Want to focus and calm the mind along with sharpening your writing skills? Try nature journaling.

The perfect rhythm and activity of the natural world lends itself to contemplation. While I find it hard to meditate indoors even under ‘ideal’ conditions (seated on yoga mat, candles lit, New Age music playing), I can often effortlessly slip into a calm state on a simple walk through nature’s green space. Grass, sky, trees, clouds, insects, tiny animals – all are fodder for the writer’s soul and imagination.

I don’t normally carry a journal or camera on my daily walks. Instead, I observe trees, the shape of clouds, oddly shaped rocks, wildflowers. I try to carry one or two images home with me to write about. Some people prefer to get outside with a sketchbook or camera; that’s fine, too. As with any journaling practice, a little trial and error will show a technique that works.

Exercise: Take a walk in a green space this week, with the intent to observe and later record something unique. Write about the bird, flower, tree, animal or cloud formation you witnessed. You can include a picture if you like. If nature journaling holds a special appeal for you, dedicate a special journal or sketchbook for your findings.

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