Lately, I've been keeping a process journal for all my projects. Whether painting, crafting, or writing, I record my thoughts, feelings, and ideas about the project. This is beyond a sketchbook in that I am doing a lot of writing. When I'm frustrated or come across a problem, I write about it in my process journal. When I change course and a project starts to become something different I write about it. When I'm frustrated or angry or just "not feeling" the project, I write about it.
I got the idea from the book,The Art of Slow Writing: Reflections on Time, Craft, and Creativity . Many writers utilize a process journal as a way to keep notes on not only what they are working on, but how they feel while they are working on it. The idea is to have a record of your creative process. Once you have done it enough, you can start to identify patterns in how you work. You may notice that you always become disenchanted and frustrated two weeks into a project. Or maybe you start to see that you are regularly struggling with color theory in your work or some other technical challenge. After a few entries about different paintings and how I felt the colors in a piece weren't working, and I was able to identify a need for me to make time to study color theory.
So far, I've enjoyed working in a process journal and think I will continue. I do believe that once I get a few months of entries under my belt, it will be even more beneficial to me.