Your Personal Story – journaling and memoir
As you probably guessed by now, daily journaling is part habit, part meditation and mostly showing up. The activity of journaling is as important as what you actually write. Practicing in your journal will help you unfold and unpack what is working in your life, what needs improvement and how you feel about, well, everything. The writing itself is transformational.
How to go about this writing thing?
Pick up the pen, open the laptop, unfold the Surface. The pen hovers over the blank page, you fingers remain suspended over the keyboard. You unintentionally whack the J key. J. Stare at the J. Was that what you really wanted to say? Write a couple of sentences ruminating on the letter J. It’s a start. That’s all you’re doing at first. Starting. Tomorrow, consider the letter F.
Set a Time limit
Time limits actually help the subconscious be more efficient. Experiment with time. Give yourself 10 minutes to write. This is not about faking yourself out. Stick to the limits. Time limits are your deadlines forcing you to choose, which is the point. In ten minutes, what is the most important thing to write? What are the most important feelings? What are the best memories? What about the letter J? Limited time also prevents boredom. You can do anything for ten minutes. Which is not true. You can do anything for a couple hours, but we aren’t there yet.
No Second Guessing
To make the transformative exercise work, you need to write things as they come to you – clearly and with no judgment or rationalization. Just write it down. Did you run off on a tangent? That’s okay, often the tangents, the meditations on issues you did not know were issues, is where your mind and emotions really wanted to go and really needed expression. Go with them, write it all down in the space of your ten minutes. Walk away.
Don’t edit while you write. Let it all flow, capture what you feel today and what you want to happen in the future. Who you want to be, what happened yesterday and were you good with that situation or could you do better? How? As the work unfolds in those consistent ten minutes per day your journal will quickly become your new non-judgmental friend, one who always returns your texts. Your journal is cheaper than therapy and far friendlier than burdening friends over dinner or on their Facebook timeline. Tell it all to your journal. You can even name your journal J for short.