How to Journal: Introduction

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.

journal and penI 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.

I look forward to sharing this journey with you.

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