Monday, January 26, 2015

Journaling: A Practice for Self Reflection

There's something about journaling that speaks to my inner artist. Whenever I have the time, or I make the time inorder to save my sanity, I sit myself down in a quite corner and write a few private words about myself and ... everything else.

* The off hand comment someone made that I can't seem to forget
* My finances
* The guy I wish would call me back
* Health issues, mine and others
* The writing projects that I should be working on instead of journaling
* The amazing song I heard on the radio that made me cry
* All of the many, many, many questions I have about where I want to be in 1 year, 5 years, 10 years

Frantic speed writing does not help with this process. You have to move slow, to let the words slip out of your muddled brain and onto the page. You also have to give yourself enough time to really ponder all the issues that will come up.

If you do, you'll be surprised at what you figure out: about yourself, and about what really matters.

When I first started taking creative writing classes one of my professors had us read The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron.

It's a great book and Cameron presents lots of wonderful suggestions for nuturing your inner artist, one of which is her own specific version of jounaling.

My life being the way it is, I haven't been able to consistently follow through on Cameron's challenge, but whenever I feel particularly stuck, or blocked, or distracted, I find myself returning to her advice.

A video of her explaining this practice, which she calls "Morning Pages" is below. I highly recommend you watch it and try out the practice.

Enjoy. And happy writing.

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