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“You enter the extraordinary by way of the ordinary.” ~Frederick Buechner

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Journal with Impact: Personal Reflection Journal Idea File

Workshop: Six Conversations for Writing Creative Journals

“What were the events that altered and illuminated my time?” Ronald Klug

Journal Idea Files

Write down the dates. In the beginning keep your journals private. However, down the road these ideas and nuggets might develop into source material for writing essays, memoirs, or family sagas. And blogs. If you see that you frequently wrestle with a particular topic and you begin to read about it, you may find that others have the same questions as you.

If you prefer more structured organization, then consider keeping several notebooks for different purposes, not to write in daily or even weekly, but for example to keep all your reading journal entries in one notebook, all your family concerns in another, work related in third. Personally I managed to keep only two: a reading journal and my study journal. When I do need to do a short-term project, I pick up a small moleskin to do the journal stretch until I reach the clarity I need.

There are various approaches to strategize your files or do a mix and match. This first example is the most familiar form for both journals and diaries. Again, choose whichever style flows the easiest for you.

Daily Record (a)

1. What happened today and what sensory details did it bring?
2. Why did I react to that comment? Or did not react?
3. What about that conversation left me feeling …..?
4. Other categories might include questions, prayers, reading, joys, sense of accomplishment, and world events.

It is often easier to let some things go, but if we bring them out into the light and see them for what influence they may hold, we can keep from hiding under pretense to ourselves.

For example, one Christmas dinner I shocked myself when I snapped at a peripheral family member over an apparently innocuous remark. All heads turned. It was only mildly embarrassing in the situation, but strong enough that I had to take a few journal days to discover why I had overreacted to something so minor.

Action Steps:

1.     Keep a daily record for at least three days this next week. If you feel pressed for time, set a timer for fifteen minutes and write as much as you can without stopping, then set aside.

2.     The next day, review what you wrote and see if you have any other thoughts to add that you found yourself thinking about. Again set aside.

3.     Next day, review and then write any notes or thoughts. Then note whether this style of journal was helpful or frustrating.

Share: Did anything surprise you? Did you notice any details from your week that otherwise you might have forgotten about or dismissed?

                                                            Read deep, marcy

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