Sunday, 23 March 2008

Journaling Techniques

Feeling a little stuck? Not sure what to write or how to start? At a loss for ideas? There are a range of journaling techniques that you can use to get your thoughts on to paper.

As mentioned in our article, Journaling through Change, we have used three different journaling techniques (Asking Yourself Questions, Guided Meditations and Free Flow Writing) in the Journal for the Modern Goddess.

There are many other techniques and some of them are:-

Qualities and Attributes: Write down the qualities and attributes you possess and then write down ones you wish you did. Identify one quality you demonstrate well and write about the how and the why, then identify on quality you wished you possessed, and write how you could demonstrate it in your life. You’ll be amazed what comes forward during the writing process.

This technique can be adapted to use words that describe how you are feeling in this moment and you can write about why you are feeling the way you do.

Dialogue: Another technique is to dialog. Dialogues are imagined conversations between two or more people or higher beings. It could be a dialogue between two parts of a person.
Dialoguing could involve writing a conversation between a present or past relationship, someone who is living or deceased. It could be about your role as a mother, sister, aunty or friend. Dialoguing could involve writing about an event or circumstance, traditions, cultural background, marriage, religion.

Dialoguing helps you move through any patterns, resistances or disagreements you may be having with yourself or with others. If you need to discuss a situation with someone, this technique can be powerful as it will allow you to form your thoughts so that you can say what needs to be said in a constructive and diplomatic way.

List Making: List making is a great way to help writers block. You could create a list of 100 things you are grateful for, or if 100 is a little daunting start with 25 or 50. Some examples are listing ways you could nurture yourself, how you can improve your life, what you wish for, places you would like to visit, things you value in life, ways to be more creative, ways to be more productive etc.

Once you have your list you can ask yourself questions to get the writing process flowing.

Art Journaling: This technique uses a combination of sketching, collage, scrapbooking, writing, clippings from the newspaper, images from magazines, photos – anything visual. Art journaling is a powerful way to move beyond words.

Use your journal entries as triggers to inspire art. Review what you’ve written over the past week or month and find word images you can translate into drawings or paintings. If you are concerned it will look messy or you will not like what you create, use separate paper and paste it into your journal once you’ve finished. This is a very creative alternative to words.

Overall journaling can be an effective tool of healing and self-empowerment for everyone. There are many more techniques beside the ones I’ve mentioned; however it is recommended that you find the techniques that suit you. Once you become confident in journaling, explore and experiment with other techniques.

Happy journaling!

Nicole Graham and Tara Spicer are currently on a virtual book tour promoting their recently released writing journal, Journal for the Modern Goddess.

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