Monday, January 10, 2011
A Different Kind of Journal
If you had told me years ago that I would blog weekly for more than 5 months -- much less 5 years -- I’d have responded with a hearty “No Way!”. Well, “Yes Way!”. We’re in our 5th year on the blog and I’ve managed to find a topic for 90% of those weeks (and guest bloggers the rest of the time).
I think one reason I’ve been able to stick with this is that the format is very similar to journaling, just on a more structured level (at least, for me it is). Granted, y’all may not find my personal musings and observations on life earth-shattering, but, well, they're just me. I try to strive for something more helpful than “navel gazing”, but I’m a “navel gazing” kind of girl. ;) Introspective, and definitely an indoor cat.
I’ve been a fan of journaling since my early teens, turning to the practice of putting my thoughts on the page long before I started writing fiction. I don’t do it every day, unless I’m trying to work through a particular issue or problem. Then journaling becomes a form of self-therapy for me. Lately, I’ve been struggling a great deal with blocked creativity (writing in fits and starts, not writing at all, characters not talking, etc), so I’ve decided to work through “The Artist’s Way”, a book by Julia Cameron. The lessons are designed to assist artists of all kinds in initiating or re-establishing relationships with their creativity. She advocates practicing “Morning Pages”, which is 3 free-form pages of writing each morning.
I like to call it Brain Drain. I get all the stuff whirling through my head out onto the page -- anger, frustration, happiness, memories, To Do lists, plot ideas, snatches of dialogue, plans, anything, everything. Cameron contends this process dissolves blocks to creativity. I certainly hope so, but just as important is the clearing of my head and the increased sense of focus. Plus, I can look back at it if I need to remember something! Like that list of things I need to get done today.
So, do you practice journaling? If not, how do you clear out the mind clutter?
Join us this Friday, January 14, when author Evenlyn Vaughn visits the Playground.