Using Journals for Memoir Writing and More

A few of my many “pretty” journals

Do you use journals to record your thoughts, ideas, emotions, poems and stories?

When I first started journaling, I followed Julia Cameron’s ideas in The Artist’s Way.  I wrote 3 pages of long-hand on any cheap notebook or paper that I could find.  In some ways, I’ve come full circle and have been returning to that idea, and even moving to online forms of writing.

However, in the interim between then and now, I spent years writing in beautiful, whimsical, artistic and “professional-looking” journals.  Unfortunately, much of what went into those lovely books was drivel.

Yet, interspersed between the mundane and the trivial were some interesting observations about my life and times that make memoir and creative writing easier.  If I want to know how to write about life in Chicago in the 1990’s, I already have some starting material.

Even more fascinating to me is how  journal entries sometimes foreshadow the story that I am now writing in my novel.  Like this little admonishment to myself on March 2, 2001:

As long as you “control” your ship you cannot swim in the ocean and dive as the mystical whales do.

I read that now and get a shiver up my spine, because there are mystical whales in my novel now.  I had a vague idea of the novels I wanted to create then, but no idea of writing about whales (consciously).

Nicholas’ drawing of a Fumaron when he was 8 years old in 2010

Today, I was even more delighted to find the journal with drawings from my son Nicholas 2 years ago when he was only 8 years old.

One of my projects this summer  is to transfer the gems from my journals over the last twenty years into Evernote notebooks so that they can be searched more easily.

Too often we spend hours writing and don’t go back to look for the good stuff.

This weekend how about taking some time to look at your early writing, journals, art, premonitions or anything else that you might still be able to access?

If you don’t have any records of your life and times on earth, there’s no time like the present to start creating some!

Do you have a Mastermind group for your Writing and Life?

If you’ve been reading the blog for a while, you’ve heard me talk about how much I like Jen Louden and her various coaching programs.  I don’t get any affiliate marketing from that, I just like what she does.

Well, she’s offering a new course on creating Mastermind groups, and wanted to let you know about.  In case you’re not familiar with mastermind groups, defines a mastermind group as a small group that you meet with for the purpose of reinforcing growth and success while offering support to one another; a group that has been identified and set aside to concentrate specifically on growth and manifesting success in the following areas; finances, spirituality, relationships, …

Do any of you use mastermind groups for moving forward with your life, writing, etc.?

I’ve been part of group coaching programs several times in my life and found them very helpful, but haven’t really embraced the Mastermind idea.  I’ve always counted on friends for the purpose of life support, career ideas, etc.

Jen Louden’s latest class is making me consider that it might be time to create or join a Mastermind group for my life and writing goals.

If you have time, check out this video:

Here are a few notes (in Evernote of course) I took from the interview in case you don’t have the time now.

#1 point – you can’t succeed alone.  You need a group.

You’re in a group to serve, as much as be served.  Learn by serving other people.
  • People you respect in your soul group
  • People you love
  • Support books that you love
  • Share ideas but detached with how people accept it
  • Be generous
  • Be vulnerable
  • How can I save you time, money
  • How to make money the fastest
  • Tell you what you’re good at
  • Point out your personal twitches or continuing patterns, etc or I smell a wombat — I’m not supporting your loser habit
  • Leave feeling more like yourself but have more actionables
  • Face forward
  • Respect everyone else’s time
  • Power of being witnessed – see loving nods

Friends can provide some of this but it seems like many of us need more than that kind of support. You might not call your support group, a MasterMind.  I don’t particularly like that name.  But maybe it’s time to consider creating a group of your own, possibly with Jen Louden’s class.

Love to hear about your experience with Mastermind groups!