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Why are you afraid of Journaling?


It was suggested that I write an article about how to journal or maybe a series of articles regarding my top ten journaling tips.

I am thankful for every one of the complements over the years regarding the journaling in my layouts. It is a gift I never imagined myself having until others began remarking. I understand that people are drawn into my journaling. I understand that they want to learn how to journal.

Then there was one person during the recent digi drama about a month ago that threw up at me that I did not know how to write. I had to half smile at that comment. It is humorous because it is both true and false. I admit that I do not know how to write in that fancy "marketing" fluff-it-up-before-you-give-them-the-good-stuff method. Personally, I do not like those types of writing anyway. They seem to be a waste of my time skimming text just to find the good stuff. Just tell me what I want to know without giving me superficial commentary semi-relating to the topic of interest. Am I right? Do you know what I'm talking about? 

I also could not help but wonder if this person was a bit jealous of my writing ability and that jealousy came lashing out with stabbing words. You know what I mean, right? I write of those people who cannot be happy for other people's gifts and have to bring them down to make themselves feel above the other person.

As you can see, I do tend to babble a lot. I think in some ways it is because I can type very fast. I think in other ways it is because I analyze and just plain 'ol think too much. I think in even other ways it is just because what I think just comes out of me and cannot be contained. Of course, this gets me in trouble sometimes. 

I have read articles over the last few years with tips on how to journal better. People seem to have a need to learn how to journal and so other people try to stick journaling into a list of helpful tips. For instance, just remember to always include a "who, what, where, when, how" in your journaling. That is a good tip, but I can honestly tell you I never, ever check to see I have all five of them in my writing. I just journal.

So, as someone who has never had a problem with journaling, I really have never thought about how to teach others how to journal. It seems to me that it is not something that can be put into a finite list, but rather something much more abstract. How does one teach about abstract lessons such as an appreciation for art or music? Sometimes concepts are just so deep that it is hard to put words to them in order to teach them.

Nonetheless, I am taking on the challenge of trying to teach you about journaling because so many people really want to learn how to journal. In order to do this, I have to first, of course, analyze what comes so naturally to me. This may take me some time to analyze, but as ideas hit me, I will blog them and share.

An idea hit me tonight, so here is my first thought (after ALL that journaling above!) about how to journal. 

I have been studying about insecurity as a person who struggles with self-esteem. It dawned on me that this is probably the single most common factor causing a mental block which keeps people from journaling.

So, I ask: What are you so afraid of that it keeps you from journaling?

Better yet, ask yourself: What am I so afraid of that it keeps me from journaling?

Are you afraid that someone will read what you write and judge you? 

Are you afraid that someone will take what you write the wrong way? 

Are you afraid that what you believe to be true really isn't true?

Are you afraid that someone will think you are a nutcase?

Are you afraid that they will think you are weird?

Are you afraid of who you really are and that others might discover who you are?

Are you afraid of who you really are and that you might discovery who you are?

Are you afraid that something is too personal to write about?

Are you afraid to share your feelings?

Are you afraid that someone will take your words and twist them to mean something you never intended them to mean?

Are you afraid of leaving behind a false history of what you believe to be true?

Are you afraid of sharing a part of you and your inmost thoughts?

Are you afraid of being hurt or hurting others?

Are you afraid your words will not be respected?

Are you afraid that what you feel and think is unimportant?

What are you afraid of that stops you from just writing what comes to mind? I know you think. Everyone has thoughts. Why won't those thoughts just come out of your mind, through your heart, down your arms, and down to your fingers? Do they get stuck at your heart?

If I feel journaling is so abstract that it is difficult to teach, then how much more do I feel about teaching someone how to 'not be afraid' is difficult? 

I cannot even begin to attempt to suggest ways to get over whatever you are afraid of that keeps you from journaling. I can only merely ask you to ponder it in your heart and figure out how to fix it yourself.

Insecurity. We all have it in some form or another. Don't feel bad about being insecure in your ability to journal. Just work on becoming more secure in yourself.

It's a start. Right?


May 4, 2010

Copyright Cheryl Rutledge-Brennecke
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