In this video I show you how to nature journal without fear, because I think it’s the most important thing for your nature journaling.
Why Nature Journaling Without Fear matters more than anything else
There are certain skills that automatically improve the more you nature journal. That is the good news. These aspects of nature journaling are easy to teach, easy to learn, and easy to pick up from repetition. However, there are other things that you will not automatically get better at. In fact, these things could actually get worse as you become a more experienced nature journaler or advanced artist. I know many veteran nature journalers who struggle with these challenges. What am I talking about? I’m talking about fear.
If you don’t have the best drawing skills it will affect your nature journaling somewhat. But if you are afraid of trying new things on your pages or are too intimidated to share your work it could hamper your nature journaling for life. Your drawing skills will probably get better just with more practice but your fears might not. It is easy to identify your drawing shortcomings, take a class, practice and get better. It is not easy to take a class to help you deal with your artistic fears and obstacles. You might not even be able to correctly diagnose the source of your mental obstacles or the fears that are holding you back.
Because of all these reasons I have decided that helping people be more fearless in their nature journaling approach is the most important thing I can share. If you want to learn how to nature journal without fear you might be interested in my one-on-one coaching.
Types of Fear in Nature Journaling
So, how does fear manifest itself in our practice of nature journaling? Following are some examples of fears related to perfectionism:
- Fear of messing up, making mistakes, making bad drawings
- Fear of nature journaling certain subjects: animals, movement, action, pets.
There are also major social fears. Such as:
- Fear of feedback, judgement, or criticism.
- Fear of nature journaling in public, sharing our work, or nature journaling with other people. Sometimes, this manifests itself as a fear to share our pages with certain people such as our family or spouse.
There are also the fears from being too precious:
- The fear of wasting materials, art supplies, or expensive paper.
- Fear of ruining a pretty journal page or a fancy journal.
- Fear of trying new techniques or new materials.
There are also fears of commitment:
- Indecision around which subject to commit to, which vista to draw, which park to go to. We are afraid that we might miss something better. There might be a more beautiful subject, a more interesting plant just around the corner. This can be a paralyzing fear that might lead you to only take photos with your phone and never pull out your sketchbook.
- Fear of permanence, fear of ink, over attachment to erasers and graphite or overuse of non-photo blue pencil.
Unfortunately, we live in a society that has primed us for these problems. For example, I know many adults who are simply afraid to draw. Maybe this fear is the result of an unfortunate childhood experience. Most of us have also been ingrained with the fixed mindset. This mindset assumes that we are born with certain immutable talents and limitations and can not learn new skills.
We often build up layers of rationalizations and habits of avoidance around these fears making them even harder to identify. Do we really prefer such a tidy style or are we just afraid to make mistakes on the page? Are botanical subjects really all we want to do or are we just afraid of drawing moving animals?
What Fearless Nature Journaling Looks like
So what does nature journaling without fear actually look like?
I have gotten glimpses of fearless nature journaling in Nature Journal Show interviews with Amaya Shreeve and Heather Crellin. What do these two have in common? Both are relatively new to nature journaling. Both seem to take real joy in the process. In addition, they both focus on quantity and frequency of nature journaling even if it is just a short session.
How Can You Nature Journal Without Fear?
If you want help nature journaling without fear I can help. Sign up for persoanlized coaching with me. We will look at your pages, I will listen to your joys and challenges and we will come up with a plan.
I’m currently offering one hour sessions on Tuesday and Thursdays afternoons and Sunday Mornings. Click on one of the available dates (in white) then choose a time slot.
Just getting started with nature journaling?
Need more tips? If so, check out this post. It will walk you through how to nature journal in 10 steps.
Need help choosing nature journaling supplies? Check out Nature Journaling Supplies: What You Need and What You Do Not