Honoring What You Want to Write About

MODULE ONE: Honoring Self, Voice and Emotions

Focus: Knowing yourself as a writer and honouring what you want to write about without judgement.

We’re going to start with the feeling that your voice matters and that by writing on the page your voice is being heard without judgement. Remember that you are a writer, even if you only journal.

A few rules:

  1. Have an open mind and listen to the positive voice, the whisper of your soul, your intuition or gut instinct that’s revealing new things to you as you write.
  2. Remember that journaling is a reflective process: you are not going to be judged on the quality of your writing. (In fact, you’ll be the only one who sees it, unless you choose to share it).
  3. Your voice matters and often the best way to tune into your voice is to cut down on anything that will distract you from it (hence the suggested earphones).
  4. Trust in your voice.
  5. If you feel stuck, start writing a list until the words come back to you.
  6. Allow the fluidity of your mind to spill on the page without trying to correct or adjust course until you’re finished writing what you want to say. 
  7. Every voice has value. 
  8. Inspiration is everywhere.
  9. Everyone has an important story to write and live.
  10. Often what we’re thinking and feeling can’t make sense until we slow down our thinking and write about it.

Exploration 1

Why do we write? 

Write down your reasons for writing (or note-writing, listing, or scribbling). 

Examine that for a moment. 

What do you feel isn’t currently being explored in your writing voice?

What other voices are nagging at you right now (especially if you are hard-pressed for time)? 

A big question writers of all sorts ask me is: Where do I start if I don’t have time? How do I turn off ___ to write? 

The thing is, you don’t. You just write--there’s no perfect writing place. For some people they sneak it in when they’re on the toilet, in their closet, waiting to pick-up their kids, sitting in the driveway or parking lot before going home for the evening, or while taking a morning, midday or evening walk. 

Great advice: “Write at the margins of your day” (Maya Angelou) or anywhere in-between that you have a spare moment. When you get up, before you go to bed, in the middle of the night. You can scribble down a line to expunge a bad experience, to frame it, to hold it up to the light.

It’s your story, your experience, your voice on these pages, raw and uncensored.

Now, let’s get back to writing.

Question: Why don’t you write (perhaps as often as you’d like)? Take a few minutes to jot that down.

A thought: do we not write because we don’t have time, our living space is too noisy, or we’re afraid someone will read what we wrote. What if it’s because we believe our voices don’t have value? Which one of those statements resonates for you?

I want you to remember that journaling for many is a form of therapy and evaluation, an opportunity for inner revelation and inspiration. Thankfully, no one is judging us when we write on that page. There isn’t a goblin, John Riddle, or other ghostly manifestation who is going to snatch our words and throw them back at us. A friend of mine will write things that are the dark manifestations of her soul, cut them out of her journal, tear them up and bury them in the ground where they’ll decompose. Another burns them over a pot of water in her NYC flat. That page is for you and you alone. Your deepest, darkest, happiest, loveliest, strangest, and most dear feelings can appear there (and disappear) or that page can be a holding place to refer back to for memories.

There’s a process in writing something at a certain point in time and going back to see how you feel later and if things have changed and how. Often having that record can be more accurate than our memories, which often like to hold onto negative moments over positive moments and can conflate our failures over our successes.