I know there are many of you who journal daily, who are faithful to it, and who love it. There may be some of you who can't live without it. For those of you who fall into this category, I'm not talking to you. Though if you read on you might get something new and/or interesting to do.
I'm talking to those of you who are like me, who wonder as to the point of journaling, who have an inner editor who criticises, or a saboteur who whispers sour nothings in your ear, or a rotten little kid who makes excuses to do ANYthing else. If you identify with any of these anti-journaling characters, help is on the way.
The first step is to write. But what about time? You see I'm not "there" yet. I don't have the Zen of journaling down. I am a novice and still learning. However I can give myself 2 1/2 minutes. Everyone can write for 2 1/2 minutes, can't they? 2 1/2 minutes just isn't that long.
Okay so you've got your pen or pencil and paper ready and your mind goes blank. What the heck are you supposed to write about?
Prompt #1 -
Open a book at random and at random pick 5 or 6 words. Nouns and verbs are best but adjectives will work too. Or just pull 5 or 6 random words out of your own head. Now write for a big huge 2 1/2 minutes incorporating those words. The object is not to think, or "worry" about what you write; like whether it makes sense or not. None of that matters. What matters is that without taking pen (or pencil) off the page you write without stopping for 2 1/2 minutes. Over time that 2 1/2 minutes may well expand to 5, 10, 15 minutes without your even realizing it. At least, that's what I've been told, and that's what I'm aiming for.
Here are 5 words I pulled out of my head: January, cold, spring, yesterday, flowers.
Here's what I wrote:
The cold of January speaks to the ache in my bones. I am out of Yesterdays. Spring is as far away as Antarctica. And flowers? I have forgotten what they look like, how they smell.
Here are some other quick prompts to get you started.
Open a favorite novel or book of poetry at random and pick a line, any line. Use that line as the start of your first sentence. Just continue the sentence and write down whatever comes up...for 2 1/2 minutes.
Begin by writing, "I remember..." and go on from there. The memory can be from 5 minutes ago, from last year or from your childhood. It can be serious, funny...it doesn't matter. And remember you only have to write for 2 1/2 minutes. (However if you write longer that's OK!)
So who wants to play with me? Let's try 5 random words. Use mine or pick your own.
Absolute, generation, fixed, wonderful, faith
There is absolutely nothing fixed. A paradox. It is like having faith in future generations. Look at what the past future generations have done? Isn't it wonderful?
Most importantly, remember to have fun!