Revisiting journal writing

My writing in the last couple of weeks has been made up mostly of journaling. That has inspired me to revisit a piece I wrote about how important I think journal writing is and share it with you. The Power of Journaling A friend gave me a little leather (or faux leather) bound five-year diary complete with tiny lock and key when I was in high school. And for a while I wrote in the teeniest script about typical teen-age angst – especially about my first crush who gave me my first cigarette and first French kiss and then dumped me for a girl he met at summer camp. I think my parents must have thrown that diary out when they sold our house and moved to California because I never saw it again after I went away to college. I took up journaling again during my thirties while my husband and our two sons and I lived for nineteen months on a remote island in the South Pacific. I felt so isolated on this tiny island that the best I could do was write long rants every morning before the b … [Read more...]

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Life lessons learned from journaling

For four months I worked incredibly long hours helping a group of engineers write a proposal to the United States Air Force. My job was to advise and to make sure they correctly followed the request for proposal (RFP) instructions in the given number of pages. Plus I edited and rewrote their work to make the proposal read like it was written in one voice. I would arrive at work around 7:30 am and leave between six and eight in the evening. That left me just enough time to have a quick dinner at our hotel where the selections were less than enticing and go up to my hotel room and get ready for bed. Regular writing even under these conditions reminded me how important journaling is to my continued well-being. It always gives me space to gripe, to rant, and even to describe some of the good things about my day. Since journaling has become a way of life for me, I couldn’t let it go no matter what. Unfortunately, my other writing went by the wayside during this heavy period of work and I’ … [Read more...]

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The healing powers of journaling

This is the second in my series about writing to heal. I've also found the healing powers of journaling, which I first wrote about for Rev. Linda M. Rhinehart Neas' anthology: Returning to the Circle: Inspirational Wisdom from Women for Women. The Power of Journaling A friend gave me a little leather (or faux leather) bound five-year diary complete with tiny lock and key when I was in high school. And for a while I wrote in the teeniest script about typical teen-age angst – especially about my first crush who gave me my first cigarette and first French kiss and then dumped me for a girl he met at summer camp. I think my parents must have thrown that diary out when they sold our house and moved to California because I never saw it again after I went away to college. I took up journaling again during my thirties while my husband and our two sons and I lived for nineteen months on a remote island in the South Pacific. I felt so isolated on this tiny island that the best I could do … [Read more...]

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How to write a novel

I was smitten with the following photo that pranced around Facebook yesterday courtesy of Melissa Foster. It makes the writing of a novel seem so simple and the deterrents to writing a novel so easy to solve. I’ve been working on my novel for about four years – off and on. I revised and got my memoir, Leaving the Hall Light On, published in the meantime, and I spend a lot of time every day marketing it. However, I don’t let any of that take away from my writing time and my commitment to my novel. What I want to do is to briefly comment on the photo I’ve shared here and let you know where I am in my novel’s process. Think up a story I was fortunate to have a story fall into my lap from my aunt’s lifestory writing, and when I presented the idea at my first novel-writing workshop, it was very readily accepted. I’ve, of course, fictionalized her true story, making up characters, dialogue, events, and locales. However, I’ve tried very hard to be historically accurate about plac … [Read more...]

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Why I journal

I just spent an hour with my friend and fellow journal writer, @DawnHerring chatting about journaling #JournalChat. Dawn hosts these Twitter chats every Thursday at two o’clock Pacific time. I hadn’t participated for the last few weeks, so it was good to be back today. The topic was Take Action. Before I get into that here’s a bit about my journaling history. When I was in grade school I had one of those little leather (or faux leather) bound diaries that had a tiny key. Mine was a 5-year diary so I wrote down in teeny script my daily events. I think my parents must have thrown it out when they sold our house and moved to California because I never saw it again after I went away to college. I journaled in fits and starts over the next forty years or so. I kept a journal when we lived in the South Pacific during the seventies, and some of those journal entries became a magazine article about our island adventures. However, I began journaling regularly when my son Paul was di … [Read more...]

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