LifeJournal™ Newsletter – April 2009


LifeJournal has jumped into the social media world.  We have a Facebook  Come visit and become a fan!

Also, follow me on Twitter. My name there is life_journal. Go to https://www.twitter.comand see what all the twittering is about! For those of you who are new to the social media/Web 2.0 world, let me simply explain that these venues are another way to get to know and stay in touch with people who have interests that overlap with yours.

Three new webinars are coming up!  FYI, if you must miss a webinar session, we now have a service where we can easily send you the recording.  So don’t worry if you have to miss a session, you can still sign up!

1. Starting next week, Invest in Yourself is a four-session webinar with longtime certified journal therapist Sue Meyn, about how to leverage your inner resources.  Writing in your journal is one way to help overcome the stresses  (A NY Times article calls it “recession anxiety“) many of us are feeling  Journal writing can help!

2. Writer’s Workshop Webinar: Spend an hour and a quarter per week for four weeks listening and responding to classmates’ writing-in-progress and hearing responses to your own. Sheila Bender, LifeJournal for Writers content partner and writing teacher/coach will lead the discussion. Come make more progress on essays, poems, and stories than you may have believed possible.

3. LifeJournal for Writers Webinar:  This is a webinar to Integrate LifeJournal for Writers into Your Writing Life. Sheila Bender, LJW content partner and writing coach and Ruth Folit, creator of LifeJournal, will show you how to use LJW to improve your writing,  to increase your writing productivity, and more.
Looking forward to seeing you at a webinar!

Two articles in this month’s newsletter: One is an article that reviews the research about how keeping a journal can increase your ability to concentrate. (I imagine that we would all welcome that!)  The second article is a tip learned from the Writing for Emotional Balance webinar.
Happy Spring! Bring your laptop outside when the weather is nice and write!

Ruth Folit

Expressive Writing Helps Your Working Memory

I’ve written previously about James Pennebaker, PhD, a well-known psychologist in the journal writing world.  Researchers who have built on his work have shown that expressive writing—a term in the research literature that means writing in depth about stressful and traumatic events in one’s life– improves health, learning, getting a job, problem solving, and more. Kitty Klein and Adriel Boals have done research that builds on Pennebaker’s work, researching whether expressive writing affects the capacity of working memory.

A fundamental cognitive process, working memory is critical for successful complex thinking like comprehending, reasoning, planning and problem solving.  Working memory involves both short-term memory storage and the processing of information simultaneously. And, as we probably all have experienced, working memory has a limited capacity.


A Tip from the Writing for Emotional Balance Webinar

Beth Jacobs, author of the book Writing for Emotional Balance and facilitator of the eponymous four-session webinar, offered plenty of information and exercises to explore this complex issue during the webinar sessions. I learned about how general brain physiology impacts my everyday emotional life as well as how to use writing as a part of the emotional balancing strategy.


End Quotes

 “Every man’s memory is his private literature.”  ~Aldous Huxley

“Memory is a complicated thing, a relative to truth, but not its twin.” ~Barbara Kingsolver

“Let’s not forget that the little emotions are the great captains of our lives and we obey them without realizing it.” ~Vincent Van Gogh

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