This summer I worked through the prompts in my upcoming book, The Joy of Writing Journal. Many times it flowed and sometimes I met internal resistance.
You see, occasionally, I made my list as per the instructions (the ones I wrote for my readers!) in the exercise but then I felt resistance or even grouchy just looking at my list. “Boring,” I told myself.
So I skipped it.
Lo and behold, a day or two later, I returned to the prompt itself and something on my list said, “Me. Pick me.”
Mind you, I still didn’t feel that inspired. But I acquiesced.
I try it. I write through my now-only-slightly-softened resistance.
And the next thing I know my pen moves with ease.
Journaling is about Discovery
Maybe the beginning’s a little ho hum, but somewhere in the middle I discover something new about my journey, in this case, a trip I took to Japan (Toyama, Kyoto, Nara and Tokyo) with two of my business school classmates in the summer of 1988.
The words flow from somewhere.
Thirty three years later, I see the experience differently, in ways that weave into and out of my life and other specific experiences where I felt similarly dislodged from my self image, how I see, experience and “know” myself. I experience new insights.
I’ll share the details about what I wrote when we journey together through the 30 days of journaling in October. But what I want to share with you now is the experience of breaking through resistance–and getting at something profound within us.
Writing Through Resistance to Access Your Truth
This is what I love about journaling: in some ways, it’s the best of our writing. Not because it’s polished or clever or perfect, but because—when we journal, when we give ourselves time, space and freedom to dig a little deeper than we might otherwise, when we are not writing to please an audience but to explore—in that process we often stumble upon Truth.
Not “Truth” in any metaphysical or religious sense of the word, but Truth, as in the deeper things we know underneath our skin, knowings we may for a time hide, even from ourselves. Knowings which free us up in unexpected ways. And accessing such Truths is a powerful practice both for us as writers and as human beings.
A request, a favor, a shameless plug: I am asking everyone to purchase The Joy of Writing Journal on the same day 9/22 so we can have the greatest impact on Amazon. Will you mark your calendar to buy your copy that day? Thank you!