OK so you are ready… you have the beautiful new notebook, you have the pen that makes your handwriting look oh so pretty and you are fully intending to journal the crap out of everything that’s going on with you right now.
One problem - you sit down to write and now all you got is 'Dear Diary…' This is literally the only thing you can think of but now your page has been written on and GOD FORBID you make a mess of the first page… so you keep going.
Scenario 1: You keep going with bits and pieces about your day until you come to the realisation that you have zero clue what to write and all those dreams you had about profound insight and witty one liners are dead. This notebook is ruined - you're done.
Scenario 2: You keep going and fudge it out for a while, only you get a week in and it just feels so unnatural that you knock it on the head. That part used notebook is going on a shelf - SEE YA.
You guys I have been BOTH of these people, SO MANY TIMES (Scenario 3 involves a spelling mistake ruining a page and throwing that piece of crap notebook across the room - done that too!)
This is me telling you that you NEED to persevere. It is SO worth it.
Now I use journaling, scribbles, lists and pretty much anything I can get my hands on to move what's in my head down on paper where I can see it.
It's tricky at first but once you get the nack, there ain't no going back - think of all the amazing overpriced notebooks you can line your shelves with if you actually DID journal??!
My husband HATES them - I think he is being extremely short sighted, those notebooks actually keep me sane.
Yes journaling can be a bit awkward, I'm assuming as you're reading this you're a grown adult and 'Dear Diary' was a LONG time ago. But you don't have to write war and peace about your day.
Journaling can be a creative way of expressing what's on your mind and actually bringing awareness to thoughts, feelings and ideas that you didn't even know were there.
You just have to get out of your own way.
Relinquish control, find a way to stop overthinking it and just start.
Once you have mastered this, it's all down hill.
Yes you will suck at it for a while, every one sucks at stuff the first time they have a go.
Do you think that Beyonce woke up one day and was like 'check me out, I am the ultimate performer'? Or do we think that perhaps she had a little bit of practice?
My fail proof plan for when the words aren't flowing is to break it down…
1. What has brought me here, why do I feel like I need to write?
2. What is it that I'm trying to figure out?
3. How would I LIKE to feel if this feeling isn't ok for me?
4. What do I need to do in order to align myself with the feelings I want.
And 5. Go back to the beginning and re-read, usually all becomes clear.
This process requires a little bit of meditative introspection to begin with but once I start… just try and stop me.
Our brains are SO complex and our thoughts so powerful that often it's hard to differentiate between where one thought ends and the next one starts - a bit like thought spaghetti, they are all tangled up. Writing brings context, it creates something tangible to make sense of.
It is therapy but A LOT more cost effective.
You don't need actually need a beautiful notebook - the back of an envelope, your mobile device/laptop/IPad will do. Just start.
In a world when we crave control and order, allowing yourself the freedom to write is such a wonderful gift. We can craft an effective email, a witty text message (plus emojis) and post on social media to a crowd of hundreds - If not thousands!
But we can’t be alone with our thoughts and a pen?
What is it about the vulnerability required to bare all in a way that we can actually see? What are we afraid of?
I'm thinking of creating a workshop to share some of my strategies and tips around how we can get the most out of our writing, and address the ways in which we deal with the insecurities around writing down our hopes, fears and wildest dreams.
I find it FASCINATING.
If you have any tips or ideas then I would love to hear them.