Guided Journal Fun


I’m not usually a fan of guided journals. Writing prompts in general are helpful, but a guided effort in a bound-book is not something I would use. Such preprinted journal pages guide someone through various activities and exercises toward a thematic purpose, e.g., life correcting, internally therapy, goal development, and many others. Not saying these aren’t helpful for many, just not something I find useful for myself.

Until now.

As a journaler in active practice going back many decades, I’ve never felt the need to be led by such guidances. Not one for whom writer’s block ever existed, I never struggle to get words down on paper, be it paper or digital.

So it’s a much a surprise to me as it might be to you who see this post’s opening image Continue reading “Guided Journal Fun”

Sunday, May 3 – Journal Snippets

A bit late this week. Been some churning in my mind about how much I want to share here, so delays on posting.

Sharing these unedited journal bits helps keep me encouraged to journal most days and think more deeply. These Sunday posts also give me a concise weekly review of the more impactful journal moments.

“A good traveler has no fixed plans, and is not intent on arriving.”
– Lao Tzu

 

April 26 – These times are such an amazing opportunity that I must take full advantage of and must ensure that when things normalize again and roaming is possible, I want to look back and be pleased both with the progress and the body of work produced.

 

April 27 – So many tasks and thing to do all of a sudden it seems. Need to relieve the pressure a bit and through routine and focus in zones during day, should settle things. Things are jelling to what’s important and what should go away or slow down.

 

April 27 – But my reading list is gigantic! Maybe Blinkist can help on some of the B reads. This is why I need two hours dedicated to reading every day. Plus, more pure sit and think time. Maybe my coffee drinking should that reflective time and not while online or eating.

 

April 28 – Good sessions albeit split this morning due to necessary Trader Joe’s run. But wrote one new poem, tweaked another, wrote/posted on blog, and a draft of a good essay on minimalism for Medium this time. May excerpt back to the blog on it.

 

May 1 – Missed morning habits and may tomorrow. How does that make me feel? A bit of an imposter on my goals, but needing to give the body more sleep for now. Seems to be more important.

 

May 2 – My thoughts are like shifting sands. One day treasures unearthed to awe and surprise, the next only the windswept waves on the dunes changing a landscape of sameness. Such is the churning of thoughts in my mind lately.

 

Are you journaling in these dark times? Let me know if you are in the comments, or if you’re just starting and have questions.

Sunday, April 26 – Journal Snippets

Sharing these unedited journal bits helps keep me encouraged to journal most days and think more deeply. These Sunday posts also give me a concise weekly review of the more impactful journal moments.

“Accept what comes from silence.”
– Wendell Berry

 

 

April 19 – Early rise–I really enjoy days when this happens–and already feel very productive. Trader Joe’s day so the stark reality of what’s “out there” will be felt this morning.

 

April 20 – My reaction on media noise is a bit off target. The stoic in me knows “the obstacle is the way” so being uncomfortable with news and then ignoring it is not ideal. Pick & choose, read what you need to, but find a way to handle it and stay sane at the same time.

 

April 23 – What is home to me? A place that holds my worldly goods…also a refuge, one neat & tidy, organized to my ways and quirks. Safe from weather, quiet, able to open to fresh air, warming sun in the winter. And yet, I’m drawn to wander from home to explore new areas see nature, spend time in reflection….Where is this fabled, ideal home? Complicated.

 

April 24 – What is it (or them) that I really want to do? Perhaps a better framing to start with is how do I want my days to flow and what do I want to emphasize, compared to avoid?…I’m pretty sure what I want to do. No sense continuing to write about it here. Been the same for a long time now.

 

April 25 – Finished watching Maria Popova’s Universe in Verse. Fanned more flames in my growing interest in poetry. Learning that poetry can touch me in three ways:  not at all, enraptured through the language and word art, or profoundly, as though, like back when I remodeled my 1029s bungalow house I’d peel a layer of paint off the wall to reveal a previously unknown, yet interesting and telling, layer beneath in colors and hues not imagined.

nota bene:  Quote heard spoken from Krista Tippett:  “Poetry is language that lands in our bodies.”

 

Are you journaling in these dark times? Let me know if you are in the comments, or if you’re just starting and have questions.

Sunday, April 19 – Journal Snippets

More unedited bits from my journal this week. Sharing these helps keep me encouraged try to journal something every day. These Sunday posts also give me a concise weekly review of the more impactful journal moments.

 

April 13 – Nights, and bed times, come sooner when my day begins at 5! If this were indeed a monastery, my day would begin even earlier and in bed before dark. Not much different to what’s now.

 

April 15 – More strange, conflict dreams last night. They say dreaming increases during a crisis like this, with mostly restless bad dreams. But I contend my increase in embracing a stoic philosophy may simply be removing opportunities for negative thoughts, thus they are coming out more in my dreams instead. Eh…it’s a theory.

 

April 15 – Work ahead is necessary to settle direction and foundation. Past the “wonder when” phase and feel it’s now starting the “be like this indefinitely” phase.

 

April 16 – Walk today bubbled up some good thoughts about an ideal day’s structure for me:  mornings creating (writing), afternoon mechanics, evenings relaxing, reflecting, reading. Whether this is doable and sustainable remains to be be seen.

 

April 17 – Day by day mentality still working well and filling time with productive, relaxing, and reflective moments.

 

April 18 – Outside on back patio with sunshine! Yesterday a blizzard, today sunshine and blue skies. Michigan spring, I guess.

 

Are you journaling in these dark times? Let me know if you are in the comments, or if you’re just starting and have questions.

Journaling is not only cheap therapy and a useful (and safe) place to rant, cuss, blast this or that person…or it can be a great way to encourage your own actions and behaviors. Doesn’t matter how or in what. Some like journaling at the end of the day to capture what you did, what you thought, etc., others start their day journaling.

Either way, the most important thing is to just start and write down your thoughts every day. Consistency makes a big difference between journaling being just a diary and one with more reflective observations.

Sunday, April 12 – Journal Snippets

Some unedited bits from my journal this week. I’m not sharing them because they’re ponderous or brilliant thoughts, but to make me accountable to keep journaling through the week. These Sunday posts will give me a bit of a review of the week’s thoughts to reflect on over time.

April 5 – Do the work (the voice in my head says).
But what is the work? (I ask.)
It’s that which you must do; that which is why you breathe the air.
But how will I know?
By not asking and just doing.

April 6 – With dawn comes a new day, a new chance for creativity and reflection. Unless you haven’t cleared out the cobwebs and baggage from your head space the night before, do that first, then enjoy a clean, empty mind to contemplate things.

Creative private space/time is more challenging at home without a means to write remotely. Con’t see why I can’t take a thermos, chair, and backpack and head to the woods for a few hours to write.

April 7 – Decided to rearrange room to add an analogue desk – always wanted that. Since I’m going to be in that room the majority of days ahead, might as well make it better, more supportive (encouraging the work). [nota bene: desk ordered; upcoming post will highlight the new studio setup]

April 8 – Enjoyed handwriting several new letters and wondering who else I can write to?

April 9 – Up too early (3:30) via weird dream. Nothing to worry about, buy lying down wouldn’t chase it away. So up and making coffee.

April 10 – I think I have an old, Scottish soul. Else why would I be so drawn to walking travelogues from that part of the UK? Really, most anything British Isles involving country life and quaint villages, and slower, time-held lives that seem immune, or at least, sheltered, from our plugged-in, distraction-oriented modern lives?…Although on my bucket list–an extended Scottish Highlands trip–part of me is afraid I would be tempted not to come back.

April 11 – Thought earlier how I’ve always wanted the solitude & experience of a monastic retreat without the religious rituals. Now I have that opportunity, via being house-bound, if I want to further sequester in to a routine of study & writing in my room.