|This month’s newsletter has two articles: One is about how you can help your children express themselves in writing at any age. Read a true story about how I handled a meltdown with my young son many years ago. And there’s a clever tip from a LifeJournal writer about an effective way to keep writing consistently in your journal.Lots happening in May with LifeJournal! We have three webinars scheduled to start this month. There’s a free webinar on May 14 about the basics of LifeJournal: www.lifejournal.com/free_webinar This is a great way to dip you toe into the world of webinars, if you haven’t ever attended one. And it’s an easy and efficient way to learn the ins-and-outs of LifeJournal. Please sign up to reserve a spot.
Then, Sheila Bender (content partner of LifeJournal for Writers and author, poet, and essayist) is offering two webinars starting soon: One is a writing workshop online meeting for five consecutive Tuesdays. If you have even a whisper of a thought of taking a journal entry and turning it into a more polished piece, this webinar is for you! Learn more about the webinar at writers.lifejournal.com/webinar_writingworkshop. All levels of writers will find this workshop useful. (Sheila is a first class writing coach who makes the learning process fun, valuable, and encouraging.)
The second webinar is a three-session webinar with Sheila and me, which not only guides you through the LifeJournal for Writers program, but also shows you how to integrate the program into your writing life. Learn more and sign up atwriters.lifejournal.com/webinar_LJW.
And the last pitch for LifeJournal stuff, before we get to the meat of the newsletter: If you are looking for unique, reasonably priced, and meaningful gifts for Mother’s Day or for recent high school or college graduates, consider LifeJournal!
I hope that the new flowers springing up, the birds warbling, and the warming air are calling you to sit outside with your laptop and write in your journal!
Kids and Journal Writing
My two children are now both in their 20s. When they were much younger, when they would see me writing in my journal, they’d ask me what I was doing. I explained that I like to write things that I was thinking about so I could remember them and review them later. Then, I’d give them some paper and pencils/markers/crayons to write and draw—which might buy me a little more time of uninterrupted journal writing.
During the times I was in my best parenting mindset I would remember that pushing an idea on a child rarely works—and sometimes actually backfires. The trick is to wait for an appropriate moment when the child is receptive and might see the merit of an idea. One particular teachable moment about writing stands out for me; it occurred when my son was almost four years old and in pre-school. Sounds pretty early in his life to experience the power of words, doesn’t it? Here’s what happened:
Tip: Using E-mail to Keep Continuity in your Journal
I just got off the phone with a long time LifeJournal writer, someone who has been using the program since 2001. We were talking about different ways that she uses LifeJournal and she mentioned that she doesn’t write in her journal as much as she’d like. (I would bet that probably 90% of journal writers would make that comment!) She said that she had a great technique that fills in some gaps.
“People need trouble — a little frustration to sharpen the spirit on, toughen it. Artists do; I don’t mean you need to live in a rat hole or gutter, but you have to learn fortitude, endurance. Only vegetables are happy.” –William Faulkner
“A book is made from a tree. It is an assemblage of flat, flexible parts (still called “leaves”) imprinted with dark pigmented squiggles. One glance at it and you hear the voice of another person – perhaps someone dead for thousands of years. Across the millennia, the author is speaking, clearly and silently, inside your head, directly to you. Writing is perhaps the greatest of human inventions, binding together people, citizens of distant epochs, who never knew one another. Books break the shackles of time, proof that humans can work magic.”—Carl Sagan
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