LifeJournal™ Newsletter – April-May 2004

We’re excited about a new service we have created and about improvements on existing services. First, come visit us at our website, where we have updated to a cleaner look.

When you visit the affilates web page, you will see that we have upgraded our affiliates program. The program is now fully automated and will give you larger commissions. Read more about it in the article below.

We also are introducing a new service: e-prompts. E-prompts are e-mails delivered three times per week to give you the little extra nudge to keep you writing. We hear from many writers that one of their biggest challenges is to write consistently. We have created a service to help. Learn more about it in the article “Introducing a New Service: LifeJournal e-Prompts.”

Finally, we will revisit a subject familiar to every journal writer: “the internal critic.”


Ruth Folit

<palign=left>Chronicles Software Company 

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New Affiliate Program: Works Automatically and Pays You More!

Introducing a New Service: LifeJournal e-Prompts

Working with the Internal Critic

End Quotes

How To Purchase LifeJournal

New Affiliate Program: Works Automatically and Pays You More!

Good news! We have set up an easy way for you to earn money by spreading the word about LifeJournal. Every time you refer a new customer to LifeJournal you earn 25% commission—that’s $9.99 to be exact. A customer who clicks on the LifeJournal link on your website or from your e-mail and purchases LifeJournal at any time (whether the first time they visit the LifeJournal site or the fifth time returning) will be automatically tracked by our affiliate software.

You can monitor your referrals online. There is a password-protected webpage you can visit to see how many referrals you have. We’ll pay you at least twice a year, and we’ll pay you at the end of the month if we owe you $50 or more.

If you’d like to be a part of the affiliate program, just follow these four simple steps:

  1. Signup by going to You will get an affiliate number and a password. You’ll learn the code to add to your website or to your email. (We have promotional materials on our website at, if you want to add any of the text or images to your website.)

  2. Copy and paste the html code to link LifeJournal (and track your referrals) into your website, in newsletter articles, in postings to newsgroups, bulletin boards or lists, and include it in e-mails! (Delete the current LifeJournal associate referral code information if you currently have a code.)

  3. Tell your website visitors, friends, students, clients, newsletter subscribers, family members, and colleagues about LifeJournal and include the html link in your website, newsletter, newsgroup postings, or email! (You don’t need a website: you can send an e-mail with the link that will track purchases to your referral!)

  4. Check out your commissions online at

Thanks for spreading the word about LifeJournal! Please let us know if you have any questions about the LifeJournal Affiliate Program.

Introducing a New Service: LifeJournal e-Prompts

One of the impediments to keeping a journal on-going is not finding the time to write, or not remembering to sit down consistently and write. We’ve created a simple service that not only is a quick reminder to write, but gives you a focus when you open your journal. LifeJournal e-prompts are e-mails with a thought-provoking question or two on a particular theme to re-charge your journal writing battery and to encourage seeing things from new perspectives. 

When you sign up for the service, you can request a particular time of day for the emails to arrive, so that as soon as the email arrives, you’ll be able to open up the LifeJournal program and start writing.

As a kick-off to the e-prompts program, anyone can sign up for the Jumpstart!category at no cost. This Jumpstart! set of prompts is directed at new LifeJournal writers, but any journal writer may find it valuable. We also have three other category sets of e-Prompts and these are available for a small fee. These initial sets are focused on different topics: SuccessLife History Memories, and Emotional Self-care. Alice Massanari, MSW, LSCW, therapist and coach from Asheville, North Carolina, who is a long-time journal writer and incorporates journal writing into her practice, has written these questions. (Please let us know if you have ideas for other category topics and we’ll try to accommodate your requests.) 

Here’s how the LifeJournal e-Prompts service works:

    1. Go to and click the button 1 month subscription or 3 months subscription. The cost for one month of e-Prompts is $9.95. The cost for three months of e-Prompts is $21.95. You’ll receive prompts three times per week, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday during the month (or four week period) or three months (13 weeks) that you have contracted.

    2. Complete the shopping cart and enter your personal information and credit card information. Click the Submit button.

    3. You will be directed to a page where you will enter the category of e-Prompts you want to receive, your name, your e-mail address and the time of day you’d like to receive the e-mail.

    4. Click the OK button and the first e-Prompt will arrive soon thereafter, regardless of whether it is Monday, Wednesday, or Friday. You’ll continue receiving e-mails until the time period you contracted for has ended.

Working with the Internal Critic

We ran the article below in a newsletter about one year ago, but in the interest of my overloaded schedule, and the idea that you can never have too many reminders to acknowledge and deal with inner critics, I thought this might be a good time to re-run it. ; )

Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience, written by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, describes “the state in which people are so involved in an activity that nothing else seems to matter; the experience itself is so enjoyable that people will do it even at great cost, for the sheer sake of doing it.” Author Susan Perry has taken Csikszentmihalyi’s work and examined the “flow” state within the context of writers and their writing. Perry’s Writing in Flow: Keys to Enhanced Creativity specifically looks at how writers can get into a flow state while writing. In her book she states: “The optimal conditions for creativity (and thus for flow entry) include a condition of psychological safety from external evaluation. When you feel (and fear) your efforts are going to be judged, you quickly lose the ability to marshal all your mental and emotional resources in the quest for a new way to express yourself. No one wants to fail or look foolish for writing something that others (or you yourself) will judge to be bad, stupid, or silly.”

Journal writing creates a safe haven. I write with no intended audience. I don’t feel judged by some unwelcome, sneering being, breathing over my shoulder. I have the freedom and space to think, to express, to be as I please. It’s not easy to find that in the everyday world.

However, even within the confines of “no audience” journal writing, I can sometimes find myself being both writer and audience. This inner and sometimes negative inner voice has been dubbed by many as the “Internal Critic.” Sometimes the Internal Critic can be as cruel and damaging as an external audience. The Internal Critic seems to be universal. Everyone has heard that nagging internal voice saying something akin to “What are you thinking? This is horrible! You think you can write?”

To make journal writing psychologically safer (and hence increase your creativity) you may want to learn to tame your Internal Critic. Here are some thoughts about working with the Internal Critic:

  1. Acknowledge that everyone has Internal Critics of some kind. Get to know yours. Usually, people incorporate parts of their parents, teachers, siblings, or others that may have been critical when they were younger to create their Internal Critics. Bring those Inner Critics out of hiding, into the light of day, and learn everything you can about them. You may want to dialog with your Internal Critics using the dialog tool within LifeJournal. After a while you will be able to identify the voices of the Internal Critics.

  2. Recognize that Internal Critics have both beneficial and damaging qualities. At times your Internal Critics may be protecting you from external criticism. They may motivate you to edit your essay one more time and improve it.

  3. Discriminate when it’s a good time to listen to your critics and when to dismiss them. When you are first gathering your thoughts and putting them into words, the Internal Critics may limit your thinking and confine the range of ways to express yourself. In the early phases of writing, keep your critics distant. They will never really go away, so consider different ways to detach from or ignore them.

    You may temporarily turn a deaf ear, like when a neighbor’s dog is barking loudly: sometimes you confront your neighbor and his dog, and other times you choose to turn the din into benign background noise. You may choose to talk to your Internal Critics directly–perhaps kindly and firmly, or harshly and bluntly–and let them know that you know that they are there, but you’ll interact with them later. Or you may work with them proactively at the start of the day, as Julia Cameron suggests in The Artist’s Way. Cameron writes “morning pages,” the daily routine first thing in the morning of writing three pages about whatever you want as a way to clear out, clean out, and prepare for a day of creativity. Within your morning pages you may want to have a conversation with your critics, letting them know how you will interact with them that day.

    The more you acknowledge your Internal Critics, the more you’ll be able to make them smaller than life.

  4. Stay committed to staying in control of your Internal Critics. With time and patience and practice, you’ll figure out the best way to use these interior characters to your advantage.

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“Great minds ask great questions.”—Michael Gelb, author of How To Think Like Leonardo DaVinci

To exist is to change; to change is to mature; to mature is to go on creating oneself endlessly.”

Henri Bergson, French philosopher

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