Do you journal?
I ocassionally kept a teenage diary but I’ve never really written a journal. Of course I’ve blogged over the years but that’s not quite the same. Blogging is a record of course but not quite as personal and freestyle as journalling. I’ve never really been a journal writer. I mean I’ve bought the stationery and I’ve thought about the concept but frankly I’ve always been a little too self-concious to actually journal. The word seemed grand and I felt at sea with no real idea how to begin. I was never really sure where diary ended and journal began. Do you journal with a thought to posterity, a historical log, Pepys style? Or should it be a daily stream of consciousness. A downloading of thought, a spring clean for the brain? I never really dared try in case I did it all wrong. I know….
So then I signed up for Kim Klassen’s Write Your Heart’s Desire course. I began with the taster class – Write Now. I’m not entirely sure what I was expecting when I signed up for Write Now. I love writing and like many bloggers I nurse a secret desire to do a little more with my writing, but of course (and I dare say I’m not alone here), when it comes right down to it, most of my writing takes place in my head and never even makes it to the page. I’m fairly certain that doesn’t really count as writing, I mean, you have to actually put pen to paper or fingers to the keyboard at some point along the way, if you are going to call it writing! I was hoping that Kim’s course would be the nudge to make the writing on page/screen actually happen.
In my hurry to sign up, FOMO was a major factor, I didn’t really take in the content of the class and once it started I realised that it was much more to do with creating a journalling practice. It’s not the first time I’ve been in such a hurry to sign up for something that I’ve haven’t really taken the time to understand what the actual content of the thing might be. So when the class began I was a little surprised to find that it wasn’t ten steps to becoming a writer but rather a course on developing a journalling practice. However, I love Kim, I mean she taught me Lightroom (a huge achievement for a technophobe like me) and I find her online presence inspiring and generous, so I decided to give it a go and see what transpired.
I hesitate to use the phrase ‘life changing’, I mean I’m from the presbyterian suberbs of Belfast and we just don’t use phrases like that, but my goodness me, I’m so up for this! Each week Kim has talked us through different techniques and approaches to journalling. Questions we might ask ourselves, lists we might make, ideas to explore. I’ve listened to her prompts each day and to my surprise I’ve felt my inhibitions fall away and the words begin to rise and fall onto the page. It’s been so cathartic. It’s cleared my head and soothed my soul. It’s helped me plan and dream. It’s like I’ve suddenly learned how to exercise a muscle. The sort you could never quite reach and suddenly you work out how to stretch it, you feel it lengthen and strengthen.
This has been an odd year in many ways. I started out last January with a determination to learn how to market my products online and grow my sales, a year of learning. Along the way I learned a lot about myself and I finally realised that in actual fact I might want a very different sort of business altogether. This is the year I learned to dream. I finally gave myself permission to hope for more. As the year draws to a close, I realise that I now have a clear idea of the sort of business I want to explore next year and this practice of journalling has been a vital part of the journey.
Before I began this daily writing habit I had only just begun to imagine what direction my dreams might take me and what changes I might make to my business. The idea was there but the edges fuzzy and hard to decipher. I had no real idea of how I might begin or what the reality could possibly look like.
Kim’s course taught me that the first step to realising your dreams is to begin writing them down. To write as though those dreams came true, to write As If… So that’s what I’ve been doing. I’m filling pages, I’m writing as if…, I’m writing lists, I’m writing plans. Of course the magical part is that all this writing is in fact creating action. The more the words unfold each day the clearer the steps become and once you have steps, you have a path. And I totally know what to do with a path, my boots are all polished up and ready to step out.