I write entirely to find out what I’m thinking, what I’m looking at, what I see and what it means. What I want and what I fear. ~ Joan Didion
I started journaling about three years ago. I always loved the idea of journaling – keeping a diary – but somehow I never followed through with those intentions. After experiencing a mild mid-life crisis in early 2013, however, my counselor prescribed expressive journaling as therapy. I have not stopped writing since.
As the quote above states, I write to discover what I think – who I am – how I fit in this world. I begin each day with Morning Pages, morning prayer, and gratitude journaling. I have a journal just for my writing projects where I document thoughts, ideas, and frustrations. I maintain an ongoing memoir journal, and I still utilize expressive journaling when I need to gain clarity on a particular problem or issue. In short, I cannot imagine my life without this amazing tool.
I recently taught a four-week class entitled, Journaling towards Wholeness. Because I found this process beneficial to myself as well as others, I thought I might share my notes here. I hope to encourage some of you to pick up a pen, a notebook, and begin an informal journaling routine of your own.
Each week for the next several weeks, I will describe a variety of techniques and systems that can be used in a personal journaling practice. The important thing to remember is… there is no one right way to journal. Eliminate those mental tapes that say you must you write every day – or you must write in complete sentences – or you must organize your thoughts in a cohesive manner. All you need to do is write what you feel like writing, when you feel like writing it. Period.
Here is a brief outline of the topics I plan to discuss. I will provide links to the articles as they are posted.
- Journaling Supplies – handwriting
- Journaling via Computer
- Types of Journaling
- How to Journal
- Journaling Routines
- Spiritual Journaling: the Spiritual Wellness Wheel
- Spiritual Journaling: the Spiritual Compass
- Spiritual Journaling Practices (Christian resources)
- Spiritual Journaling Practices (generic resources)
- Expressive Journaling: James Pennebaker
- Helpful Books: the Artist’s Way (Julia Cameron)
- Helpful Books: Life is a Verb (Patti Digh)
- Helpful Books: the Gifts of Imperfection (Brene Brown)
- Legacy Journaling: Stepping Stones of Life
- Legacy Journaling: Who am I? Core Values and Beliefs
- Legacy Journaling: Who am I? Personality and Character Traits
- Legacy Journaling: Who am I? Passions and Desires
- Legacy Journaling: Recording Memories
- Legacy Journaling: Milestone Memoirs
- Travel Journaling
- How to Write a Compelling Essay
- How to self-publish (coming soon)
I look forward to sharing this journey with you.