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8 Great Tips to Journalling

by Catherine Franz

Mix a martini, don't forget the olives, or pour yourself  a cup of tea, relax and enjoy!

There are no hard-set rules for keeping a journal. How often you write, time you spend, 
and how rigorously you maintain a regular journaling schedule are matters of personal choice
and circumstance. Therefore, it is important to find what works for you. Here are nine 
guidelines to assist you.

1. Allow for regular writing times.
 Find a time of day that works well for you and use this  time every day. As much as possible, 
control interruptions during this time.

2. Give yourself an inviting writing environment.  If you need quiet space, find a time that 
you can write without noise and interruption. If the hum of the world around you  is soothing 
rather than distracting, plan to write during a time when other people will be engaged in their 
own work and not looking over your shoulder.

3. Develop a centering ritual. 
Associating journaling with another pleasurable habit can guide to strengthen the routine 
and create an atmosphere of self-nurturing. When you are ready to write in your journal, 
consider pouring yourself a cup of tea or coffee. Play relaxing music. Take a moment for 
meditation, deep breathing, or prayer.

4. Prompt your writing with a routine self-reflection question: 
Triggers such as "What are you feeling right now?" or "What's on your mind?" Anais Nin 
suggests asking "what feels vivid, warm, or near to you at the moment?"

5. Write because you desire to write, because you know itís a comfortable place to be you. 
Don't allow journaling to become an obligation or chore. Remember not to demand more of 
yourself than you can give.If you have missed a day, or several days, accept that journaling, 
like life, is imperfect and go on. Write the next time you have a chance.

6. Create a positive feedback loop. 
As you continue to use the journal as an opportunity to be with and learn about yourself, 
you will find that the practice gains a momentum all its own. Discovering your own hidden 
depths piques your curiosity and stimulates you to continue,setting up a positive feedback 
loop between your conscious  and unconscious mind.

7. Emphasize process rather than product. 
An important purpose of journal writing is simply expressing and recording your thoughts 
and feelings. Concentrate on the process of writing -- keeping the flow of words rather 
than worrying about the result. If your goal is to have specific audiences read your piece, 
go back to it later and edit it.Use your journal as the raw material for more polished writing.

8. Learn from your own experiences.
 It is always good to reread your entries a month or so down the road. It demonstrates your 
growth -- a nice pat on the back for all of us. Look for patterns  and correlations. What improved, 
what stayed the same?  Learning from yourself is so much more gentler on the self-esteem. 
Use objectivity to review your life from a  different perspective with hindsight. Relax, have fun, 
and don't forget to laugh! Journal writing is its own reward. Once you get started, your journal 
will become another one of your good friends -- one who is always available and never presents 
a deafening ear. Your journal loves you for being you.

Catherine Franz has taught journaling for the last 15 years, including two US Presidents and 
First Ladies, and hundreds of workshops internationally. She currently has two informational 
documents available on journaling at: http://www.abundancece
Catherine Franz, shares with you so helpful tips and techniques  for you to enjoy. 
These tips are not in her two books, she's written on the topic.

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