The practice of journalling is paramount for writers. Why? Because as writers, our job is to look at what is around us and make sense of it. Most people have things happen to them. They go through life in a passive way. Some of them have no clue why. Writers need to be more aware. More proactive.
As writers, our job is to make sense to this world. We are observers who then tell stories to entertain others and in my case to inspire. Most of what we write about comes from our experience or our observation of others. Observation can only happen if we constantly reflect on what we see. Reflection happens when we take the time to think about what we see around us but also to understand our feelings.
In 2007, I trained as a clinical hypnotherapist. I was greatly surprised to see in the group of students a man who was an established writer and who ran creative writing workshops. I wondered why he would chose to become a therapist. It only made sense, years later. A part of him enjoyed the interaction with others and helping, but also this interaction made him a better writer.
Of course, the biggest asset of a writer is their imagination. Being able to tap into that creative juice and invent stories and situations. But lest the writer has a high level of emotional intelligence, the stories will feel shallow and disconnected.
This is also the reason why, most writers have had rich and sometimes painful lives. And have gone through more than their share of heartaches. This becomes the fertile soil from which they can grow beautifully crafted stories. These are the writers that I prefer. “Clever” writers have never hit home for me. I like depth and emotion.
But this means being willing to do some inner work. Willing to look at what happened in our lives. Exploring our deepest emotions and our shadows. Understanding fears. Because if we don’t do the work, then our characters wil lack that depth too. So my invitation today is to know thyself. To explore the human psyche. To explore your own psyche. To become more self aware. How do you do that? By journalling. Writing thing on paper allows to put distance between you and what is happening to you. It helps you to recognise what is truly happening. It might not happen immediately but it starts a process. You could even set an intention around your journalling.
For writers of memoirs, I think this needs to be taken to an even higher level. How can we write about ourselves if we still feel raw about something? How can we explore our stories if they are too painful to look at? Or if we feel shame? Hence, comes the need to heal ourselves. And love ourselves too. There is no magic bullet for this. But writing our stories (memoirs) can start the process. Writing your story is an act of honouring what happened to you. Writing memoirs is a way to say that our story matters. That is huge.
This is a process we will be exploring in my six month masterclass. The first month is all about you. Knowing yourself. Healing yourself. Self care. Tools to safely explore deep emotions. To find out more about the course, click here.
Share in the comments what you do to know yourself better.
To your writing,
(C) Ange de Lumiere 2017