Thursday, February 29, 2024

Fight Writing Fatigue by Tapping into Creative Joy

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

Sometimes the writing life is hard. For me, the past few years have been creatively exhausting. First, there was Covid, then there was recovery from Covid. THEN I made a mistake that many other writers made. I thought life was normal so I tried to make up for lost time and ended up exhausting myself. 

I don't know about you but I'm ready for some return to creative joy. Just saying those words has me longing for former times. Try it with me:

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 asking 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
  • Calendar
  • Word document

It doesn't matter how you do it. 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. She’s learned to embrace the ultimate contradiction of being an organized creative. 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, often using creativity to empower this connection. The Write Conversation, the blog she developed and manages, reaches thousands and has been on the Writer’s Digest Top 101 Sites for Writers since 2017. As a social media and blogging expert she’s worked with clients that range from authors and speakers to business and ministry leaders. She also knows the necessity of Soul Care and leads retreats, conferences & workshops around the world on staying connected to God. Her numerous books, including the award-winning Soul Care series reflect her passion to help others develop the strength of their God-given gifts. She’s the director of the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference and board member of the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association.

She and husband Kirk have been married 42+ years, and live near their three sons and three grandchildren in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Edie and Kirk can often be found with their big black dog hiking—Edie hanging off ledges for the best camera angle and Kirk patiently carrying her tripod. Connect with her on her website, and through social media.


  1. This is a wonderful idea, Edie. I am constantly in awe of how much I have to be grateful for.

  2. I'm with you, Edie! I'm more relaxed just thinking of all the future joy.

  3. This. Oh, Edie… this resonates with my soul. After so many emotionally draining years in a row, I love this reminder to build ourselves back up. It’s definitely worth a try. Find the joy. So simple and so needed.

    Laurie Lupin