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home | Sample Articles
 

Sample Articles from the International Association for Journal Writing

Here are a few sample articles to give you an idea of the kinds of things you'll find in the Members' Area of the International Association for Journal Writing. These articles about different aspects of journal writing give you a feel of the range of subjects and the quality of the information. Each Journal Council member is known in the journal writing field and has something to offer you. Enjoy!

 

Exercise Your Writing Muscle Just as You Do Other Muscles 
Sheila Bender  

Even when you can't find the time to sit with your fingers on the keyboard or with pen in hand, you can be developing writing. Here are two exercises you can use. 
1. Make up similes just for the fun of it so your brain is always "refreshing experience" and being lively. See, hear, taste, touch or smell something and challenge yourself to say what it is like, with specificity and originality.  

readtherest2

 

 

 

Ideas for Journaling to Cope with Overwhelming Emotions
Beth Jacobs, Ph.D.

Exactly what about journaling makes it so useful for emotional relief? So many people take to their writing when feelings boil over and find it really helps manage those feelings. I'm a clinician and author of the guided journal, "Writing for Emotional Balance" (New Harbinger Publishers), and this has been my puzzle for over twenty years.

I've studied the therapy, brain science, research and practice of journaling and it's obvious there is no formula that explains exactly how journaling helps people with their emotions. It's also obvious that it does and that every person in every situation is unique and determined by a myriad of interactions and influences.

I've been working on tailoring writing exercises for individual emotional circumstances and purposes. 

readtherest2

 

 

The Journaling-Spirituality Connection
Mark Matousek

In this piece, Mark Matousek is interviewed about the connection between spirituality and journaling.

Mark Matousek is the bestselling author of two memoirs, Sex, Death, Enlightenment: A True Story and The Boy He Left Behind: A Man's Search for His Lost Father, as well as When You're Falling, Dive!: Lessons in the Art of Living and his newest book Ethical Wisdom: What Makes Us Good. Mark is on the Journal Council of IAJW and also wrote the Spirituality Add-On for LifeJournal.

Q. Mark, how does journaling deepen our spiritual connection?

MM: Reaching below the mundane surface of existence in our journals, we enter a sacred dimension in which the search for truth is our guiding motivation, just as it is in spiritual practice. Both journaling and spiritual seeking get their fuel from the same perennial question, Who Am I? Know thyself -- gnothi seauton -- warned the Oracle of Delphi. This crucial mandate pushes journalers and spiritual seekers to deepen their connection to Source (God or Self) in the quest for self-discovery (and enlightenment). Both endeavors are driven by the love of truth, which awakens and sets us free when we articulate it.

Also, the discipline of journal practice is an ideal entrée to meditation, prayer, and even yoga. Introspective writing prepares the mental ground for centering practices of all kinds, which is why some of our greatest journal writers (from Augustine to Anaïs Nin) have been dedicated spiritual practitioners.  The two endeavors go hand in hand, feeding, enriching, informing, and broadening one another.  I would argue that journaling is, in its essence, a spiritual act since its twin aims are wisdom and liberation of a psychological nature.

How does healing and health connect with spirituality?

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Writing Through Transitions: Letting Go
Leia Francisco

How many times have you been tossed around by a big life change--a divorce, the death of a loved one, moving to a new home, switching careers, taking on a new role? Most likely you are in the middle of at least one major life transition right now. You may be feel happiness, dread, or a mixture of emotions surrounding the change. One thing is certain: our world fosters deeper and more rapid change than ever before. As coach, I help people figure out what changes they really want and how they can shape those changes--expected or not--in positive, creative ways. . . .

readtherest2

 

 

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 Tip of the Week
 Journaling Cycle

Think of Journal writing as an ongoing two part cycle

1. The writing process
2. The harvesting process

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