Each time a begin a new journal, I have a ritual of sorts. There are some certain pictures and a quote that I always include. A few years ago I went to a writing conference lead by Ken Gire. On the first day, he gave us a handout, with what follows on it. I don't think it has been published in any of his works, but it is one of my favorite pieces of his. This goes on the first page of my journal.
Apprenticeship for a Creative Person
The best apprenticeship for a creative person is to become like Christ.
For like Him, we must enflesh our words in such a way that they reach people where they live.
Like Him, our voices must be full of grace and truth.
Like Him, we must resist the temptation to deflect from our calling, regardless how stark the wilderness, or how seductive the food offered us.
Like Him, we must not be afraid to touch subjects that are shunned by others.
Like Him, we must speak the words that in some way raise what in dead in all of us, heal what is sick, calm what is storming.
Like Him, we must try in out own work to give rest to the part of the soul that is weary, food to the part that is hungry, drink to the part that is thirsty.
And like Him, if our work is to be reborn in the hearts of others, we must experience something of His struggle in Gethsemane, something of His suffering on Calvary, and something of His stay in the grave.