Several friends came over last week with their beautiful journals – and nothing in them. I’ve been thinking about how I could help them – and you – get going.
Here are a few ideas:
1. Open your journal to a random page and draw a vertical line dividing the page in half. On the left side, write down what the Critic inside is saying. (“You’re no good, you don’t have anything to say, blah, blah, blah.) On the right side of the page, use your non-dominant hand to talk back.
2. List 100 Things That Make Me Happy. I can already hear someone saying, “That’s way too many! I can’t do it!” Relax. Use any big number that will help you get past the answers you already know. Let yourself surprise you – that’s where the juice is.
3. Write at the top of a page, “Sometimes I Wonder.” Then list whatever thoughts or questions come up, big or small, profound or silly.
4. Write a letter to Little You, telling her what you wish you’d known then. Then let her write back to you – and pay attention to her wisdom.
5. Pick a word or phrase that captures how you’re feeling at the moment. Write it down – BIG. Draw an outline around it. Draw an outline around the outline. Draw another around that, and so on till you’ve filled up the page.
6. Cut out words and images from a magazine. Paste one or two onto random pages in your journal. When you come to that page, let the image/word inspire you.
7. Divide a page in half, vertically. On one side, list “Qualities I Like About Myself.” On the other, list “Qualities I’d Like to Cultivate.”
One more word of advice: Lighten up. It’s okay to have fun with this. In fact, that’s the whole point.