Friday, December 31, 2010

And the winner is ...

Well, the votes have been tallied and the decision has been made on a name for the new e-zine. A few weeks ago, I asked for your help in naming my new e-zine set to debut in just a few days. Thanks to everyone who submitted suggestions and who voted on the name ideas. Wednesday, January 5th is the launch date for my e-zine called … drum roll, please … Book Your Success.

It’s all about information, tips, resources and articles to help aspiring authors get their book done, upsell their assets and enhance their expertise. Every two weeks, you’ll get tips from some fabulous writers and authors, experts in publishing, specialists in author promotions and even some gurus to help with your command of the English language. I want to help you make your dream of becoming an author a reality. No more excuses. No more procrastinating.

Be sure to type in your email address in the upper left corner of this page to subscribe to Book Your Success so in 2011 you’ll Be an Author. Be an Expert. Be Amazing!

Happy New Year!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Top 10 Resolutions for Writers

I came across this article on and found these tips especially good. And really, I need to try a few myself. So, here's to you and your New Year's resolutions. Call them goals, dreams, hopes, whatever. But by this time next year, plan to call them DONE!

Top 10 Resolutions for Writers
By Ginny Wiehardt, Guide

Ready to set some concrete goals for the next year of your writing life? In the spirit of the season, I've outlined some popular resolutions for writers. Pick one or two things you want to feel good about when you look back on this year next January.

  1. Consistently Make Time to Write. Finding time to write is the hardest thing for many writers, but if you're committed to writing a certain amount each day or week or to writing at specific times, you're much more likely to get work done. (This is especially true if you tend to procrastinate. And who doesn't, at least at times?) For me, it's worked best to write every day at the same time. Beyond the fact that it makes me write, my brain gets trained to write at that time and will offer up solutions or ideas more readily than at other times of the day.
  2. Overcome Your Writer's Block. Renew your commitment to finding a way to overcome your block, if you have one. Find out what's causing your writing woes, and address it head on, starting with this article on writer's block.
  3. Complete an Unfinished Work. Do you have a story or novel sitting around, keeping you from going on to new, more exciting projects? I can attest that unfinished projects are huge energy drains. Make a plan to get through them this year -- you might even write your goals on your calendar. You'll find that you have a renewed energy for your writing once these old projects are off your plate.
  4. Read More. Are there classic novels you've always meant to read, but haven't? Or some genre you think might inform your work in interesting or productive ways? Make a plan. It doesn't have to be too ambitious, but set some modest goals for your reading life this year.
  5. Keep a Journal. Though journaling is an art in itself, with its own disciplines and satisfactions, many fiction writers rely on their journals for ideas and details. If nothing else, keeping a journal is a good way to ensure that you're writing consistently.
  6. Find a Place to Write. If a lack of space is keeping you from writing, put this at the top of your list. Your resolution might also be to just make your writing space more conducive to your work. Clean up the clutter; surround yourself with things that inspire you. Have a space you look forward to entering.
  7. Write a Novel. If you've always wanted to write a novel, but have been afraid to attempt it, make this the year you finally do it. Don't worry if it's good or not, or if it's publishable or not. Just find a story you need to write, that only you can write, and write it. There's something valuable about sticking to something this big, about discovering that you can do it. If nothing else, you'll finally be able to cross this off your list of things to do in life.
  8. Submit Work. If you know you're ready to publish, make a realistic goal about the number of magazines you want to submit to, presses you want to query, or contests you want to try, and stick to it. Stay focused on accomplishing your goal, though, and not on the result. Whether you get published or not, you can take satisfaction in meeting your goal.
  9. Try a New Genre or Art Form. Screenwriters, playwrights, and poets have a lot to teach fiction writers. You'll find that you take the lessons of that genre back to your fiction. The same applies to other art forms. From photography, you'll learn to pay attention to the visual world, and from acting, to put yourself in the mind of someone else and to pay attention to how people move in space. (If you're already working in several media, your resolution might be to integrate them in the coming year.)
  10. Be Easier on Yourself. Focus on what you do accomplish this year, not on your failures. Writing is hard, and getting published even harder. Beating yourself up doesn't help anything. Reward yourself for having found something that you love this much and for sticking to it.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Name that Newsletter

As if the blog, the author’s coaching program, the teleseminars, the workshop, the self-study program and the journal aren’t enough meat for the Write Your Life Program, I’m actually launching the e-zine in January 2011. The only challenge: I don’t have a name for it yet. So, I need your help. I have a tagline, but no title. What’s that all about? 

Anyway, I had a list of about 40 potential names for this electronic newsletter, but I obviously need to narrow it down to 1. That’s where you come in. Please send me your suggestion for the 1/one (only 1) e-newsletter title that you like best. I need to hear from you by December 31st. If you don’t like any of the below ideas, suggest one/1 (only 1). Here’s what you need to know before voting/suggesting:
The Audience: The newsletter will target aspiring authors. Successful women in Corporate America and in business (entrepreneurs, solopreneurs), who want to write and publish a memoir, autobiography or how-to book. 
The Content: It’s all about what an aspiring author needs to know to start, finish, publish, market and sell her first book. We’re talking tips, resources, interviews with industry experts, articles from leading sources and content from yours truly, the Writer Extraordinaire.
The Frequency: Twice a month. That’s enough to keep the audience engaged, and hopefully not too much to bombard them.
So, get to work people. I need to hear from you in short order. The e-zine is set to launch in early January, but it goes nowhere without a name. I’m sooooo looking forward to hearing from you. Oh, and by the way, be sure to tell your friends to follow this blog so they can be added to the e-zine subscriber list. This is going to be so much fun!
Here's how to vote:
  1. Select the e-zine title you like best (or make one up).
  2. Email with your choice. Put "e-zine" as the subject.
  3. Click "send"

Totally easy!

Here are the choices:
  • Author Aspirations
  • Author Inspirations
  • Write to Success
  • Book Your Success
  • _______________What's your suggestion?

Here's the tagline (this will follow the title): "Be an Author. Be an Expert. Be Amazing."

Now, get those votes in by December 31st!

Thanks a million (in advance)!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

4 Ways to Advance Your Book Project Over the Holidays

The holidays are upon us, and no doubt you’re feeling the crunch. There’s shopping, cooking, gift wrapping, cleaning, partying and planning to be done, yet there are still only 24 hours in a day. During “normal” weeks you find it difficult to work on your book project. With the added distractions and to-dos of the holiday season you might find it even more strenuous to find time to write. Here’s a tip to let you off the hook: Don’t stress. Do what you can and enjoy life.
I’ve said it before -- writing should be pleasurable. However, I understand the stress of trying to finish your book on time or, better yet, ahead of schedule. But I’m here to let you off the hook, give you a break, allow you to breathe this holiday season. Instead of adding to your stress level by trying to squeeze in writing time between gatherings and holiday projects, use the holiday season to do some other work on your book. Here are 4 things you can do to advance your book project over the holidays:
  1. You better tell somebody! The holidays are the perfect time to (finally) tell your family and friends that you will be a published author in 2011. When wishing people Happy Holidays, add that you’re looking forward to next year when your book will be finished. Develop a short spiel to explain what your book is about and why you’re writing it. Toss in a suggestion that you’d love their support in promoting your book.
  2. Do some research. This is a really non-creative way to move forward with your project. Review some of the resources your writing coach has shared with you, pick up a book you’ve been wanting to get that will help propel your project, interview a colleague or other professional whose expertise you want to include in your book. 
  3. Speaking of interviewing ... You’ll be around family for days; take the time to gather stories, quotes and photos for your memoir or autobiography. Once you tell Aunt Ethel that you’re writing a book, she might open up and tell you more about that incident with your dad when he was 12; or your siblings might enjoy taking a group photo so they can be included in your book.
  4. Reflect and Review. Think about how far you’ve come with your book project. Give yourself a pat on the back for making some progress. Then, review the content you already have. You might need to adjust your outline, revise a few paragraphs here and there, or make notes for other content to add.  

See how easy this can be! Use the holidays as an opportunity, not an excuse, when it comes to your book project. If writing seems out of the question, take this time to do some other things that will keep your book project going. When January 2nd arrives, you’ll not only be ready to start writing again, you will have made progress in other areas and you’ll be able to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Happy Holidays!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Who Are You, What Do You Know and Why Should I Care?

We already know that one of the best ways to establish yourself as an expert, a leading voice, an authority, a sage is to become an author. Write your story and tell it like only you can. But your book won’t move readers to action or inspire them unless it answers three important questions:

  • Who are you?
  • What do you know?
  • Why should readers care?

This is true whether your book is a memoir, an autobiography or a how-to book. Think about it, readers want to learn from someone who has been there and done that. They want to know that you aren’t just making up this stuff; that you’ve been in the trenches and you’ve come through it, a little bruised, but with a whole lot of lessons learned. So consider each question as you write your book and make certain you address them effectively, always keeping your readers in mind.
Who are you?
Here’s where you describe your background, establish the theme of the book, describe an incident that affected you deeply, allowed for your growth and finally led to your writing the book. Readers want to know that you’re real, so tell the truth, be authentic and transparent.
What do you know?
Tell of your experience, touch on the knowledge you’ve gained. This doesn’t necessarily have to be professional, intellectual or academic experience. It could be what you’ve learned from the school of “hard knocks.” Life teaches us amazing lessons. Your book is your chance to share what you’ve learned. If you’re writing a how-to, dig deep and offer some little known insights, trade secrets or valuable tips you’ve learned.
Why should readers care?
Here’s where you draw your readers in and cause them to hold up a mirror, stare deeply into it and find themselves in the pages of your book. Read them their personal mail. Let them see themselves in your situation and help them discover how they too can triumph, prevail and become better by living the lessons and applying the tools you are sharing.
Your book is a tool for readers to learn something. So, determine what you want to teach and then make it your mission to do so with authenticity and clarity. Keep them turning the pages, wanting more. Best of all, make sure they close your book and know for sure that you are the expert you claim to be.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

The 90-day challenge: 90,000 words in 90 days!

Many book editors, reviewers and authors agree that there is no formula for the average length of a book. However, many in the industry suggest that, on average, non-fiction books -- memoir, autobiographies, how-to, etc. -- can range between 30,000 and 200,000 words. Whew! That’s a lot of words. Sometimes the thought of writing that many words seems overwhelming. You wonder if you’re really up to the task. Do you even know that many words? Can you pull them together in an intelligible way that actually tells a story that people will find interesting? Of course you can. There are millions of books out there by people just like you who have done it. So, how did they do it? Well, as the age-old question asks, “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.” 
The key is to break it down. After all, you’re not trying to write a great book in a day, a week or even a month. Writing is a process and it should be approached in that way. It should be an enjoyable experience, not a terrifying, gut-wrenching, teeth-clenching headache. If you go with the middle of the road with regard to the length of your book, about 90,000 words is reasonable. Now, swallow and take a deep breath. You can do this. You really can.
Think about it, if you were to write 1,000 words a day you could finish your book in 90 days. See how easy that was! Okay, it might be easy to say that, but doing it is definitely more challenging. However, it doesn’t have to drive you nuts. How long do you think it would take you to write 1,000 words? Not as long as you think ... if you write with reckless abandon. Seriously, write what comes to your mind. Don’t get distracted by trying to be so literary. I’ve got news for you, you’re not Shakespeare, so please don’t try to write like him. Instead, just write. Use your own voice. You’ll crank out those 1,000 words in no time. If you do it once, you can do it again, and again, and again. And before you know it, you’ll have your first draft of a 90,000-word book in 90 days. 
Ninety days seems like a long commitment in today’s super-fast society. Experts say it takes 21 days to develop a habit. Some say doing something for 30 days helps you stay committed. The 90-day writing challenge, however, is for writers who have an ache, something stronger than desire, more on the cusp of a need; the need to get the book out. Like a woman in labor who says, “I just want the thing out of me.” And truly, she says it with the best of intentions. But as with a 9-month pregnancy, a 90-day writing challenge can be grueling. What if you skip a day? Well, just pick up the next day. Don’t get stuck on what didn’t happen yesterday, just go at it today as if you never missed a beat. If you feel compelled to write 2,000 words, do that. But if all you can do is your 1,000 words, you’re doing great. 
The point is, write ... everyday. You can do it. Trust me, you’ll thank yourself in 90 days.
By the way, this entire blog post is 580 words. I’m halfway to my 1,000 words today. You see how easy it can be!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Make Writing a Habit

What do you do everyday? Besides the usual eating, sleeping, working and other typical activities? What I mean is, what do you do everyday ... that you don’t have to do? I ask the question because for many aspiring writers, the thought of making time each day to write seems like a major stretch. But it won’t be if you make writing a habit. Yes, a habit, much like you habitually do so many other things in your daily life. You see, when you are truly ready to write your book, you ache to get it out. Your mind is constantly thinking about it. Until you commit to it and make it a priority, it will nudge at you like a scratch that you can’t seem to itch. 

Most people would say that there’s not much at all that they do everyday outside of the necessities of life. However, if you were to examine your life honestly, you could easily find activities (dare I say, habits) that you perform religiously that you could eliminate, or at least decrease, so you can write.
How much time do you spend watching television? I know, I know, that’s how you relax. Well, consider how much more relaxed you would be if you weren’t constantly thinking, “I should be writing,” and you actually turned off the TV and got busy! Okay, how much time do you spend checking personal email or reviewing the posts of your “friends” on Facebook? Ouch! I know, that one hurt, but it’s true. Email and Facebook can be two of the biggest time wasters and procrastinating activities for people who really should be doing something else. I’m certainly not suggesting that you don’t do these things. My point is that if these activities have become a habit for you, it’s worth it to examine how much attention you’re giving them. 
None of your quasi-habits would be so bad, I suppose, if you didn’t have the desire to write. But you do, and the time you spend doing these other habitual things would be much better spent getting your book done.
So, I challenge you to make writing a habit. Make it a priority. Find one activity in your day that you could decrease or eliminate so that you can make time to write. Trust me, you’ll thank yourself for it.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

You Have to Have the Want-To

A few days ago, I attended a full-day seminar called “Get Motivated.” Celebrities from all sectors graced the stage and shared their insights on being your best. Some spoke on leadership. Others shared tips on living a joyful life. Yet others talked about the importance of helping others. The common theme throughout the day was that being your best takes commitment, and achieving your highest level of success is an inside job. 
The same is true for you as you write your life. Writing a book or journaling consistently takes commitment. You’ve got to have the “want-to” in order to get it done. After all, if you don’t really want to do something, you’ll think of all kinds of excuses to stop you. The smallest distraction or slightest interruption is all it will take to disrupt your focus and allow procrastination to creep in. Before you know it, you’ll be off track from achieving your goals. Don’t you know that it’s more difficult to get back on track than it is to stay on track!
If you've committed to journaling everyday or even to finishing your book, make the commitment to get it done. Examine your motives and make sure you have the want-to. 
Here are just a few nuggets I gleaned from the “Get Motivated” seminar. I hope they help you stay on track:

“There is no failure as final as a failure to try.”
~ General Stanley McChrystal
How to Succeed Through Change and Transition (Rick Belluzzo, CEO of Quantum Corp.)
  • See yourself as an entity. Become more relevant by building your personal value.
  • Strive to make a difference. Turn your experience into expertise.
  • Be willing to take risks and tough assignments.
  • Be self-aware and open to feedback.
  • Realize that perseverance can pay off.
  • Always maintain integrity. Be hard-headed and soft-hearted.

“You have to put something in to get something out.”
~ Zig Ziglar, author, motivational speaker
Succeeding Through Unexpected Challenges (Rudy Giuliani, former Mayor of New York City)
  • Be committed to relentless preparation.
  • Be able to adjust your existing plans to the situation at hand.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Our Deepest Fear

Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you.” 
~ Nelson Mandela, Marianne Williamson
Years ago, someone shared with me this now timeless prose, “Our Deepest Fear.” To this day, I’m still not sure if it was originally penned by Nelson Mandela or Marianne Williamson, so I’ll credit them both here. This particular excerpt (above) struck me as absolutely profound. Why? Because playing small had become the name of the game for me. I figured that if I stayed in the background, supported other people, did my best and learned all I could, people would like me, someone would eventually notice my work and I would be thanked, praised and cherished by all who knew me. You can imagine how far that got me!
The lightbulb came on for me after years of struggling in my business, The Write Image, to attract well-paying clients who recognized my value. After devoting valuable time journaling through my disappointments, dreams and desires I realized that if I didn’t stand up and speak up about my expertise and my worth, no one would ever know my value. Getting to that point took a lot of self examination and self reflection. Unfortunately, many women don’t allow themselves the time to do so. Instead, they lean on their fears as excuses.

There is no such thing as a “healthy fear.” Fears can be debilitating, whether it is the fear of failure, the fear of success, the fear of outshining someone else, or one of my old crutches, the fear of how I would top my best. But those fears can also be the fuel that pushes you towards success. 
“Getting over a painful experience 
is much like crossing monkey bars. 
You have to let go at some point 
in order to move forward.” 
~ Unknown

Learn to use your fears to build yourself up. We all have them, but fear need not be the road block to stop you from achieving success. Journal your fears to help realize what they are. Past negative experiences can impact your present and your future. You have brought into your present things that have happened to you or things that have never happened, but you’ve feared could happen. As life goes on, memories of these fears can reemerge into your consciousness. Not only are you dealing with your past fears, but you have developed new fears. Do you want to bring those fears into your future? 
Try this journaling exercise. Describe one of your fears -- either from your past or your present. How does it make you feel to think about it? How did you feel to experience it (if you actually did)? What first step can you take to leave that fear in the past (confront someone, forgive someone, ask forgiveness or apologize, increase your knowledge, learn how, seek help from a professional, tell someone, determine why you believe what you believe)?

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Therapeutic Writing: A Secret Revealed

Writing is one of my passions, and journaling is a direct offshoot of my desire to write consistently. I teach others the pleasure, power and process of journaling to create their ideal life. So imagine my surprise when I learned of a conference that was coming to my area that is designed to explore the connections between writing and wellness. I jumped at the chance.
Yesterday, I attended the Wellness and Writing Conference in Atlanta, Georgia. Presenters shared amazing research, theories and techniques that connect the act of writing to a number of benefits related to wellness. From the relationship between stress and how keeping a feeling journal could help cure disease or decrease symptoms, to how discovering one’s innate gifts through meditation and writing exercises can lead to a more fulfilled, productive and enlightened life. 
Healing the past in the present, one study revealed, decreased doctor visits by 35 percent and emergency room visits by 11 percent. Why is that? The speaker cited “The Writing Cure: How Expressive Writing Promotes Health and Emotional Well-Being.” The book explores the effect writing has on disease. Although writing has been a popular therapeutic technique for years, only recently have researchers subjected it to rigorous scientific scrutiny and applied it to persons suffering from physical illnesses such as cancer and hypertension. So, if therapeutic writing can have positive effects on these types of medical conditions, why wouldn’t it have a similar effect on our mental and emotional state. That’s what Write Your Life is all about -- healing from the past, exploring and enjoying the present and creating an ideal future. 
It’s amazing to connect with so many others who recognize and are studying the benefits that writing has in our lives. Even more so, it is promising to know that so many people are opening up to the potential of their lives and exploring possibilities through the process of journaling. If you haven’t begun the journey, there’s no time like the present. I invite you to join me on a revealing and information-packed teleseminar this Tuesday, October 26th at 9:00 p.m. Eastern to learn how to Write Your Life. You can register by clicking here
This investment in yourself is certain to reap amazing results as you discover the pleasure, power and process of journaling to create your ideal life. Participating in this teleseminar is a must if you’re ready to explore more of you and make more conscious decisions about your future. I look forward to having you on the call.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Write With Your Readers in Mind

Writers often write for themselves first -- to share a life lesson or some words of wisdom or a touching story from their past or the knowledge they’ve acquired on a particular subject. Once they get it all out, they think about their readers. How great would it be if, while you’re writing your book, you consider your readers. If you want people to purchase, read and enjoy your book, take them into consideration when you develop and write it. 

Two of the most common reasons people read are: for education and for inspiration. Readers want to learn something or be inspired by your story. They want to know what you know. So, as you share your life with your readers, consider this: when the reader reads the last sentence of your book and closes it for the final time, she’ll stare into the ceiling of her bedroom and ... what? What do you want her to think, feel and do? 

Think: You want your readers to think something about all of the stuff they just read in your book. What do you want them to think?
Feel: Books evoke feelings. A good book, as described by any reader, will cause a feeling. What do you want your readers to feel when they finish reading your book?
Do: Oftentimes, at the close of a good book, I’m inspired to do something, to try something new, to change the way I react or relate to something or someone. That’s pretty powerful. What do you want your readers to do after they’ve digested all of the nuggets in your book?
Whether you’ve just started, are midway through or have already completed your great book, take these things into consideration. If you need to go back to clarify the “think, feel, do” aspects for your readers, do so. Don’t spell it out for them like a school lesson. Instead, show them through the words on the pages of your book; through the stories that explain your journey; through the tips and tactics you've gained through your years of wisdom and knowledge. You’ll be amazed at how much richer your writing is and how much your readers will enjoy the gift you’ve shared with them.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Talking Yourself Out of Writing Your Book?

Recently, I met a woman who had traced her ancestry several generations back to her great-grandfather. What she found was remarkable. He was born into slavery in 1855 and after the Emancipation Proclamation amazingly achieved a significant accomplishment ... he got his 40 acres. Actually, he had purchased 80 acres of land through the Homestead Act. On that land, he built a modest home, raised crops and reared 13 children along with his wife. What a fantastic and inspiring story.
“Are you writing a book about it?” I asked her. “Oh no,” she said. “This story isn’t that unique. There are a lot of other people who have done remarkable things like this throughout history.” And thus, one of the roadblocks to success for most aspiring writers. 
As I’ve said many times ... we all have a book inside of us. This woman knew that her ancestor’s story was interesting, but she didn’t realize that it could also be inspiring to others. Many would-be authors talk themselves out of writing the book that is in their heart because they’re hung up on thinking that their story isn’t unique enough or that millions and billions of people wouldn’t buy it, or that it won’t make Oprah’s Book List, or won’t top the New York Times Bestsellers List or some other amazing feat. Well, for writers who use the unlikely-ness of fame and fortune as an excuse not to write their book, I say, “Hogwash!” 

When you identify the ideal reader for your book, the person whom you want to read it ... and you determine what you want the reader to glean from your words and your story, you will realize that there are hundreds, thousands and even tens of thousands (if not more) people who could be inspired by your story. Why keep them in the dark about the life lessons you’ve learned? Why not share with them the “how-tos” of what you know? Why not inspire them with a touching story from your past?
Don’t cheat your potential readers out of being blessed by your story simply because you think it isn’t the most unique story ever told or that it won’t be a mega-bestseller. What really matters is that you tell your story and you inspire someone else to be greater because of it.
What else is holding you back from writing your life?

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Write In YOUR Voice

Writing is an art, a gift, a skill, a talent. Not everyone has it. If you don’t have the gift of writing, stop struggling and give yourself a break. Don’t let that small shortcoming discourage you from journaling or from telling your story. One technique I have suggested for several clients as an introduction to journaling is to record your voice. 
Most people can express themselves fairly well when speaking. If you’re asked certain questions, you can usually answer them verbally. So, try that approach with your journal. Get yourself an inexpensive recording device -- it could be your cell phone recorder, a digital recorder or an old-fashioned tape recorder. Then, just talk. It might feel weird at first, but just find yourself a quiet spot and talk about what you would like to journal. 
Talk about what’s on your mind, what happened to you today, what you want to happen for your business, what you wish you could tell your boss, how great you feel about yourself or how relieved your are that you’ve finally gotten past an emotional issue. Then, play the tape back. Listen to your words. Get a feel for your cadence, your choice of words, your “voice.” Next, try to write this way. Learn to hear your own voice in your head as you write. It will get easier the more you do it. Soon enough, you’ll be writing in your own voice.
Don’t pressure yourself with trying to write like some famous author. You’ll never get anywhere that way. Be yourself. Write in your voice. You might be surprised at how well you like it.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

What (and How) I Write in My Journal

On any given day, any number of things could piss me off, make me smile, cause a gut-wrenching laugh or make me think WTF? These are the things I write about in my personal journal. Sometimes it’s something stupid that I do or something silly that I say that makes me grab my computer and type, type, type away about the experience. That’s one form or journaling.
Other times, I’m reflecting about something that happened in my past that I’m still dealing with. We all know it takes time to get over stuff. So, I write out how I feel, recalling how the initial incident made me feel way back then, and I contemplate how far I’ve come -- oh Lord, I hope I’ve made SOME progress! That’s a great emptying technique. This too, is a form of journaling.
Chillin' in a quiet villa in Barbados
People often think that journaling is the “Dear Diary” entries of our youth. Back when we wrote about a boy we liked who didn’t seem to notice us, or how mean we thought our parent were because they wouldn’t allow us to stay out past dark on a weeknight, or similar juvenile entries that worked back then, but just don’t quite hit the mark of an adult mentality. Life can be complicated as an adult -- it doesn’t have to be, but it often is. So what the heck, write about it!
There are any number of things to journal about from your daily life. You could write about your career, your family, a phone call you received, a movie that touched you, something you hope will happen, a new business venture, a conversation with a friend, the woman who backed into your car at the supermarket, a success you achieved, money woes, children, spouses, pets, parents ... whatever you want. The best part is that you can use whatever language you wish, describe things however you want, fudge on the details and even blame other people. Okay, I don’t recommend these last two. One of the benefits of journaling is that it’s healing; and truth is a huge part of healing. So, as much as possible, tell the truth to yourself in your journal. But hey, it’s your journal; you can do what you want. 
My point is ... write it down. Don’t worry about proper grammar, punctuation and spelling ... or what I call GPS. Just write ... or, if you prefer, type. In fact, I don’t even use capital letters in my electronic journal these days. That’s one less key I have to hit when I’m typing. When I journal, I’m pouring out a thought or an emotion and I don’t want to interrupt it with having to cap everything that needs to be capped. Oftentimes, I don’t even go back and correct errors. I like the rawness of my entries, so I sometimes keep those mistakes.
So tell me, what have you been journaling lately?