Now that the holiday season is in full swing, we at Chronicles Software Company hope that you are enjoying time with friends and family. Wishing you a Merry Christmas, Meaningful Kwanzaa, and a Happy New Year!
Chronicles Software Company
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TABLE OF CONTENTS:
On Reviewing your Journal
Mailbag: Another Way to use LifeJournal for Children
Results of Last Survey
How to Purchase LifeJournal
In last month’s newsletter there was a detailed article about how to learn from your journal by re-reading it and how to use LifeJournal’s features to expedite that process. Reviewing your journal entries makes tangible your subjective life experiences and also can motivate you to make changes in your life. If you didn’t read that article last year, or want to refresh your memory, I would recommend that you review it now.
I recently read Alexandra Johnson’s book, Leaving a Trace: On Keeping a Journal. In it she suggests using ten categories or topics when you review your journal to find patterns in your life as follows:
“Journals contain ten categories of life patterns: longing; fear; mastery; (intentional) silences; key influences; hidden lessons; secret gifts; challenges; unfinished business; untapped potential. Each category corresponds to a way we engage or hold back in life. To begin to see a journal through these ten organizing devices is to unknot years of tangled entries. It’s most helpful if you go back through journals first by posing each life pattern as a question. Where, for example, are incidents of mastery? They may be in work, school, raising children. Or how was conflict a secret gift, highlighting potential that was still untapped?”
These ten topics that Johnson selected relate to movement in life. Some show you how you have moved forward; other categories may offer clues for ways and direction to propel you forward; still others may identify obstacles to your personal growth. Examining your journal entries from the perspective Johnson suggests, may open your eyes to new ways of viewing yourself.
You may want to review your journal entries with Johnson’s categories in mind. You could create a Topic folder in the Topics List called “Review” or perhaps “Patterns.” Create topics within that folder with the ten categories Johnson suggests. Begin rereading your journal entries from last year with these categories in mind and highlight and assign the appropriate topic to journal passages. Then go back and perform a search of only the highlighted passages. (For example, open the Search dialog box by clicking on the sixth circular button on the left, then select the topic “longing” within the Folder “Review.” Also select the check box above the list of topics that says “Retrieve only highlighted passages.” Click the “Search” button, and the highlighted passage for the topic “longing” will appear.)
Here are a few questions you may want to consider using a starting point after reviewing and highlighting the journal entries according to Johnson’s categories:
In last month’s newsletter there was an article suggesting parents keep a journal for their children to give as a gift for birthdays or other celebrations. A LifeJournal writer responded about a way that she is using LifeJournal for her brother and his children. I thought it was an innovative approach and worth sharing with others:
“On the subject of keeping a journal for your children, I have used Life Journal in this way to help my brother. I set up another journal in his name on my software. He wrote to me weekly by email and I cut/pasted into his journal. His ex-wife was alcoholic and he worried very much about the effect of this on their children who began to show abused and co-dependent behavior. LifeJournal’s topic feature has meant that we have been able to extract a journal for each of the children individually to help the counselor who is working with them now. In particular the journals have prompted the children to remember how they felt at the time about their mother’s behavior and deal with that rather than buried emotions. I am sure that when they are adults these journals will help again when they are mature enough to understand the whole picture.”.
Last month ninety people responded to the survey. We asked people about their original motivating force in keeping a journal. The number one reason (39%) people began to keep a journal was for the general enjoyment of writing. The next most common response were people who started to write at the suggestion of a therapist, coach or counselor. The third most often response was because they wanted to write an autobiography.
The great majority of journal keepers (71%) did not change the focus of their journal writing once they started it.
Only 21% of the respondents took a journal writing class, but of those who did, most (68%) would recommend taking the class that they took. The majority (62%) would like to take a class about LifeJournal in particular. Stay tuned for information about classes about LifeJournal!
We will not have a survey posted in December/January. Look for a new one near the end of January.
“Gaining access to that interior life is a kind of…archaeology: on the basis of some information and a little bit of guesswork you journey to a site to see what remains were left behind and you reconstruct the world.”
— Toni Morrison.
Chronicles Software Company
PO Box 220
Sarasota, FL 34230
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