LifeJournal™ Newsletter – October 2002

As we enter the autumn/winter phase of the calendar, an excellent time for contemplation and incubation, we can use LifeJournal to record our musings.

As the holiday season approaches you may want to consider giving LifeJournal as a gift*. You can give LifeJournal as a unique gift to

  • writers of any kind-novelists, playwrights, poets, essayists
  • people who want to grow professionally and/or personally
  • those with health issues
  • caregivers of those with health issues
  • journal writers who explore their religious or spiritual lives
  • parents who want to write about their children’s lives
  • those embarking on a new phase of life
  • people who want to write their memoirs
  • and to any novice as well as seasoned journal writers!

(*A note for those buying Hanukah gifts: Hanukah is very early this year, starting November 29.)

We have a new survey our home page. The subject is about how often you write and what you write about.Please click here to take the survey.The results of last month’s survey are discussed below. Thanks to all of you who took the time and effort to complete the survey last month!

Ruth Folit
Chronicles Software Company

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Journal Technique: The Unsent Letter
Tips: Bring the Daily Pulse Graph and Pulse Notes When you Visit the Doctor
Survey results for last month
End quotes
How To Purchase LifeJournal

Journal Technique: The Unsent Letter 

An unsent letter is a very useful tool when you are feeling an extreme emotion of any kind–when you feel so angry, sad, anxious, jealous, bored, excited, or even so loving that you are worried that expressing the full, raw, unchecked emotion may overwhelm the “recipient” or that the message may not be appropriate for you to send.

Writing an unsent letter is cathartic and easy: Sit down and start writing, “Dear ______,” and you’ll know what to do next. Your fingers will start flying and you’ll be able to write for a while saying whatever is on your mind. Send your censor to another room and go all out. Do NOT hold back.

Think you are finished? Not yet. You can squeeze out a little more venom, or one more tear, or one more drop of unexpressed emotion that is still hanging on. Get it all out and you’ll feel lighter and looser and relieved.

DO NOT SEND THAT LETTER, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES! Put that Unsent Letter away and don’t think about it for a while. (You might want to send yourself a Letter to the Future, that will appear in a week to remind yourself to read that journal entry.) When you have calmed down and are feeling more rational about and more detached from the situation, review what you wrote. Keep a sense of humor. If you can’t maintain enough distance from the Unsent Letter maybe you have more to say. Write more and again don’t send it, but put it away until you are able to maintain distance as you read it.

When you are ready to re-read it with a sense of objectivity and detachment, you may want to write about the experience of writing or re-reading the Unsent Letter. Have you any insights as to what the extreme emotion is about?

Tip: Print the Daily Pulse Graph and Pulse Notes Before you Visit the Doctor

How often have you been to a doctor reporting a symptom-a painful shoulder, a persistent cough, or a general feeling of malaise–when you are asked you how long have you had the problem. There are many ways that I’ve tried to figure out that answer: Was it before or after my mother visited me? I’m sure it’s been a long time–it HAS to be a month–at least, I think. Or, what was the weather like then-was it during the hot, humid days of summer?

There are times when it’s very helpful to know accurately how long you’ve had a symptom, or when exactly you stopped taking a medication, or how long you’ve tried a particular remedy. The Daily Pulse Graph and the Pulse Notes are an excellent way to keep track of this information. It may be helpful to print the Daily Pulse Graph and the Pulse Notes to show your health care provider. It may offer information that may help determine the cause of the problem and assist in finding a remedy.

To print the Daily Pulse Graph, first open it by clicking on the fifth button from the right on the horizontal toolbar (or using the menu, go to View>Daily Pulse Graph). Click the rectangular buttons to select which parameters (e.g. Health, Stress) that you want to appear. (To choose the time frame that you want to view, use the square buttons on the left (two weeks, three months, or a year) and use the scroll bar at the bottom. Click the Print button on the Daily Pulse Graph dialog box and then click OKwhen the next dialog box appears.

You can also choose to print the Pulse Notes at the same time or separate from printing the Daily Pulse Graph. Open the Daily Pulse Graph and click the Print button. The dialog box allows you to check the Pulse Notes and select the range of dates that you want to be printed.

To make the best use of the Pulse Notes feature for tracking your mental and physical health, write comments consistently about your symptoms and medications schedule. If you routinely write about these topics, you will be able to see patterns and connections in your life.

Results of the last survey:

Survey results for this month offered a few surprises. Of the 82 journal writers who responded, two-thirds started keeping a journal before they were 19 years old. Most–about two-thirds of these two-thirds–first started keeping a journal when they were as young as 5-12 years old!

Roughly three-quarters of the respondents were women; one-quarter were men.

Respondents’ experiences in journal writing varied–30% had kept a journal for more than 20 years; 29% have recently begun keeping a journal.

Almost half (44%) the people who responded keep a handwritten and computer-based journal.

End Quotes:

“Cherish your own emotions and never undervalue them.”
–Robert Henri

“Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.”
–Ralph Waldo Emerson

To Purchase LifeJournal:

  • Order online at
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    Chronicles Software Company
    PO Box 220
    Sarasota, FL 34230

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