I . have just begun journalling again after a break of several years. I was in North Fitzroy Library yesterday when I saw the book: Creative Journal Writing – The art and heart of reflection on the shelves: Get it Here, Free Shipping… I could not resist even though I have three other books on the go at the moment. The following . review sums it up pretty well from my 3 hours reading:
Winner of the COVR Award for Book of the Year (2007) From the #1 creativity publisher in the country comes to our latest creativity bestseller–Creative Journal Writing–the ultimate book for those who are looking to use this powerful tool to heal, expand, and transform their lives. In this exceptionally positive and encouraging book, Stephanie Dowrick frees the journal writer she believes is in virtually everyone, showing through stories and examples that a genuine sense of possibility can be revived on every page. Creative journal writing goes way beyond just recording events on paper. It can be the companion that supports but doesn’t judge, a place of unparalleled discovery, and a creative playground where the everyday rules no longer count. Proven benefits of journal writing include reduced stress and anxiety, increased self-awareness, sharpened mental skills, genuine psychological insight, creative inspiration and motivation, strengthened ability to cope during difficult times, and overall physical and emotional well-being. Combining a rich choice of ideas with wonderful stories, quotes, and her refreshingly intimate thoughts gained through a lifetime of writing, Dowrick’s insights and confidence make journal writing irresistible? and your own life more enchanting. Included in Creative Journal Writing are stories of how people have used journal writing to transform their lives; – inspirational instructions, guidelines, and quotes;
– key principles, practical suggestions, and helpful hints;
– 125 starter topics, designed to help even the most reluctant journal writer;
– more than forty powerful exercises;
– and much more!
Starting to read it has made me think of the different ways I have journaled over the years. The most obscure was probably a period of time I attended Saturday afternoon art lessons in Brunswick for a year, the entry being a bottle of red as Miklos was a lover of the wee drop. I have used Julia Cameron’s methodology for several years: Morning Pages., attended Catherine Deveny’s superb Gunna’s Writing Workshops: This is what started my blog writing career. Another art experience was my dear friend Jac Price’s fantastic Creative Meditations Practice: Meditative Art. At the moment I am faithfully doing Danielle LaPorte’s Daily Planner, a short sharp precise journal of what you are committing to for the day, what you are grateful for, what isn’t working, what you should stop and a daily meditation are included, I also write a daily love meme and post it on my Facebook page: 5 years and counting, one of the original users.
So what do people say about journaling or what do they write that ends up as a quote, there are some beauties:
1. For some people they love quotes, I admit to this fetish.
2. We go back to the 17th century for this piece of sage wisdom from one of the founding fathers of the United States: A Song For You.
3. Or then you can journal new possibilities in your life.
4. Journal well, my friends: It Was a Good Day.
5. Journalling on these days will help you snap out of it quicker, remember, the shadow and the light both need some loving.
6. George was a Republican, he spoke in favour of African-American equality and civil rights. Something the current mob seem to have forgotten: It’s My Life.
7. Did MLK keep a journal, they would be a great read.
8. Envision greatness, why not: The Greatest.
9. One of life’s great mysteries, creating your life with the written word.
10. A save your personal planet kind of space: Earth.
11. When putting the words on the page, don’t forget to water your soul.
12. And from one of the most famous of those who journal, why we do it.: You Only Live Twice.
13. Love this definition of writing.
14. I actually do a celebration, challenges, commitment practice: Life Is Worth Living.
15. And we finish with a lesson from the world’s most famous journal writer.
Stephanie makes some suggestions, lets finish with those:
- A routine for your journal writing supports what you are doing. It also keeps you on track. It isn’t essential to write every day, but writing most days does really make a difference.
- Sit somewhere to write that feels really good to you. Let go both physically and mentally before you begin to write.
- Whenever you feel flat or ‘stuck’, describe that state of mind in your journal. Be a scientific observer of your own condition. (‘I kept writing in circles, just commenting on that, then suddenly I took off against all my expectations…’)
- Go against the current tide that tells you ‘instant is best’ That’s only sometimes true in journal writing. Here you can be both tortoise and hare.
- ‘Forget what you wrote yesterday. Practise coming into this day, freshly. Bring to your journal writing your capacity to be present in the moment – even when you are writing about the past.
- Are your expectations high enough? Do you feel like trying something that you are at present? Taking greater risks with language or subject matter or point of view? Looking more attentively at what you might be avoiding?
- Concentrating mostly on ‘thoughts’? If so, look at the feelings associated with whatever topic you are writing about. If you have written a lot about your feelings, take some time to review your thoughts. Or to be a little more analytical and detached than usual. Or look at these feelings themselves somewhat dispassionately. What do you think about those feelings? How precise are they? Are they your familiar repertoire? Could you think about your feelings with great subtlety?
- Notice with interest where you might be limiting yourself. What are you telling yourself that you can’t afford to notice, feel or write about?
- Notice with interest what’s exciting you about the journal writing process. Let yourself be surprised.
We cover 50 years in today’s playlist. Beginning in the 1970s with Leon Russell and Friends, then forward a bit with Ice Cube. Then to last decade with No Doubt and finally to today with Sia and Little Dicky. The penultimate number returns to the 70s with Nancy Sinatra and then forward in time for the last number with Justin Bieber: Painting Is Just Another Way of Keeping a Diary!!!
The more I journal, the closer I get to achieving Love and Respect for All, Everybody Included. Remember if you like reading my blogs to put your name on the email list on the dropbox on the right. Until we meet again my dear friends.