Your journal: 3 ideas and encouragement to get you writing again
Back in November, I wrote a post about the benefits of writing in a journal.
You can read that post here. Today I want to gently encourage you to jump start your journal.
So. How are you doing with that journal writing? Now that it’s week six of social distancing/isolation/quarantine, you could have written a whole novel!
I’m going to guess that you didn’t do that. Maybe your journal writing is a lot like mine. Meaning, I look at my journal every day and think, “I should really spend a few minutes writing.” But then something else comes along, like another funny meme, or another game of Best Fiends, or a nap.
Thus, if you have not been writing in your journal, then I welcome you to the club! Times are tough, and we have enough worries without someone like me urging you to become your best self by journaling for 20 minutes every day.
Today I want to provide gentle encouragement to pick up the pen (or open the laptop) and start writing down your thoughts. I’m giving you three suggestions for how to get started.
1. These are historic times. Your experience matters.
We all have a story to tell, so what’s yours? No matter where you are right now, your experience matters. Future generations will want to know how you got through the days of the Covid-19 epidemic. Jot down what you did today. Even if you don’t save the writing, the act of writing it down will cement the day in your memory, so you can tell about it in the future. Maybe with your grandchildren, who knows?
2. Work through your feelings.
Journals are a great place to express your feelings. You can yell on paper, you can cry on paper. You can admit your greatest fears and longings. No one is going to read this but you. Most of the time, you’ll feel better after doing it.
Here are some prompts that are good for writing about feelings.
(Hint: do your best to answer all of them.)
I am sad about…
I am scared that…
I feel anxious when…
I am happy when…
I am safe when…
I am thankful that…
3. Address your fears.
In her book, Big Magic, Elizabeth Gilbert talks about writing a letter to your fear, and then allowing your fear to write a letter to YOU. I think this is a great idea, especially right now, when everyone is feeling fear.
I give my fear a chance to express itself, in writing. I ask my fear, “What are you actually terrified about, in this situation?” And I make an effort of listening, with respect. (It’s amazing how seldom we do this — listen to our fear, with respect. We’re always trying to punch it in the face, or kick its ass, or run away from it. But we seldom let it speak.)Elizabeth Gilbert, Big Magic
I’m always amazed by what comes up. Often, I think I know what I’m afraid of, but when my fear is given a chance to actually speak, I’m surprised at what the real issue is.
Start with your fear. Ask it what it wants, what it doesn’t want, and why it’s so desperately holding you back from what your creativity and your courage might be asking you to attempt.
I hope these ideas inspire you to write. Hey, you can start right away: leave me a note in the comments section! Tell me how is going for you.