Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Journaling as a Framework for Your Book

Journaling has been in existence since ancient times. Perhaps the ancient Greek, Egyptian, and Chinese scribes didn’t call it journaling, but that’s what they were doing. They were recording the thoughts, emotions, and events of the time and reporting on how those things affected individuals and the group as a whole. Those talented "journalers" wrote what has become the history of their civilizations. They told of the episodes of their daily lives. Sometimes, they even jotted down the ramblings of a prophet or two who foretold the future of their societies.

Fast forward to the present, and here you are, pen in hand, journal at your fingertips, mind completely blank. You live life every day, so why would you need to write down the experiences you have, the thoughts you think, the emotions you feel? It’s all up to you. People journal for a variety of reasons.

Journaling is more than just writing down words. It is a way to express yourself, to connect with your thoughts, to discover your desires, to dream. And for those who have the courage to take it one step further, it is a framework for your book. You have a story that needs to be told, and you should be the one to tell it. Perhaps you don’t consider yourself a writer, but that doesn’t mean your story should be kept on the shelf of your mind, never to be shared with the world. Your memoir, autobiography, or how-to book is a gift to the world.

You know things that others need to know. You’ve experienced things, learned lessons, developed wisdom, and enhanced your knowledge. You’ve gained expertise and implemented ideas. There are millions of people who want and need to know what you know. Use your journal to find your voice, develop your story, and practice the skill of writing.

My first advice to you is to journal with a purpose. Decide what you want to accomplish with your journal and what it will represent to you. Here are some objectives for starting a journal and keeping it going as you evolve, grow, and discover yourself:
  • Self-examine, self-reflect, self-project, self-discover
  • Identify your strengths
  • Address your past and your present and how they impact your future
  • Examine your fears, joys, and dreams
  • Discover your expertise
  • Heal from hurts, abuse, shame, guilt, missed opportunities, mistakes, and embarrassments
  • Reveal your loves, desires, and what brings you joy
  • Release negative thoughts and feelings
  • List your accomplishments
  • Affirm yourself
  • Get in touch with your feelings
  • Realize your daily thoughts
  • Describe and create your future
  • Create a framework for your memoir, autobiography, or how-to book

Let your journaling flow, but always journal with a purpose ... and most of all, journal with the goal of producing the book of your life that you’ll be proud of.

When was the last time you journaled as an adult?

Excerpted from the book, Write Your Life: Create Your Ideal Life and the Book You've Been Wanting to Write, by Anita Rochelle.

Anita Paul, known as The Author's Midwife, coaches aspiring authors to write a phenomenal book and helps current authors use their existing books to leverage their business. She is the author of Write Your Life: Create Your Ideal Life and the Book You've Been Wanting to Write, and is the creator of the Write Your Life program, through which she has created a dynamic system to Write Your Book in 90 Days or Less. She has owned The Write Image for 15 years, and has had her freelance articles featured in over 25 publications in the U.S. and Canada. Anita is also the host of "Book Your Success".

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