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Find Your Purpose

Watercolor Brush 19

Getting started is often the biggest stumbling block to nature journaling as a hobby. Part of the challenge is the choices that you need to make. These choices can be difficult to recognise. One choice is for you to figure out what you want from nature journaling.

In your nature journal or on a separate sheet of paper, write your thoughts in response to the question:  What do you want from nature journaling?

If this is too open a question, ask yourself:

  • What draws you to nature journaling? What inspires you about the possibilities of nature journaling?

  • What do you want to be doing through nature journaling?

  • What do you want to produce through nature journaling? ​What do you want from the nature journals you create?  Do you have a mental picture of what your nature journal might look like?

Your purpose for nature journaling shapes your experiences. It is a useful question to ask yourself every time you open your journal. The reasons may differ depending on your mood, the context and the possibilities you have. What do you want from this nature journal session as a process, and from the entries and pages for your nature journal?

You may find that you have more than one motivation. Your reasons are likely to become clearer as you practise nature journaling.

You may not know the answer to this question when you first start to nature journal. If you don't know, then start with one goal. Your reasons will evolve as you spend time putting in your page "miles".

​Below are examples of reasons for nature journaling:

  • ​To be playful and have fun

  • To develop a sense of curiosity, wonder and awe

  • To relax, de-stress, re-energise, centre and ground yourself

  • To experience calm, peace and quiet

  • As form of meditation, for healing, for mental well-being

  • To connect more deeply with nature - for yourself, and possibly with others such as family, friends or other groups.

  • To better understand your local environment, ecology, habitats, and geological and human contexts

  • To explore people as part of nature in the present and historically

  • To develop your skills as a naturalist

  • Improve your identification skills

  • To inspire your creative practices - writing, visual and performing arts.

  • To develop your creative skills

  • To weave into travel, study and personal journals

  • To learn this practice in order to teach it to others - as part of environmental education in programmes, formal- or home-schooling, or environmental education and literacy

  • As a record in field notes for research - as field notes and data collection for scientific investigations including natural history illustration, citizen science, and field research.

  • Others?


Whatever your purpose in nature journaling, get started now.

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