Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Journaling In Safety And Sharing

Writing workshops through the Women's Writing Circle offer safety, confidentiality and sharing ... a chance to let down our hair while honoring our desire to write and create.

Many of us are under enormous stress and pressure; feelings put on paper help minimize anxiety. We realize, too, through the themes expressed in our writing and read in the Circle that we are not alone.
 
I felt very fortunate this past weekend to co-teach our journaling workshop with Kathleen Pooler, http://krpooler.com/  retired nurse practitioner, memoir writer and inspiring teacher.  Kathy arrived from upstate New York to share her knowledge with us.
 
This week Kathy wrote: "It was truly an honor and a pleasure to meet you all in person and share the day with you. Thank you so much for your warm welcome and heartfelt sharing. I appreciate how much I learned from all of you in the workshop, as well as how much fun I had!"

At our workshop, "Journaling: A Voyage of Self-Discovery," Kathy taught us:
  • Establish a habit and commit on a daily basis to writing in your journal.
  • Make a space where you can write and relax without interruption.
  • Give yourself credit for writing in your journal. It takes commitment and courage.
  • Realize that the "roadmap" of your story may take time to reveal itself.
  • Give yourself unconditional acceptance and honor your desire to write.
  • Write without an eye toward your inner critic.  A journal is your safe place, a repository for thoughts. A journal is for your eyes only.
  • Realize that medical science has proven that journaling helps you become a healthier person and improves your immune system.
  • Journal vignettes often point the way to a larger narrative and can be incorporated into a future memoir project.

"Magic" is possible when we gather together, light the candle, and begin our journey in an intimate setting that stimulates and ignites reflection and creativity. 

 
On a "soul card" at the end of our day,  a workshop participant wrote:  "I brought with me a reluctance to write about a particular topic. It was the generosity of the other writers to share their painful tales that brought down the shield.  I'll take away a lot of good information and tools for journaling . . . and I'll carry with me the generosity of all these women."

For me, personally, I brought my love of writing . . . I took away invaluable writing techniques for tapping into thoughts and feelings, without which the "heart" of any story cannot be told.  Thank you, Kathy!
 
What about you?  Do you have a group of writers in your neighborhood or community where you can share and work on your writing? 
 
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