As an adolescent, it helped me in seeking to uncover my place in the world.
As a young adult, it became my sounding board and confidant as I surrendered to my sought after roles of wife and mother.
Today, it chronicles my success in navigating the many parts I play and their corresponding relationships.
One action changed my life…I decided to keep a journal.
Everything I have strived for and eventually accomplished, whether personal or professional, began as a dream…a whisper…a prayer…or a plan…on the pages of my journal.
I began writing in my journal at age 11 and haven’t stopped. I vividly remember hiding it from the prying eyes of my older brother so that he wouldn’t read the poems I copied out of books, or who I had a crush on that week. Those spiral notebooks were about the struggles of the tween years to find my voice and what exactly it was that I wanted to say. My first by-line was as the Humor Editor for the Adams High School Tiger Tales. I was sure I was in training to be the next Erma Bombeck.
“Journal writing is a voyage to the interior,” Christina Baldwin tells us. I consider her my mentor and first real writing teacher. I met her one hot, sticky Minnesota summer day as she was handing out dark blue three-ring binder notebooks. She was explaining that we’d be writing our book from the Split Rock Arts course journal entries assignments. I almost bolted from the room!
Fortunately, I didn’t run. I’m so grateful my fate was sealed that day. My journals, then and now, are rich with content and ready to surrender their words to be polished and shared with the world.
Taking time to tap into my creativity helped me get back to a sense of normalcy and balance when we had to move across the country because of my husband’s employment – twice. When we unsuccessfully tried to solve the mystery of infertility; then successfully navigated adoption hurdles. And especially after my two breast cancer experiences. Although having a conversation with myself within the pages of my notebook may not sound like anything dramatic, the act of writing in my journal represents a very significant accomplishment…me being pro-active in my life.
The threads of life did not unravel…they continue to form a beautiful tapestry…an amazing story.
It is “safe” to vent anything and everything in my journal…from what I had to breakfast to the range of emotions and feelings I was experiencing…which might have been deemed inappropriate by some…but not my journal. We have an understanding, my journal and I, that nothing is off-limits when I need to have a conversation on paper.
My writing process today includes large (11 x 17) unlined notebooks; purple or teal ink in my fountain pen and many, many pots of Earl Grey tea. Journaling is my foundation, my secret weapon, my inspiration and my salvation. My journals provided the basis for my prescriptive non-fiction work. My journals are where my blogs as well as my talks begin to form.
My journal is where I find courage, consolation and grace on a daily basis.
I passionately believe journaling is the direct connection of the head taking dictation from the heart with out of this world results.
Mary E. Knippel, Writer Unleashed at YourWritingMentor.com, transformational author, publisher and inspirational speaker, is fiercely committed to guiding you to leverage your impact through writing. She is the creator of virtual presentations and webinars as Your Writing Mentor/Developmental Editor for writers including “3 Keys to Unleashing Your Story,” and the “Unleash Your Fame & Fortune Blogging Course.”
Using the power of storytelling, she helps you gain clarity and confidence in the words and the way you connect with the world, to unleash from the stories keeping you silent, to reclaim your voice and share you unique message. No one can tell your story from the inside out and you deserve to Live a Life Unleashed!
As a journal writer since the age of 11, and a journalist for over 30 years, Mary knows the enormous power and healing capabilities of the written word. A two-time breast cancer survivor she used writing and other creative tools in her recovery and chronicles the results in her upcoming book, The Secret Artist, where she shares what she has learned to help you move from survive to thrive. Learn more about Mary’s virtual classes and workshops, receive free writing tips and techniques as well as what to do about writer’s block, or invite her to speak to your group, by visiting her website at www.yourwritingmentor.com.