Learn to Journal in 4 weeks! - Week 1

Thank you for joining us on this free 4-week course in beginning journaling.  We are going to do our best to get you started writing in your journal every day for the next four weeks with prompts and cues to get you thinking, writing and exploring.


You need:
  • A journal you want to write in, and love
  • Your favorite writing instrument(s)
  • A desire to stare down and conquer the blank page!

If you haven't been through the INTRODUCTION, I recommend you give it a quick read.

              "The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek" ~~ Joseph Campbell

Each week for the next four weeks, you will come to this link/page to find  your prompts for the current week. We will list one suggested prompt for each day of the week. These are always just suggestions for writing, and are designed to get you in the habit of writing in your journal. Those in the know say that you can form or break a habit in 21 days, so by the time you reach the end of this little course,  you will have formed a writing habit that we hope you can embrace for the coming new year.

Get in the habit of using hashtags on the bottom edge of your journal pages for items you may want to refer back to.  For instance, you develop a short term goal list.  Use the hashtag "#STGoals" for handy reference.  Use cues that you will remember for journal entries you need to follow up on, or want to refer to again and find them easily.

Relax & b-r-e-a-t-h-e.  You are about to become acquainted with your new best friend...you.  There is nothing scary here.  Your journaling need not always be coherent or complete, but you should always be honest.  Your journal is your personal haven for partial thoughts and even single words that resound with you.  For journaling to be effective for you in healing your mind, body and spirit, you must make yourself vulnerable and open to honest communication with yourself. Keep an open mind, a willing heart and an engaged spirit and you will soar!  Remove all judgment making when you express and articulate on paper, open your heart, and don't be guarded with your writing.  Nobody is going to see this but you. 

"There can be no knowledge without emotion. We may be aware of a truth, yet until we have felt its force, it is not ours.  To the cognition of the brain must be added the experience of the soul." ~~Arnold Bennett

So let's get started.  Open your journal.  In the Introduction, we asked you to turn the first page over, and inscribe the following quote onto the backside of that pristine first page:




You don't have to tart it up like I did, you can, of course, but all you need do is just inscribe it as the only thing on that page. This is to be a permanent kick start for you when you need it, a mantra of sorts.  A reminder that completing something is better than doing nothing.  We all need a kick in the pants sometimes.

Now turn back to that pristine first page.  In block printing letters, write the following:

OVER THE NEXT YEAR, I GIVE MYSELF PERMISSION TO...

PLAY
LOVE
VENT
REST
TAKE TIME FOR ME
VENT 
GROW
SHINE
LEARN
EXPLORE
SIMPLIFY
COLOR OUTSIDE THE LINES
BE LOVED
BE DARING
BE STRONG
DREAM BIG
BE GRATEFUL
HELP OTHERS
BE CREATIVE
ASK FOR HELP
BE SUCCESSFUL
BE GRATEFUL
BE THANKFUL
HELP OTHERS
LAUGH MORE
ACCEPT MYSELF
TRY NEW THINGS
BE DETERMINED
BE KINDER TO MYSELF
KEEP AN OPEN MIND
REPEAT MYSELF IF I AM NOT HEARD
RISE ABOVE NEGATIVITY
LET GO OF PAST HURTS AND REGRETS
CELEBRATE MY DAILY ACHIEVEMENTS
GRAB NEW OPPORTUNITIES WITH BOTH HANDS

There!  Your virgin, pristine journal is no more. She has been deflowered in a most powerful way. You are on the road to new vistas, new avenues of exploration and discovery.  You got your shoes wet and it didn't hurt a bit, did it?  Hold your journal close to your heart.  This journal is going to become your new best friend, the one place you can go to let your hair down completely, be totally honest with yourself, tell your deepest, darkest secrets, share your biggest joys and achievements, talk about your concerns and issues, explore ideas and discover your inner you!  Take a deep breath, you're going to do fine. This isn't a contest.  It's all about you, for you and nobody else.

Set aside a specific time of the day to journal.  A time when you have some peace and quiet and time to think. Allow yourself at least thirty (30) minutes for journaling. I find journaling at the end of the day, just before retiring allows me to do a "brain dump" and get things off my worry list, allowing time for thought and planning, and basically let's me "let go" of whatever I am stewing about during the day. I can always address issues the next day. Some of you might find that early morning is best for you. Maybe you find that journaling sporadically during the day works best for you. However you do it, commit TO doing it every single day.

Let's begin.  Turn the page!  Start by noting the day, date and the prompt.  Respond to One prompt per day.  Respond to each prompt in a purposeful way. Don't be concerned about punctuation or grammar. Just start writing your response.  We'll start slow at first. Try to fill up an entire page with your response and avoid abbreviated answers.  You are kick-starting your thought processes. 

WEEK ONE

1.  Describe your day today.  (What you did, where you went and how you felt).

2.  What defines happiness for you?  Describe one of the happiest days of your life. (Who was there, where were you, why does this day stick out in your mind?)

3.  Recall and describe a favorite childhood memory. (Why is this memory special to you?)

4.  Make a list of important people in your life, then describe why each person means so much to you.

5.  Recall a favorite childhood Christmas gift or other holiday gift.  Why did you love this gift so much? How long did you keep it? How did receiving this special gift make you feel?

6.  Can you relate any special feelings from yesterday's prompt today?  How has recalling this memory made you feel? Does recalling it make you all warm and fuzzy, sad, happy?  If you could relive that special time today, would you and why?

7.  Describe in detail the weather where you are today Will today's weather prevent you from going out? Do you have any fears associated with inclement weather? Is there anything associated with weather that you like? Why?
     Start a short term goals list AND a Task or To-Do List for next week.  Each week, review the list, assess your progress, areas where you fell short, and revise the lists at the end of each week.  We will help remind you.  A short term goals list should be steps you need to take toward your long term goals, dreams and aspirations, or big projects you want to accomplish. By establishing a short term goals list, you can break down that huge project into manageable chunks, and see forward progress each week as you accomplish a new goal and task!

Enjoy your writing this week.  See you back here next weekend for your Week 2 prompts!

During your journey on this 4-week course, feel free to ask questions you have about journaling, writing or any revelations you have through your journaling in ARTFUL WRITING, a group designed just for this purpose, and for you to follow along all next year for more exciting and in-depth writing prompts (which will begin on January 1, 2016).  If you aren't a member yet, you should be, so hop on over and request to join!










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