I have a confession to make, an embarrassing and quite disconcerting confession. If you read the description of the two upcoming events above, or have been following this newsletter for any length of time, you know how important journaling is in my life. But somewhere between completing my book, The Healing Power of Writing, course work and essays for the graduate program I’m enrolled in, my clients, and summer travel, I stopped journaling.
HOW THIS HAPPENED
It’s not that I woke up one morning and thought, “That’s it, no more journaling for me!” It was nothing like that. It was more like, “I’ll get to it as soon as I finish my essay (or paper, or book chapter, or…).” It was like, “I’m doing so much other writing (or studying or reading) I can’t do any journaling.” And, it was like, “I just don’t have the energy to do any journaling.”
WHAT I NOTICED
It was subtle, at first. I began to notice that something was wrong but it was nothing I could put my finger on. I noticed that I felt slightly out of sorts and easily annoyed. Then I noticed a feeling of restlessness; I couldn’t seem to settle down or get comfortable within myself. I began to notice that my afternoon power naps were becoming longer and longer. Finally, I was able to identify the culprit -- low level depression.
WHAT HAPPENED NEXT
It occurred to me that in order to get out of this funk, I needed to do something, to create some kind of plan, or at least do something differently. One of the best ways of getting myself untangled and re-focused is, of all things…journaling. It wasn’t a question of whether or not I wanted to write; it was more an awareness that I needed to write. I simply could think of no better way to sort out my feelings and figure out what to do to feel better.
WHAT I LEARNED
I began journaling for a few minutes in the morning, easing my way back. The next day I wrote for ten minutes. I began to feel a little bit better. This felt familiar, comfortable, like putting on a well-worn bathrobe. By the third day of journaling, I could feel the tension easing in my neck and shoulders. By the fourth day, I knew what this month’s article would be about. I even remembered one of my all-time favorite quotes about writing:
"I have forced myself to begin writing when I've been utterly exhausted, when I've felt my soul as thin as a playing card, when nothing has seemed worth enduring for another five minutes . . . and somehow the activity of writing changes everything."
---Joyce Carol Oates
If you find yourself with a case of the summertime blues, contact me for an informative discovery session via phone or in person. Phone (800) 552-WRITE, that's (800) 552-9748 or write to me at email@example.com to find out more.
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