Keeping a journal is much like keeping a little diary filled with tidbits of information that happens day to day. But you can take journaling to another level by infusing your entries with thoughts, feelings, and emotions. This is where the power of writing can help a person heal their broken heart or to record the history of their life, or to visualize their greatest dreams and desires. If you have not tried journaling before, give my suggestions below a try. These ideas are to get you started on how recording your life and from there you can start to write about events and situations that have impacted your life. It’s very powerful. You can share it with others, or keep it for your eyes only!
Start by recording bits and pieces of your life. It’s important for you to know who you are so you can share that with others. What do you like? What don’t you like? What worked in your recovery? What didn’t? Who helped you along the way? What was challenging? What would you do differently? As you can see, there are many questions that you can ask yourself and these will be springboard ideas to get you writing. Often writing an answer to one question will lead you to another and to another. Before you know it, you will have pages and pages filled.
Other ideas to help you record your life includes:
- Write a Time Capsule at regular intervals (i.e. monthly, quarterly or annually… start the New Year off with writing a recap of the year before). Tell the story contained in a specific timeframe. For example, if you take one day a week and write about that entire week, you will be amazed with how much goes on in one day!
- Keep the “Best of/Worst of” lists – these lists can help you to find positive things to write about and gives you an opportunity to ‘park’ the negative things. It’s okay to write about what hasn’t worked, but if you want to inspire others then share more positive than negative. They already have their own negative experiences and are looking for a sense of hope in reading the stories of others.
- My Favourite lists – this can be a wonderful record for you to have even if you don’t include it in your book or article. It’s fun to look back on life and see what gave us pleasure.
- Write About Significant Events or Moods – this is very healing and will help you to work through unresolved issued. It also may be the part of your story that people identify with most. They will want to know what you did in response to these events or moods to elevate yourself to a better place. Dig deep… you may be surprised to see how creative you were.
- Write About People, Places, Things, Successes, Obstacles (and how you overcame them) and Projects – include conversations you had with others; however, if you are planning on publishing your work, you need to consider the impact on those you write about. Get their permission to use their name. If not, be prepared to change the names and details so they cannot be identified.