|February, 2012 LifeJournal Newsletter
We’re just six weeks into the new year. Many of us had decided as we turned the page from 2011 to 2012 that we were going to redouble our efforts to journal more consistently, more meaningfully, and with more depth. Of course you recognize the real value of journal writing! Who else (but you!) is going to make meaning of your life? We know that journaling is mostly a solitary and self-motivated activity. But we’re here to help–with newsletter articles; ideas for new ways to journal; classes and telechats that widen your journaling horizons.
Coming soon are three opportunities for you to learn more about yourself, to deepen your writing, and to learn more about the process of writing. I invite you to join:
- Mark Matousek author and teacher will be facilitating: The Untold Story, which starts Tuesday, February 14. This online course is for journal writers, seekers, lovers of words and exploration, and catharsis through authentic self-exploration. It will help you connect the dots of your life by discovering the story inside the situation of your everyday life. Learn more and sign up here. (Open to both IAJW members and non-members.)
- Author Diana Raab is the guest for this month’s telechat, talking about Journaling as a Springboard to a Writer’s Life. Thursday, February 16 (IAJW members only). Diana Raab is a nonfiction writer and poet and author of eight books and over 300 articles. In our hour together she’ll discuss how to transform journal entries into publishable and compelling work, and how to journal effectively for future use. Learn more.
- Judy Reeves, author of A Writers’ Book of Days and writing provocateur, runs a monthly Online Writing Practice. Next one is February 22. These hour-long writing sessions create the occasion and support to write. (Open to both IAJW members and non-members.) Learn more.
One article is about the LifeJournal feature, Journal Types. A second article offers great ideas about how write even if you only have 5 minutes or less in a day to journal!
All the best,
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Using Journal Types in LifeJournal
by Ruth Folit
In the world of paper journaling, people sometimes have different notebooks: a dream notebook, a notebook about their children, a poetry notebook and an everyday journal/notebook. I’ve never used multiple notebooks simultaneously, but I understand how it has some benefits as it helps with organizing entries. But I wonder what happens if you write a poem about your kids? Does it go into the poetry notebook or does it go into the children’s notebook? And what about those oh so frequent times when you are not even sure what you are going to write about before you write it: into which notebook should you begin that entry?
The Journal Types feature in LifeJournal offers an easy solution where you can have your cake and eat it, too! Journal Types allow you to have separate “notebooks” for organizational purposes, but also allow you to have them searchable in one place. So, if you start off about writing about your kids and then wander into writing about a dream you had, you can keep the entry in the Journal Type about your kids, but also assign the topic “dream” to it. That way you don’t have to limit what you write about in a particular entry. And you can see the context of how you ended up writing about a dream from initially writing about your kids. You have infinite flexibility!
You can open a particular Journal Types entry by clicking a button on the left side of the application toolbar: Daily, Dream, Life History, etc. You can modify the Journal Types—that is create new ones, remove existing, or edit some of the features of a Journal Type by going to File menu>Manage Journal Types. There you can assign the default font, the background color, the button icon of the type, and more!
You can search by Journal Types in two different ways. One way is to use the left side of the Journal Explorer. (If it isn’t displayed at the bottom of your screen, click the “Explorer” button in the application toolbar.) Then at the bottom left corner of the Explorer click the Show All button. In the Left Pane of the Explorer, click the “Journal Type” tab. Click a Journal Type, such as Dream. The list of all Dream entries you’ve written appear on the right side of the Journal Explorer. Double click a row and that journal entry opens.
Secondly, you can search for Journal Types within the Advanced Search dialog. First, click the Search button in the application toolbar. On the top left of that dialog box you will find a list of all your Journal Types. You can select or deselect multiple Journal Types, as well as including other search criteria. So, for example, you can search for all entries that are Dream Journal Types and also include a specific date range. When you click the Search button, the list of entries which meet your search criteria appears in the right side of the Journal Explorer.
And here’s a bit of LifeJournal functionality that you might not know about: If you start your journal entry in one Journal Type and by the time you finish it you realize it should be a different Type, within the entry menu go to Edit>Change Journal Type.
Five Tips on How to Write Even if You Have ALMOST No Time:
Can you find just five minutes in a day to write? Remember to include scraps of time that might work for you: when you waiting for your husband to find his shoes, keys, or glasses; or when you are waiting for the coffee or tea to brew; or after you have changed your clothes when you get home from work transisting from your work to your home life. Here are five things you can do to squeeze some journaling in, if you have less than five minutes:
1.Write a one word journal entry which encapsulates the day. It could be an emotion or a person’s name or a place that evokes a whole story.
2.Write a six word journal entry. Visit here for some inspiration
. Of course, you could make your own limit–8 words? 10? 12? Write it in your head on your commute home in the evening, or while making dinner, or getting ready for bed. Remember to write it down!
3.Set your timer for 5 minutes and then free write non-stop, then STOP when the timer goes off.
4. In LifeJournal, enter only your Daily Pulse for the day and write a few notes that will remind what your day was like. No need to even start a journal entry.
5.Make a short list—just phrases– where you dump the gist of your day out onto the page. Use a timer, if you want to make sure you don’t go beyond 5 minutes
Here’s a quick example:
- slept poorly but felt surprisingly rested upon wakening
- heated discussion about plans for building a small deck–finally felt understood and resolved–i hope!– differences (write more about this!)
- got started on to-do list–so efficient! until noon.
- quick set of errands–took longer than i had hoped.
- finished newsletter–will go out tomorrow. yes!
- pleased with productivity–finding a straighter path through the thicket
- excited about new classes i’m working on. worth staying up late to have some creative time. accepting of late night rhythm
Agreed, this isn’t the deepest of journaling–but if you want to maintain continuity and keep the momentum, these tricks work in a pinch!
“Questioning is an art form in itself. Inquiring, who are you today, for starters–and what is it that you want most intensely? Where is intuition leading? Questions till the ground of “beginner’s mind,” plow fresh road, scrap outdated agendas, help us to reimagine our way.”–Mark Matousek
“Whatever it is that you write, putting words on the page is a form of therapy that doesn’t cost a dime and it is certainly a productive way to deal with the scars and dark places from our pasts. Self-expression is one way to lay a problem or demon to rest. It’s also way to bring forth suppressed feelings and fears. It’s a way to bring a sense of resolution and a sense of satisfaction to our lives.”–Diana Raab
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