Journaling Mini-Course: No Safety Net Exercise

Jennifer Wilson

I’m your guide here at Simple Scrapper. Our community helps people find what fills you up and fits your life in memory keeping.

April 9, 2014

The Art & Practice of Journaling free mini-course from Simple Scrapper offers a guided path to better scrapbook journaling.

The Art & Practice of Journaling mini-course at Simple Scrapper

Lesson

We all face hard days, times, periods (decades?) in our lives. It is simply part of the ebb and flow of the world and our place in it. Scrapbooking about those less-than-happy times can test the inner strength of even the most experienced journaler.

When we begin to explore the hard stuff it can feel like falling – it’s uncontrolled and scary. The uncertainty of what we might uncover often stops us from working through it, from going deeper. So we avoid those topics and often do not journal about them privately, let alone create scrapbook pages about these stories.

I’d like to invite you to embrace the idea of writing without a safety net, of digging into these subjects that might be harder to process. To do this with ease, you can use a type of exercise called freewriting. Most often this is a timed exercise where you write on a specific topic in a stream-of-consciousness format. You write without regard to spelling, grammar or even making coherent statements.

Freewriting is a method to start connecting feelings with facts through writing very quickly. By not spending too much time thinking, you can move through may interconnected ideas while minimizing the paralyzing effects of emotion.

Note: Freewriting is a tool you can use to generate ideas as you explore a particular topic. While morning pages is a type of a freewriting exercise (with its own constraints), here I am discussing them as two separate tools to improve your scrapbook journaling.

Assignment

Use the idea of timed freewriting to go out of your comfort zone and explore a difficult topic. Then, read over your writing to identify truths, themes or other new ideas you might want to expand upon with journaling on a scrapbook page.

  • Were you able to keep writing without stopping?
  • Did you discover anything new from the experience?
  • What adjectives would you use to describe writing about a difficult topic using this method?

Further Discovery

Getting Started: Freewriting
Journaling the Hard Stuff

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5 Comments

  1. Deanna Ridgway

    I’m not sure what stuff is “the hard stuff” that you mention, but I have learned one thing in the past few days that I have been doing morning pages……..I am a negative person! I always thought of myself as upbeat, happy and positive, and I’ve heard other people say that they too see me that way, but the stuff I end up writing in my journal is all negativity! How tired I am, how much I don’t want to go to work, how tight my jeans are, how aggravated I am with family members…..I have to consciously think positive things to write about! Maybe I need to find a self-help book/group! Thanks for letting me share. 🙂

    Reply
    • Jennifer Wilson

      Deanna, you mentioned that writing usually comes easy for you. Maybe you are able to put forward positivity around others because you are otherwise capable of processing your negative feelings. While gratitude journaling is beneficial too, I would look on this as an opportunity to sort through all the junk so it doesn’t turn up in other ways.

      Reply
  2. SaBineK.

    Sometimes I think the same way. But I do my best to change negative thoughts in a positive way. So what about writing down a list of ‘what make me happy’ or ‘ things I like to do’ and doing only one or two of these ‘magic moments’ the next days. Take time for yourself. Read a good book… What about prompts about ‘places I like’ ‘musicals I visit’ ‘ songs I love’ …to make you feel better?

    Reply
  3. Deanna Ridgway

    Thanks for all of the advice ladies. Jennifer, when you say “sort through all the junk”, do you mean look into WHY I have negative feelings? This is an unusual situation for me because I am the one who normally encourages my friends and family to see the bright side of things, and when I sit down and look at my own life and situation, I can do that for myself too. But I was just surprised that when I sat down to write whatever was on my mind withOUT the filtering, it wasn’t the “bright side” that surfaced automatically.

    Reply
    • Jennifer Wilson

      To an extent, but even just the release of those onto paper can be helpful.

      Reply

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