Monday, January 14, 2008

Is your journal too hot to handle?

A while back, a fellow writer confessed that she tried to keep a journal but found that she had a tendancy to sugar coat everything she wrote. When I asked her why, she said, "I just can't force myself to write down my deep, dark secrets? I try to tell myself that the journal is for my eyes only, but what if I die tonight and my children find it?"

Although I find it helpful to look back on journal entries a week, a month, or a decade later; the most beneficial aspect of keeping a journal is to get the thoughts out of my head and onto paper. It's not mandatory that your journal become a permanent record of your life. The process is enough. So if you're in the category of those who are shy about revealing all, write it down and then shred it. Another answer is to use your journal for writing practice sessions rather than for revealing the secrets in your heart.

Tip of the Day: If the potential content of your journal is too hot to handle, write it down to enjoy and benefit from the process of jounaling and then shred it.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Mix up your journal entries

Journal entries don’t need to be uniform. After all, your journal is a place for you to practice and experiment with your writing. Some days, sit down and just write whatever comes into your head. Julia Cameron describes this process best in The Artist’s Way. It’s a great way to empty yourself of the mundane and make space for creativity.

Another great book that will help you devise exercises for your journal writing is Writing Begins with a Breath: Embodying Your Authentic Voice. In this book, Larraine Herring gives great examples and suggested exercises to help you get the most out of your writing.

Tip of the day: Go wild in your journal.