Writing for Nature Journaling



Ideas and links on how to include writing in your nature journal - are coming to this page!

Here are a few starting points in the meantime.

If you have not read it already, check out Emily Lygren's brilliant contribution to 

Nature Journaling & The Written Word on the International Nature Journaling Week's website.

Another valuable resource, though only available only in print, is John Tallmadge's essay "Writing as a Window into Nature" in "Into the Field: A Guide to Locally Focused Teaching" writes


"... We have always looked to the nature writers to reveal stories in the land, but how did the stories first emerge for the writers? We think of writing as a means of expression, but it can also be used, as Thoreau knew, for exploration and discovery. An attentive writing practice can extend perception like a microscope or an ultraviolet light to reveal the unseen dimensions of our home places. And eventually, it can create stories that communicate those realities and their significance to other people." page 5

"... writing is a deliberate but largely unconscious act: words and ideas originate in the subconscious and are brought to the surface by noting them down." page 7

John Tallmadge offers this advice to remember the process view of writing:

  • "The secret of writing is; to write. (Because you must start at all costs.)

  • Don't get it right; get it written. (Because the editor should get involved later.)

  • Inspiration is bunk. (Because imagination always works, all of the time.)" page 8

Sample Exercise

"Peter Elbow's Freewriting -

Write for a set time (3 to 5 minutes) on anything that comes into your head.

You can't stop to think,  you can't correct anything, and you must use complete sentences.

Read over your writing and underline the strongest word or phrase.

Write these at the top of a new page, and do another freewriting.

Then report a third time. Ask yourself what you felt and thought during this exercise.

This is a useful exercise to explore ideas and practice composition skills." page 8

Join our mailing list

© 2019 by Nature Journaling South Africa

Created with wix.com