I had the recent pleasure of attending my first ever How to Write a Book seminar hosted by my publisher LeRue Press. I wouldn’t say I had low expectations, I didn’t have any expectations, but this was so awesome and informative that I just had to share what I learned with you.
Three guest speakers explained the various features of writing professionally. Pat Holland Conner started off the event. She explained the benefits of keeping a journal. I’ll be honest, ever since my mom found my personal diary written as an emotional teenager, I haven’t kept a journal. My sentiments were and have been: if you don’t want anyone to know what you are thinking, or doing, or writing about, don’t keep the evidence around in a diary!
My opinion has been changed. Pat went on to explain to us that by keeping a journal we are expressing the emperor/empress of our heart. Through our writing we express who we are. Journal writing is the precursor to the book inside all of us.
Maybe we have a bad connotation of journal writing. Maybe it’s something our therapist recommended. So, we don’t want to do it. It’s silly. But, have you ever had something within you that you just had to get out? The journal allows you to process more about who you are. Don’t hold back, don’t be polite. These are your intimate thoughts, so who cares? You don’t have to use good grammar, you can even cuss (her recommendation, not mine!), embarrass yourself, be human.
Pat said each of us has an inner critic which can be a friend and a foe. Then she asked, “Which will you follow to bring yourself into balance?”
Some helpful pointers when undertaking journal writing are:
- Forget fear of self (shut up the inner critic)
- Allow the commitment to write. This is the moment you become a writer
- There is information in our dreams. Keep a tablet and pencil nearby, when you wake up write down the dream symbols. Pat assured us that we would go right back to sleep, however, I haven’t tested out her theory.
Why we should write in a journal:
- Privacy with self (you will know yourself and become your own friend)
- Our rich journal entries opens the door to the “higher self”
- Write to enjoy (remember no punctuation, no editing)
- Writing keeps our imagination pure (imagine= image in)
- Honor past memories (first step to writing that memoir!)
- Hones our senses: taste, touch, sight, sound, smell
- First approach to healing
I enjoyed Pat’s perspective and I hope you gained something too.
Pat Holland Conner is the author of Doorways to Significance: Finding Peace, Power, and Passion available in paperback and eBook.
- Journaling in Earnest (borealostintime.wordpress.com)
- Journal Your Way to Stress Relief (everydayhealth.com)