This is a guest post from Mari L. McCarthy, journaling expert and publisher of CreateWriteNow.com. Thank you to Mari for this enlightening contribution!
A special kind of writer’s block sometimes afflicts people who journal.When you know you want to journal regularly but somehow seldom find the time to actually do it, you may be suffering from writer’s block.
For a journaler, this kind of block often arises from an inner resistance. You may have noticed that when you get close to making a breakthrough in your life, your resistance fires up. Your resistance doesn’t want anything to disrupt the status quo.
While you make excuses – you are too busy, you can’t think of anything to write, you’ll journal tomorrow – the underlying truth may be emotional inertia, a fear of discovery and change. Your mind knows that when you explore your thoughts and feelings, you sometimes have to face things that are tough to process. It’s challenging to sort through all that “crazycrap” that we carry with us.
I’ve identified five exercises that come in handy and work extremely well to dissipate the numbing nothingness of journal writer’s block. Devote a timed 15-minute session to each theme below, as you use writing to work through the fog. (more…)
Regular journaling provides endless benefits. Perhaps one of the most magical it its ability to slow down time, to effortlessly etch images in your memory, and breathe life into everyday occurrences. Simply put, journaling makes your life more colorful. Here’s how to harness the benefits of journal writing for more vivid days — and nights.
Turn Your Life Into a Treasure Hunt
Adding the detritus of daily living fleshes out the experience of capturing your days. As you wander to various locales throughout your day, pick up ephemera to stash in your journal. Keep an eye out for ticket stubs, newspaper headlines, bus transfers, postcards, parking meter receipts. I love collecting items bearing the current date. My journals are bursting at the seams with scraps of life.
If you continue this practice, you’ll find yourself paying closer attention to your surroundings as you seek tidbits for your journal. It can turn a ho-hum walk into a treasure hunt! (more…)
This is tpost #4 in the series 7 Easy Steps to be a Better Quitter. This series provides journal prompts and writing topics to enable big changes. I used this process to quit smoking, change jobs, start running, and eliminate debt. It works!
In the previous post, we made a list of our payoffs. Today we’re going to talk about substitute behaviors that recreate the same feelings as those payoffs.
Once you are crystal clear about the feeling you are seeking through a behavior, you can find another method of creating the same feeling. If you simply deny that feeling, it will be very difficult to leave a negative behavior behind. So be sure to do the previous exercise before tackling this one. (more…)
This is post #3 in the series 7 Easy Steps to be a Better Quitter. This series provides journal prompts and writing topics to enable big changes. I used this process to quit smoking, change jobs, start running, and eliminate debt. It works!
To change a behavior, identify why you do it.We do things because they work. On some level, this negative behavior is providing a payoff. Identifying that payoff gives you the freedom to choose a positive behavior that gives the same results.
Human behavior is fueled by a desire to avoid pain or experience pleasure. Your payoff is usually tied to one or the other. And, believe it or not, avoidance of pain is often more powerful than seeking pleasure.
This is post #2 in the series 7 Easy Steps to be a Better Quitter. This series provides journal prompts and writing topics to enable big changes. I used this process to quit smoking, change jobs, start running, and eliminate debt. It works!
When I was quitting smoking a few years ago, I tapped into every resource available to me. I read dozens of books, attended cognitive behavioral therapy groups, and learned Neuro-linguistic Programming.
One of the tools I found most practical and useful was an exercise I called “What’s at Stake.” I used it religiously, and I still find it helpful for all sorts of behavioral changes these days. The stories we tell ourselves are important, and this little exercise walks you through rewriting them.