The Creative Diary in Quarantine 03 – Five new lives

If you had five more lives to live …

What would you become in each of those lives? What are the desires you will never be able to fulfill in this life, but could fulfill in another life? Now is the time to dream and play with ideas … Connect with what makes your heart beat faster!


Drawing and writing

  1. Imagine, you suddenly have 5 lives (more or less like a cat). And you can choose what you do in those 5 lives. What would you become? What would you do then?
  2. Take a sheet of paper of a dark color: black, dark blue, dark green, but also brown (think brown craft paper) and write with a white drawing pencil or a white ballpoint pen / Posca … (for the beautiful effect of white on dark).
  3. In the center of your page, write, “If I had 5 new lives, what would I do?”. Decorate as you wish.
  4. Draw in 5 different places / corners of your paper a symbol for those 5 lives that you would like to live. No great works of art, a symbol / object is enough.
  5. Write next to each symbol. “I love …”. Complete this sentence for each of these lives. What would you like/love in that life? (write as if you’re living it)
  6. Write in a different color, for each of those 5 lives, which small part of that life you would like to implement into your current life. Or which piece can apply in your current life? Write that briefly.


“Life without dreaming is a life without meaning.”


What if … you don’t have dark paper in your house? Then just make it on white paper and use black markers to draw or do it your way.

What if … you don’t know what to write: think of what you dreamed of as a child. What did you want to become then?

What if … you’re really uncomfortable with drawing. Then use magazine photos.

What if … you work with a child who cannot write? Then just have the drawing made and talk about it.


Exercise inspired by Julia Cameron, ‘the Artist’s Way’


TIP: Julia Cameron’s book, which inspired this exercise, “The Artist’s Way” is a 12-week writing program for adults eager to gain inspiration and creativity. Worth the effort! She also wrote the book ‘The Artist’s Way for Parents and Children’.

Want to connect? Here is a Facebookgroup where we share the work we want to share (no obligation).

Important to know:

Working in a Creative Diary is NOT about results, it’s about expressing you inner self. It is NOT about techniques, techniques only help you to express yourself in more different ways. The exercises I give are an INVITATION, not an obligation. You can do the exercise, or not, you can do it differently, it’s at your choosing. The most important thing to remember is that you’re putting yourself and your (inner) world on paper, you are NOT making art. So feel inspired by images, but don’t compare yourself ! Fun and self-expression come first.

What do you need?

  • markers
  • coloured pencils
  • writing materials
  • scissors
  • glue
  • watercolour
  • soft pastels
  • oil pastels
  • some magazines

And of course: a journal/diary. I recommend an 8,3 inches x 11,7 inches notebook (A4 format) with blank paper, but take whatever you find in your house. Blank papier is good too.

More information:

The exercises used in this Creative Diary are based on a method described by Lucia Capacchione, American art-therapist and author of the book The Creative Journal, by Anne-Marie Jobin, Canadian art-therapist and author of the soon to be coming book The New Creative Journal, and myself, Sarah Timmermans, Belgian art-therapist and psychologist (Dutch book: Het Creatieve Dagboek). The method blends knowledge from writing therapy, art-therapy, psychology and basic creativity. It’s a simple method that doesn’t requires any artistic skills and has been used with many ages, many individuals and many groups of people. More questions? Please write me.

Who am I?

I’m Sarah Timmermans, Belgian art-therapist, naturopath and psychologist. I’m trained by Jungian art-therapist/psychologist Csilla Kemenzcei. I work with individuals and with groups. I’m specialised in using diaries, tarot (archetypes) and dreams.