A fun start for journaling is an exercise about your choice of supplies.
This exercise has three steps.Try to do each step before you read what the next step is.
Pick writing (or any other medium) supplies that you want to use right now.
Examine your choices of writing supplies and take five minutes to describe what you’ve picked in very concrete and sensual detail.Stick with the simple question “What did I choose?” and describe your notebook and/or pen or pencil, keyboard, paintbrush, markers or whatever with precision, in as many sensory modes as you can.
Take a little break – stretch, walk around the room or block, fold some laundry, or maybe get some water.Now come back and read your description of your writing supplies with the mind of a detective and write about how your description reveals something unique about you.Examine the “WHY” of your choices. Think about why the details you chose relate to the person you are.You can be accurate and serious or think of ways your choices might mislead someone about you.Maybe your bold, wet pen belies a lack of confidence.Or maybe your thin lined, academic notebook reveals the complexity awaiting your articulation.
This exercise illustrates a key of self-expression:the relationship of detail and meaning.Your creations draw more or less consciously on details you select to notice or portray, and your understanding of these choices builds your self-awareness.Which builds more creativity.And you’re off and running……
You can take this exercise into your life and spend some time examining other minor and major choices you make.You could spend a day just noticing details you select.What makes you pick a certain item of clothing to wear in the morning?What made you pick it when you bought it?Who do you spend time talking to in the course of a day?Does it accurately reflect the kind of connections you wish to make?Taking a non-judging view of your decisions might help you see how they come about and might help them start to reflect you more accurately or completely. This writing exercise can be a laboratory for creating a greater sense of comfort in your daily life.
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The JOURNALERS’ CLEARINGHOUSE is written each month by Beth Jacobs, Ph.D., the author of Writing for Emotional Balance: A Guided Journal to Help You Manage Overwhelming Emotions. For further information, see writingforemotionalbalance.com.