melson is a woman of faith with ink-stained fingers observing life through the lens of her camera. No matter whether she’s talking to writers, entrepreneurs, or readers, her first advice is always “Find your voice, live your story.” As an author, blogger, and speaker she’s encouraged and challenged audiences across the country and around the world. Her numerous books reflect her passion to help others develop the strength of their God-given gifts and apply them to their lives.Connect with her on her website, through Facebook, Twitter and on Instagram


  1. Great idea, Edie. I will enter my first joy entry right here in the comments:

    It's snowing outside - buckets and buckets of snow. The boughs are bending. The drifts are piling. This pretty scene would bring me so much joy at Christmas, but seeing it in April has made me grouchy. I'm sorry, Lord. Thank you for the postcard you created for me outside my window. It's beautiful!

    I'm a homeschooling schoolmarm now. Not what I'd planned. But after years of cringing at how much time my children spend away from me while they're at school, here they are now! With me every day! We're working together, playing together, relaxing together, exercising together, baking together, crying together. This is a beautiful opportunity for bonding. Thank you, Father, for relationships, families, love, and growth.

    1. Sara Jane, This is beautiful! It brings me joy just reading it! Thank you for sharing 💕 Blessings, E

  2. I am noticing the relaxed look on people's faces as I go out on walks in our neighborhood. Other walkers no longer have a stressed-out, hurried expression. Most people are chatting happily to their fellow-walkers. We even met neighbors who were standing outside their house, whom we would never have met, had we all been in busy, former times. This new season brings me joy.

    1. Roberta, I’ve noticed the same thing here in our neighborhood! Thank you for sharing! Blessings, E

  3. This morning our neighbors surprised a girl in our neighborhood who turned sweet 16 today. People came out last night from 10 to 12 to write chalk messages on the pavement by her house. She was delighted to see all the birthday wishes this morning.

    1. JoAnne, that’s so cool! Thank you for sharing! Blessings, E

  4. I find joy each day as I walk by a marsh near our home. The male red-winged blackbirds have returned. They swoop around, singing, and flashing their red epaulettes as they land on cattails to stake out nest sites. Soon the lady red-winded blackbirds will arrive to build their nests deep withing those cattails! Watching God's beautiful creation really lifts up my spirits!