|(two days after) July, 2010
LifeJournal NewsletterPlease forgive me: This month was so jam-packed with wonderful stuff in the LifeJournal and International Association for Journal worlds that I missed my own deadline by two days! Before we get to the main event–the newsletter article– first a few announcements about online classes and the monthly IAJW telechat.
Whether you are a new or veteran journal writer, taking a class (re)kindles your love and depth of journaling. One student in The Great Journal Experience class recently commented: “I can feel myself growing with each journal entry.”
And here’s a response from another student after a weekly assignment:
These online classes have enormous value that you will carry with you for the rest of your life. Sheila Bender knows exactly how to bring out the best in your writing. Best-selling author Mark Matousek specializes in helping students discover their inherent writer’s voice and viewing writing as a form of spiritual practice. To learn more about details (dates, content,flexible schedule, and cost) and to enroll, please click on the links below. Don’t delay…these classes can fill up quickly!
The next IAJW telechat is with long time journaling author and instructor Joyce Chapman. The title of her talk is:
Is it time to embrace the habit of paying close attention to all your life experiences as opportunities to grow and change? Would you like to learn techniques to improve your life through intense noticing, and get to the learning by journaling about it? Join Joyce Chapman and me in a live IAJW members-only telechat as we discover how “Noticing and Journaling” can truly change lives. IAJW members, sign up now! (Not yet an IAJW member, join now!)
The month’s newsletter article is a review of the book, Writing Away Your Demons, by Sherry Reiter. This is a powerful book demonstrating how profound journal writing can be in navigating through very difficult life scenarios.
I hope you having some fun with friends and family and journaling about the good stuff, as well as the “heavy” stuff. I just got back from a two day mini-vacation with my daughter. Our goal was finding her a wedding dress. The first dress she tried on was the one we both loved and we ended up buying it. What a pleasure when life is easier than expected! Our two days together are certainly worthy of preserving in a journal entry–one which I’ll love re-reading (and perhaps sending to my daughter) 25 years from now. Don’t you think?
A Review of the Book Writing Away Your Demons: Stories of Creative Coping Through Transformative Writing by Sherry Reiter, PhD
In her book Writing Away Your Demons, psychologist and social worker Sherry Reiter explores how people are able to use writing to work through some very difficult psychological situations. Sherry Reiter strongly believes in the power of writing to transform the pain, hurt and damage to the self that many of us have lived through.
“Your writing is your own truth as you are experience it at the moment. Even if you do not understand what you are feeling at the time, when you read and re-read your own writing, you are most likely to ‘crack the code,’ and discover new meaning. Those little black squiggles on the paper have an extraordinary ability to bring in to a new level of self-knowledge and awareness.”
Reiter follows the fuller explanation of these principles with more than a dozen stories of individuals—using journal entries and poems written by people who have had traumatic experiences. One was a soldier in war; others had grown up in families with physically or emotionally abusive parents; others lived with life-threatening diseases; one elderly woman reviewed her life, now estranged from her family members. Each person’s story is told through their journal writings and poems, followed by commentary by Reiter about the journaling and transformational process. Amazingly, you’ll find that each story’s author has gained insights, found some resolution, and enjoy a sense of peace from the writing and therapeutic experience.
For therapists this book is instructive reading. For journal writers sifting through their own archeological layers of memories and images and experiences this is exciting and inspiring reading. For aspiring journal writers who haven’t yet begun the writing journey, this is a book filled with astonishing examples of the power of reflective writing.
“There’s always a sheet of paper. There’s always a pen. There’s always a way out.”—H.L. Mencken
“The process of writing is about creating an intimate relationship—with one’s self.”—Sherry Reiter, PhD
“There is an applause superior to that of the multitudes: one’s own.”—Elizabeth Elton Smith