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Mapping – the Workbook

How to get your journaling off the ground.  You want to journal, you’ve heard a lot about it,  but how to start and how to keep going?   From my class on transformative journaling, here are a few ideas and exercises to get you started and to keep you going.

 Create your timeline based on personal events

  • • Your relationships
  • • Your career path
  • • Your educational path
  • • Your emotional path
  • • Choices you’ve made

Are there obvious or subtle patterns in the mapping?

What do you see?  

You may not see anything at all and this is a stupid exercise.  Fair enough.  Put the maps aside and experiment with another suggestion.

Mapping allows for a different kind of thinking –  It gives us space to consider ideas and past ideas that either have served or have not served us.  Once sketched out, what does this allow you to discover?  To Change?

Mapping can help solve a problem

Mapping can help sketch out the future, what do you want, what are the barriers what can you do to get from point A to Point B? 

Did you think you have “arrived” but are now not so sure?

Did you miss some scenic overlooks?

What about the roads not taken?

Do you need a new life or just a new car?  

While we are deep into the map metaphor, write about one of the circles or squares on your map.  

  • • What were you thinking?  
  • • Who gave you directions?  
  • • What was their motivation to advise you to take the high road and not the low?
  • • If you followed that advice then, would you have followed it today?  

The intent is not to create a morass of grief, nor to wallow in the past.  An exercise like this can point to your “shoulds”, your internal obligations.  If you can identify those obligations, imposed internally or (often) imposed externally,  if you can write them out and review them, maybe you can change how you regard them, maybe even move past them.

For the full workbook, email your request to Workbook cbramkamp(at)gmail(dot) com

Link to boot camp – Join us in Carmel this Fall – 2019 for Writers Boot Camp

Link to the Teachable class. -#writing #journaling #writer #art #motivation #writerscommunity


Catharine Bramkamp is a successful writing coach and author. She has published over 300 newspaper and magazine articles in publications like Modern Maturity (AARP), SF Chronicle and Santa Rosa Magazine. She was a contributor to two Chicken Soup Books and has published anthologies of her work, non-fiction works and novels. Her work has also appeared in a number of poetry and fiction anthologies. She has experimented with the self-publishing world since 2001. She has published and self-published seven books through companies like Author House, author assist companies like 3L Publishing and through traditional publishers like Write Life. Her poetry collection, Ammonia Sunrise, will be released in August 2011 by Finishing Line Press and her mystery novel, In Good Faith will be released by Write Life in 2011. Catharine holds a BA in English from UCSB and a MA in English from Sonoma State University. She is a 25 year member of California Writer’s Club. She is an adjunct professor for the University of Phoenix. She works with authors of both fiction and non-fiction to make their dream of producing a book come true. For more information on that, visit her at Catharine has lived in Sonoma County for 25 years and considers wine a food group. She is married to an adorable and very patient man who complains he’s never featured in any of her books. Her grown children who are featured in a few of her books have fled the county.

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