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Monday, February 1, 2016

Journaling--Every Writer Should Do It!

Home Office, Workstation, Office, Business, Notebook

Yesterday, I read an interesting article in our local paper that had appeared in the Wall St. Journal this past Tuesday (1/26/16). The article featured a man who lived in Manhattan, KS, where I live, for many years. He has held several jobs in his nearly eight decades but writing tops his list. Charley Kempthorne started the LifeStory Institute when he initiated workshops in journaling and writing life stories for senior citizens.

He wrote to the Wall St. Journal about a life story written by a woman in her nineties. He felt it deserved publication. A very long story short--Jessie Foveaux of Manhattan, KS manuscript sold for over a million at a publisher's auction. 

But back to Charley and journaling. Read here what he has to say on the subject, then hop over to his Home Page for more. If you're interested in the book written by Jessie Foveaux and how it came to be published, check out that page, too.

Journaling is a calming salve that aids in emotional healing. It also serves as an anchor, something to hold us in the right place. Journaling every day is like coming home after a hard day's work. It brings a sense of peace, gives the writer a place to vent about that day or the day before. Writing our thoughts on a daily basis also allows gives us chance to let those thoughts flow into words, phrases and sentences that last.

I wrote some time ago about Julia Cameron's suggestion to write first thing in the morning. Every day. She says to write at least three pages (longhand) and let your thoughts flow in a ceaseless way. She terms it Morning Pages. It's just a different name for journaling. Young girls love to keep a diary, and that is also a form of journaling.

My oldest granddaughter had a second grade teacher who used journaling as a classroom tool. Those little children wrote something in their journal every day. What good practice that was. I wonder how many have carried it through the rest of the growing-up years. My granddaughter is nearing twenty and she is a writer. Whether that early journaling had anything to do with her loving to write, I'll never know. I think it was one of those 'can't hurt, might help' kind of things.

When you keep a daily journal, you give yourself the gift of writing every day. There is no better exercise for the writer than that. Write something every day! Be it journal, morning pages, diary or a set writing exercise--it's going to benefit you in some way.

It's your choice as to how you proceed to journal. The photo above shows both laptop and notebook for longhand writing. And, that cup of coffee can only add to making the journaling part of your day a pleasant chore.

Journaling might be a job at first but as you progress, day by day, it will become a habit. One of the most important parts of journaling is to set aside some time each day to do it. Not hours. You can manage 10 or 15 minutes a day. Work on establishing this habit and you'll not be sorry.

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