LifeJournal™ Newsletter – October 2009


During the last 10 years of newsletter writing and software development, I’ve corresponded with and gotten to know many journal experts, who each offers his/her unique and deep perspective on the subject of journaling.  I thought, wouldn’t it be a great service to all kinds of journal writers, if there were one place where a group of top-notch journal experts collectively educated, encouraged, and interacted with the worldwide journaling community?

After I contacted Kay Adams she enthusiastically supported the project, taking on the job of convening the Journal Council–the group of journal writing experts working together. So, with great excitement I introduce to you this new and dynamic organization–the International Association for Journal Writing, headquartered at

The Journal Council–the voices of 30 pioneers, researchers, and leaders in the field of journal writing–have each written articles on a range of journal-y subjects: journal writing for better health, for emotionally therapeutic purposes, for pumping up your creativity, for getting more in touch with your spiritual side, for improving your creative writing. The library is growing constantly!

For IAJW members there are monthly telechats with Council Members, a Discussion Forum, links to websites, introductions to each of the Journal Council members, products, e-books, e-prompts, and more! Classes, webinars, online groups led by a Journal Council members are all available for a reduced fee for members. However, even if you don’t join IAJW you can still take a class or purchase products (at a non-member fee). IAJW is dedicated to helping you get more out of your journaling, to learn more about yourself–to live a more joyful, productive,and fulfilling life. Juice up your journaling!  Juice up your life!

Ruth Folit

P.S. If you are looking for a great gift for the upcoming holidays, give LifeJournal software and a membership to IAJW. It’s a gift that will be appreciated for years!


Ten pitfalls of journal writing to avoid

1. Feeling guilty that you don’t write often enough. 

2. Feeling like you have to write perfectly–that your grammar and spelling should be perfect, and sentences must be well crafted.

3. Leaving your journal lying around or open on your computer so anyone can read it.

4. Reporting about your life without looking below the surface–that is, writing from the outside in, rather than from the inside out. 

5. Not including sketches, doodles, and other images–non-verbal stuff– that express how you feel.

Feeling bored because you are not using a full range of journal techniques and writing about a full range of topics so that you can dig deeper and get to know yourself better, and grow in many areas.

7. Not adding an occasional photo of yourself, friends, or family members. 

8. Stuck in  a rut–writing in circles and circles and not making any progress toward emotional balance, 
getting to the heart of the issue, seeing your world from fresh perspectives, and making progress in your life.

9. Not writing because you are worried that you don’t know what you are going to write about.

10. Not re-reading your journal periodically to see the big picture: to make connections, to gain insight and to see your life patterns.


There are solutions for all of these issues. IAJW offers lots of support and encouragement, interaction, and knowledge from others to learn how to move past the journaling pitfalls. 

Upcoming classes and webinars in November:

Keep a Writer’s Journal like the Pros with Sheila Bender
Learn to emulate the strategies famous writers demonstrate in their journals as well as strategies from contemporary literature to keep a journal that is wittier and smarter than you ever thought you could be!

If you like the idea of seeing into the strategies of other writers to find your own smartest, funniest, most sincere, most outrageous, and most I-never-thought-I-could-write-like-that writing, this class is for you. Over four weeks, you will delve into the task of seeing what happens when you exercise guaranteed-to-work new strategies for expressing yourself.  Find out more…

Narrative Medicine: Writing Your Personal Illness Story to Move Toward Health with Debbie McCulliss
The narrative medicine webinar four-week session is for people who have been or are currently ill. During the four week webinar you will learn the basic theories and concepts of writing the story of your illness. The goal of narrative medicine–a cutting-edge area of medicine, health, and healing–is for you to see new perspectives and gain insights about your illness and in the process improve your health. Find out more…

Turning Travel Journals into Travel Essays and Books with Eric Maisel
Join Eric Maisel, the author of A Writer’s Paris and A Writer’s San Francisco (and twenty other books), in an exploration of how to turn the raw material of travel, your travel journaling, into personal essays and books. Find out more…

Online structured journaling group with Sue Meyn

Want to gather together with others to enjoy a journal writing class?   Sue Meyn, LPC will facilitate classes via teleconferencing and help you tap into more of your “magic.” Find out more…

LifeJournal Tip: Adding to the Daily Pulse

I received an email recently about a LifeJournal customer wanting to enter multiple daily pulse information for a day. That is, to not just enter ONE value– for example, mood– for the day, but multiple values as he moved through the day.

There’s a solution: You can create two scales for your mood which will track your RANGE for your moods for the day. One scale is called “lowest mood.” The other scale is called “highest mood.” At the end of the day, you can enter what your lowest ranked mood of the day was under “lowest mood,” and you can enter what you highest rankded mood of the day under “highest mood.” That way you can track not one average mood value for the day, but see what the range of moods were for a particular day. Additionally, one could add explanatory notes–for example, “My mood was lowest in the morning waking up, and highest when visiting with Charlie in the afternoon.”

End Quotes:

“Write the whole truth about the life you know.” ~Henry Miller


“In the fall, when you see geese heading south for the winter fly along in “v” formation, one might consider what science has discovered as to why geese fly this way.

Each bird flaps its wings creating uplift for the bird immediately following. A flock has a greater flying range in formation than a single bird would have on its own.

When a goose falls out of formation, it feels the drag and resistance of trying to fly alone and quickly rejoins the formation. The goose takes advantage of the lifting power of the bird in front.

The geese in formation honk from behind to encourage those flying up front to keep their speed. When a goose gets sick or wounded and falls out of formation, two other geese will fall out of formation with that goose to follow it down to lend help and protection. They stay with that fallen goose until it is able to fly or it dies. Only then do they launch out on their own or with another formation to catch up with their flock.

People, who share a common direction and sense of community, can reach a goal more quickly and easily because they are traveling on the thrust of one another. It is harder to do something alone than together.

It is beneficial to take turns doing demanding work. By sharing leadership and depending upon others in a group, there is a chance to lead and an opportunity to rest.”–Anonymous


Three Ways to Buy LifeJournal

1. Online:
* LifeJournal (for Everyone):
* LifeJournal for Writers:
* Christian LifeJournal:
* LifeJournal for Staying Sober:
* LifeJournal for Educators:

2. Telephone: toll free 1-877-456-8762; 9 am – 5 pm Eastern, M-F

3. Mail: with  check or money order payable to:
Chronicles Software Company
PO Box 220
Sarasota, FL 34230