Thursday, August 25, 2011

Overcoming Journaling Jitters

The blank page stares at you, and you wonder what it is you should place upon it. Your mind has a thousand things to say, but you can't seem to pull one thought to the front of your mind.

Is it the fear of someone reading what you put in the privacy of your journal? Is it the fear of saying something that might offend another? Is it the fear of writing itself? Or maybe you don't like your handwriting...

Whatever the phobia is, here are some suggestions to getting past the journaling jitters and starting to write out the stories of your life:

1. Start simple. Write down what is important today. What do you have to do? What has been accomplished? What are you worried about? What are you excited about?

2. Write down what God is doing in your life. Testify of His goodness in your day.

3. Write down what God is saying to you. Did a scripture verse jump out at you during your morning reading? What struck you about it?

4. What do you have to be thankful for? Did God make a way for your electric bill to be paid? Did your father overcome a battle with cancer? Did your husband get that promotion he'd been trying for? Did you get sleep last night after a week of tossing and turning? Write it down.

5.  Write down a memory from childhood that you'd like to share with your kids one day.

6. Write down something you've learned from someone else that you'd love to share with someone else some day. Testify to their impact on your life.

7. Make a list of your favorite foods, movies, songs, etc. If you have a memory associated with them, write that down, too.

8. There are books like Natalie Goldberg's Old Friend from Far Away that are written to get you thinking about writing about your life. Pick up a copy of one from your local bookstore and use the prompts for journaling.

Journaling can be as simple or detailed as you want to make it. Start with easy posts and then work your way up to longer ones. Use the ideas above to get you started. Pick one topic for each day of the week, if you'd like. Start there. As you continue to be faithful to keeping your journal, it'll become easier as the time goes by. And soon you'll find yourself enjoying it!

Photo Courtesy of Ben Lancaster

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