Keeping a Journal 2: My Journal

July 25, 2014 at 7:34 pm | Posted in Experiences, Mental Health, Writing and Life | 13 Comments
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myjournal

Although the word ‘journal’ comes from the French word for ‘day’ (jour), I see it also as relating to the word ‘journey’.

The journals I have been keeping on and off for the last forty or fifty years are both a diary of events and a journal of my personal experiences, and much more than either of them. They are a record of my journey through life to this point.

Journey -journal

Journaling has been part of my life for more years than I care to remember. I first wrote a ‘diary’ before I reached my teens. Then, it was the usual childish notes on nothing, in a tiny, lockable, shiny diary I got for a birthday.

Pink diary

As I grew up, I periodically wrote my thoughts in notebooks left over from school. There was nothing much to them either. Nothing of the teenage angst one goes through; nothing of the day-to-day coping in our family’s difficult circumstances. I don’t think I really knew what a diary was for in those days.

A few years after I married, I did begin to keep a record of what I was doing and some of my thoughts on life. However, my then husband saw nothing of mine as sacred. He found and read it, and didn’t like some of the things I’d written. He even showed his mother, who was visiting at the time, and they both confronted me about a couple of my entries.

quote-if-you-must-keep-a-journal-for-purposes-of-sanity-adopt-an-illegible-hand-r-bryan-love-284531

After that, I knew I couldn’t have the privacy of writing my own thoughts. So I didn’t write anything at all for a long time.

Then came the time he legally had to stay away from me for several months. They were times of stress and anxiety; fear and anger. But with him out of the house, I allowed myself the luxury of putting down my thought and feelings again. It was a way of working through several huge issues I faced at the time, including trying to work out how I could keep our children but not have him.

Writing is therapy

One day, I discovered that he had been coming into the house when I was out. He was apparently searching for something he could use against me. Even though I had hidden my journal under my mattress, he found it. I discovered that when he stood outside the window one day, yelling at me and waving a couple of pages he’d torn from it.

I was gutted. I felt like I had been raped. Even though I couldn’t remember exactly what I had written on those pages, I knew they were my deepest feelings; thoughts that I hadn’t shared with anyone because they were an intimate reflection of the very vulnerable me that I was at the time.

Quotation-Jonathan-Franzen

After I moved away, I felt much more secure in writing down my thoughts. My new partner respected my privacy and never violated it the whole twenty years we were together. My second husband also believes I am entitled to privacy in my writing. The gift they have both given me allows me to sort through my thoughts & feelings without fear.

If you keep or have kept a diary/journal, has its sanctity been violated? How did/would you feel about that?

© Linda Visman

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Keeping a Journal 5: Quotes from Famous People

September 5, 2014 at 8:47 pm | Posted in Mental Health, Writing and Life | Leave a comment
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Dear diary

Many people well-known, famous, infamous or unknown have kept journals. Some of them have even commented on them. Here are a few of their words:

“Keepers of private notebooks are a different breed altogether, lonely and resistant rearrangers of things, anxious malcontents, children afflicted apparently at birth with some presentiment of loss.”
—Joan Didion

Journaling inside out

“In the journal I do not just express myself more openly than I could to any person; I create myself.
The journal is a vehicle for my sense of selfhood. It represents me as emotionally and spiritually independent. Therefore (alas) it does not simply record my actual, daily life but rather — in many cases — offers an alternative to it.”
—Susan Sontag

“The diary taught me that it is in the moments of emotional crisis that human beings reveal themselves most accurately. I learned to choose the heightened moments because they are the moments of revelation.”
From Anais Nin’s essay “On Writing,” 1947.

“People who keep journals have life twice.”
—Jessamyn West

Journal quote Martina Nav.

“Whether you’re keeping a journal or writing as a meditation, it’s the same thing. What’s important is you’re having a relationship with your mind.”
—Natalie Goldberg

“I write journals and would recommend journal writing to anyone who wishes to pursue a writing career. You learn a lot. You also remember a lot… and memory is important.”
—Judy Collins

“Writing in a journal reminds you of your goals and of your learning in life. It offers a place where you can hold a deliberate, thoughtful conversation with yourself.”
—Robin S. Sharma

“So far you truly have been a source of great comfort to me, and so has Kitty, whom I now write to regularly. This way of keeping a diary is much nicer, and now I can hardly wait for moments when I can write in you.”
—Anne Frank, to her diary, from the Diary of a Young Girl: The Definitive Edition

quote-if-you-must-keep-a-journal-for-purposes-of-sanity-adopt-an-illegible-hand-r-bryan-love-284531

“My diary is almost a year old now, and judging by past experiences, it’s now worth $500 — at least.”
—Stuart C. Covington, in The Author and journalist, Volumes 32-33

“For me, my diary is my life, my comfort, my second existence.”
—Ramon Gil Navarro, from The Gold Rush Diary of Ramon Gil Navarro

“My journal is my constant companion. It is never far from my reach … It is a front porch of solace and retreat when I am tired and weary.”
—Nicole Johnson, from Fresh-brewed Life: A Stirring Invitation to Wake Up Your Soul

“My journal is a storehouse, a treasury for everything in my daily life: the stories I hear, the people I meet, the quotations I like, and even the subtle signs and symbols I encounter that speak to me indirectly.”
—Dorothy U. Seyler from Patterns of Reflection: A Reader

Quote re keeping journal

(c) Linda Visman

Keeping a Journal 4: Why A Journal Is Important for Me

August 20, 2014 at 10:59 pm | Posted in Culture, Experiences, Mental Health, Writing and Life | 8 Comments

Writing a journal

Journal writing is an important part of my life. Not many days go by without my writing something – whether it’s a short note or, as it usually is, several pages.

So what makes keeping a journal so important to me?

Writing in my journal makes me feel like I have a friend I can talk to, a friend that doesn’t judge me but accepts me as I am.

I am writing to and for myself – nobody else. So my journal is – or should be – a safe repository for my innermost thoughts. I can write freely and without censorship – or censure – from anyone else.

writing journal

I must write. It is a compulsion that has grown over the years. Now, I don’t feel right if a day goes by without my having written something.

I work through my angst in my journal. Instead of writing an email to someone or making a phone call or saying something face to face that I will later be sorry for, I set it down in my journal. Once I have worked through it, I have settled down and I have a better idea what to do – if anything. Much, if not all of the stress has been worked out on the page.

Journal, cup, glasses

I can use my journal to make a more rational decision about something.By writing the reasons for and against, I can see why I should or shouldn’t do something. I can work out my thoughts much more clearly, because I am not arguing against a person, but just assessing the pros and cons of a situation without anyone trying to persuade me one way or the other

Keeping a journal makes me face myself. By writing my thoughts, needs and desires, I can see more of who I am. I can see when, how and why something gets to me. I can see what my real motivations are, what I really think about people and their actions.

Keeping track of your life

To record my life – like many, I want to be here when I am gone. To do that, I have to make a mark somehow. If my boxes of journals survive – or if only one of them does, and any of them are read by someone – then I will still be around.

I write the first thoughts I have about a poem or a short story, and will sometimes even draft a whole poem in my journal. From there, I take it to the computer and work on it.

What form does my journal take?

Back in 1990, I moved to a remote area in Central Australia to teach at a small indigenous community. At that time, there was no telephone communication with the outside world, and the mail plane came only once a week, on Friday afternoon.

Bundles of letters

Because I was living and working in a completely new environment and had a lot to learn to adapt to it, I had little time to keep a journal. It usually happens, even now, that when I am most involved in interesting activities and places, I have less time to write about them. This was the case back then. Because I couldn’t phone my kids or my parents, I wrote to them. Then I photocopied the letters and pasted them into my journal. They provide an invaluable record of the first eighteen months of my ten years in Central Australia. But when the telephone came to that remote area, the letters stopped, and because I was still working 12-14 hours a day, the record of my time there stopped.

Nowadays, even though I prefer to write my thought by hand, using pen and a notebook, -and I still do write that way when I am putting down my first thoughts on a creative writing project, nowadays I write most of my journal on my computer.

Journal, laptop, book

I want my words to last, so I still have this strange attachment to the (literally) printed word. I see print as more likely to survive that any electronic records, so I still use a notebook – A4 size, 120-240s – and I write in the book by hand at times when I can’t use the computer. But I have also adapted what I did in that first year and a half in the Northern Territory. I print out my typed journal entries and paste them into the notebook. I also print and paste all my blog entries, and may even print out emails, letters and other items which interest me enough to keep.

Journal bundle

My current journal is number 45 of the set I began about the time I married my second husband in 2005. That makes about five journals filled per year. The older editions repose in three plastic tubs with lids, and I am afraid I will soon run out of storage.

Keep calm -write journal

Do you journal regularly? Why is it important to you? What form do your journals take?

(c) Linda Visman

Keeping a Journal 3: Why Would You?

August 6, 2014 at 9:20 pm | Posted in Culture, Experiences, Mental Health, Philosophy, Writing, Writing and Life | 6 Comments
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journal

My entries in this series on keeping a journal so far are: What Is A Journal? and My Journal.
What I’d like to consider now is the question, ‘why would you keep a journal?”

Many folk have no inclination at all to keep a journal. They either see no value in it for themselves, or they dislike writing down their thoughts, perhaps for others to see. I thought I would do an internet search on not keeping a journal.

After the first ten pages of entries, I gave up. Every site that came up in those ten pages was on articles that advised people to keep a journal, the benefits of keeping a journal, the types of journals you can keep, and how to go about keeping a journal. There were none about why not to keep one.

Famous Folks Montage why journal

Because there are lots of articles and blog posts that talk about why it is a good idea to keep a journal, I thought I would go through a dozen or so of them and compile a summary of the reasons so many people feel this is a good thing to do.

Here are the top twenty reasons that most writers agree upon (not necessarily in order) that anyone should keep a journal.

10-reasons-to-keep-a-fitness-journal

To Help You Remember: Most people cannot remember what they did or where they were on a particular day. They cannot bring to mind names and places from the past. However, if they have written it down somewhere accessible, like a journal, reading what they wrote many years before can bring an event alive again.

Stress Release: Writing down your gripes and grievances can get them out of your system in a way that doesn’t involve putting others offside.

Clarify Your Thinking: writing provides a method of working through issues that is open and free from the criticisms of others.

Gain Insight Into Yourself: to know yourself; what makes you tick; what you like and dislike; what presses your buttons;

clare-josa-10-reasos-gratitude-journal

Solve Problems More Effectively: Writing down the pros and cons of an issue, or writing down possible solutions, can lead you to a solution more easily and effectively than simply stewing over it.

Give Direction and Focus: Keeping a journal is a good way to work out what your goals are – both short and long term.

Keep You On Track; Provide Encouragement: Once you have identified your direction and goals, you can keep a record of how you are going at attaining them, or how you may need to change either your direction or your methods.

Create a Writing Habit: Writers, especially, can gain benefit from simply writing every day, or at least regularly. This habit can be extended to your creative writing, giving you discipline you may not otherwise have developed. Writing regularly will also improve the quality of your writing, and help you refine your writing voice.

Writing in a journal

Safe Environment: Journal writing is a judgement-free zone. You can be just who you are and write about the things that are important to you. You do not have to worry about anyone saying : “Yes, but…”, or “What a stupid idea!” You can even write nonsense if you like.

Write About our Life: You can jot down what happens in your day-to-day life, even though it may seem trivial at the time. They may eventually become something more than you expected. You come back to these jottings at any time – to see what has changed, how and how it has changed or not. You can use your journal as a basis for stories – memoir, family history, social history.

from-journal-to-memoir

Enhance Your Creativity: A journal is the perfect place to free-write. Through free-writing, you often come up with ideas and inspiration that your more regimented or stressed self would have blocked off. Those ideas can then incubate and become something wonderful.

Find Your Strengths and Weaknesses, Your Skills and Resources: By doing things, you find out what you can do. By pushing your limits, you can see what you are capable of doing that you hadn’t realised. Your journal helps you to clarify these strengths – or weaknesses.

12 benefits of journaling

Mental Health Benefits: Writing about the things that worry you, or working through your decisions on paper can apparently have positive effects on your health by reducing the physical effects of stress on your body. Journaling can also help you to face your fears and to work out ways of facing them.

Encourages Positive Thinking: You can keep a Gratitude Journal that will help you focus on the positives in your life.

Journaling Through Divorce

Source Material: As well as being material for use in life writing, your journal can be a great source of material for your other writing: poetry; short stories; characters; plots; themes; etc.

Record Your Dreams: Your journal can record your literal dreams and/or your life’s hopes and dreams.

Philosophising: In a journal, you can bring up any topic, question or dilemma that comes to you. Then you can write about it – either just your own thoughts, or the thoughts of others after doing research.

7-reasons-to-keep-a-dream-journal4

A Practical Resource: If you keep a work or professional journal, you can record information that may be useful or relevant to you in the future. It is an investment in your professional development.

Spiritual Journey: You can keep a journal specific to your own spiritual journey, working through your doubts, identifying your beliefs and recording those quotes or readings that have helped you along the way.

Track Specific Aspects of Your Life: There are many kinds of journal you can keep. I have seen over twenty types listed in various places. These can help you to keep tabs on specific activities. Some of these might be inspiration, diet and exercise, gratitude, writing, memories, arts and crafts – painting, photography, drawing, scrapbooking, cooking, etc.

writing journal

Do you keep a journal? How does it help you?

© Linda Visman

Keeping a Journal 1: What is a Journal?

July 18, 2014 at 4:55 pm | Posted in Mental Health, Writing and Life | 4 Comments
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My Journal- child's

Often the words ‘diary’ and ‘journal’ are used interchangeably. It is confusing at times to know exactly what a person may be referring to when they say “I must put that in my diary/journal’.

Are they going to put in the date of an event for future reference, or are they going to write some thoughts about it? Will they reflect on it or just record it? There is actually a slight difference between the two terms.

Appointment diary

Etomology (from Wikipedia):
The word diary comes from the Latin diarium (“daily allowance,” from dies “day”). The word journal comes from the same root (diurnus “of the day”) through Old French jurnal (modern French for day is jour).
The earliest use of the word to mean a book in which a daily record was written was in Ben Jonson’s comedy Volpone in 1605.

This is how oxforddictionaries.com defines them:
Diary: 1. A book in which one keeps a daily record of events and experiences.
2. British A book with spaces for each day of the year in which one notes appointments or information.
Journal: A daily record of news and events of a personal nature; a diary: [while abroad he had kept a journal]

And another online dictionary defines ‘journal’ as:
a. A personal record of occurrences, experiences, and reflections kept on a regular basis; a diary.

Journal 01

When I look at definitions – and here I am only referring to the personal forms and not such writings as The Wall Street Journal – I see that a journal is a diary. It is simply a less formal and more specialised kind of diary. It may be kept on a daily basis or less regularly.

So, if we say we are writing something in our diary, we are basically referring to the generic form. If we say we are writing in our journal, then we are writing in a diary of a certain type.

Now let’s confuse the issue of a ‘journal’ a bit more. Many people see personal journals as having many forms, depending on what they are used for. One blogger about journals sees at least fifteen types. I did a quick list of the types I could think of in a minute or two, and this is what I came up with:

dream-journal

Gratitude journal

Gratitude journal

– Daily thoughts journal

Travel Journal

Travel Journal


– Dream journal
– Travel journal
– Reading and/or reviewing journal
– Gratitude journal
– Personal development journal
– Project journal
– Nature journal
– Meditation journal
– Planning journal
– Creativity journal
– Writing journal
– Art journal

Art Journal

Art Journal

I am sure there are other varieties of journal that people keep. The journals may have few words in them – or even none. They may consist entirely of drawings and sketches, graphs, or photos of places the journalist has been (though the last is usually called a photo album).

They may simply be lists, jottings of points to remember, quotations of others, ideas to be followed up, places to go. Or they could consist of thoughts and feelings, memories, hopes or frustrations, spilled out on pages and pages of text.

Journals can be about anything

Journals can be about anything

Journals could be just one of the above or a combination of any or all of them. The main thing about a journal is that it reflects the writer, whether on the surface or the depths, depending on what they share with their ‘Dear diary/journal’.

Notebook

Have you ever kept a diary? Do you have a journal now? If so, what kind of journal is it? Do you keep more than one?

© Linda Visman

Should a Writer Journal or Blog?

August 23, 2011 at 10:47 am | Posted in Writing | 4 Comments
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I think that keeping a journal or blog is a very useful, indeed a valuable practice
for writers.

A writer will have times when their work is not going well. The short story
doesn’t pull together; the novel has lost its focus; the poem ends up as a
mushy, trite recitation of platitudes; everyday life with its pressures takes
precedence over writing; the writer loses focus; frustration over characters or
a story’s direction bogs down the work in progress.

It is at those times that writing about writing, or about one’s feelings about
their writing can be a very valuable exercise.

A writing journal or a blog, which can be the same thing, can help a writer to
regain focus. Going round in circles does not help, but putting one’s thoughts
on paper, or through the keyboard, can bring problems into focus, identify
roadblocks, and even provide an alternate route to take.

I must admit, that I do not do this as much as I should. Instead, I avoid writing
and, in so doing, I create even bigger blocks to my creativity. I think it is
because I fear writing sometimes. It is too personal. It forces me to look at
realities instead of wishes and hopes; at avenues for action instead of the
inaction of lassitude. It makes me face my fears, instead of running away from
them, and that is a fearful thing in itself.

But, if I want to write, especially if I want to write something of value, I must
face those fears. I must continue with the work I have set myself, bring it to
fruition and then, show it to the world.

I have done it once; I need to do it again.

 

Linda Visman (L.M. Visman) is the author of Ben’s Challenge, a Middle grade / YA novel, available from createspace or amazon.

Share Your World –Week 47

November 30, 2014 at 3:32 pm | Posted in Australia, Family, Gardens, Gratitude, Leisure activities, Mental Health, Nature, Reading, Travel | 7 Comments

Share Your World blog badge

Since this has been Thanksgiving in the USA this week, Cee has given us just one question to consider in sharing our world.

List at least 50 Things You Enjoy. 

I am also giving thanks for what I enjoy. These are just as they came to me – in no particular order. I think I got to 55, but I enjoy, and am thankful for, a multitude more than just these.

My 5 sons; photo taken early 1981.

My 5 sons; photo taken early 1981.

*   being with any or all of my 5 sons

*   being with any or all of my lovely grandchildren

*   going for a drive and a coffee with my husband

*   going camping with my husband

*   driving – just about anywhere

*   being in our yard with the trees and birds

*   mowing the lawns

*   going for a sail in our little sailboat with my husband

*   Skyping with my kids & grandkids

*   my owl ornaments

*   being with my writing friends

*   coffee with friends

*   dinner with friends

bens-challenge-front-cover-used.jpg

*   a good book – print or kindle

*   blogging

*   reading good blogs

*   watching people

*   writing my journal

*   writing stories

*   writing poetry

*   music

*   helping others with their writing

*   thunderstorms

*   putting together our writing group’s newsletter

*   going for a train ride

*   going for a ferry ride

*   mince tarts

*   a glass or two of wine

Scrapbook 2 (1280x662)

*   scrapbooking

*   being around positive people

*   taking photos

*   being by the sea – beach, rocks, cliffs

*   the pounding of the sea on the shore

*   Nature – in any form

*   the Aussie bushIMG_4088

*   a walk in the rainforest

*   a walk by the lake

*   my husband’s love

*   photos – re-living good memories writing my Dad’s story

*   cheese

*   chocolate – but not too often

*   casual clothes

*   shopping for gifts

*   learning new skills

*   the magpie’s warbling serenade

*   the round of rain on the roof

*   the sound of children playing

*   shopping for scrapbooking materials

Eucalypt leaves

*   raking leaves

*   listening to the birds

*   seeing new places

*   a good movie

*   dancing (a rare occurrence

*   feathers

*   our little rocks & crystals collection on the windowsill

(c) Linda Visman

Share Your World – Week 46

November 19, 2014 at 9:44 pm | Posted in Family, Gratitude, Leisure activities, Mental Health, Nature | 7 Comments
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Share Your World blog badge

 

 

Here is another interesting set of questions from Cee for Week 46 of Share Your World.

 

On a vacation what you would require in any place that you sleep? 

Our camper van

Our camper van

A comfortable bed is essential. I think that if you have somewhere comfy to sleep, you can handle anything else a holiday has to throw at you. But there is one more thing I need – a comfy chair in which to relax, to read, to enjoy a wine at the end of the day.

In our little Toyota HiAce camper, we have a lovely comfortable bed, based on the seat cushions and topped with two layers of foam. That bed stays made up for the duration, and we either do without a table or use the one that attaches outside.

However, our van doesn’t have a comfortable chair, at least not inside. The front seats are separated from the back of the van by the engine housing, and when we stop, any extra bits and pieces are stored on those seats until we set off again. The floor space is small, with no room for a chair. Hubby loves to read or otherwise relax lying down, so he’s fine, but to relax I need to sit. So the only times I can do so in comfort is when the weather is good enough – and the mosquitoes non-existent – to sit in the folding camper chair outside.

Music or silence while working?

I lived out in the back blocks of Central Australia for many years. When you just needed a tape recorder and a few of your favourite tapes, my partner and I used to play music all the time. When we moved back to civilisation, she played music more than I did, but I always had it playing in the background as I did my woodwork in the garage.

Once I began writing my family’s history however, music distracted my thoughts, so I got out of the habit of playing it. Now, years later, in a different state, with a husband who also loves music, we have lots of CDs to play. But we don’t play them! We don’t really know why.

However I think it is time we did something about it. Perhaps I should find out if music will stimulate my creative writing rather than distract me from it.

If you were to move and your home came fully furnished with everything you ever wanted, list at least three things from your old house you wish to retain?

Dad in his woodworking shed

Dad in his woodworking shed

My photo and scrapbook albums, my folders of family history records, my journals, and my computer external drive with all my writing and photographs would have to go with me. I would also want to take the few family keepsakes I have – Mum’s sewing things, her old teapot, her small paintings and shells, and the small tables, wooden bowls and knick-knacks that Dad made. I don’t have Mum and Dad any more, but I want to keep something of them by me.

What’s your least favorite mode of transportation?

I can’t say I have a least favourite. I love to travel, so any way I can do that is good. My most favourite mode is driving myself, always has been. I used to drive 1,700-2,500 km each way to visit my family in NSW twice a year when I lived in the Northern Territory. It was also a 320km drive to the nearest town (Alice Springs) over mostly dirt roads just to do business and buy groceries. I loved it.

Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

I am grateful for the four days we were able to relax and enjoy the Aussie bush, sleeping and eating in our camper. I was also really happy that we could have dinner with my younger sister and her husband and catch up on each other’s families and busy lives. As we get older, we become even closer to each other, even though we are different in many ways.

I am looking forward to going to the local art gallery with my neighbour friend to the launch of a book about our town’s most famous person, the late Sir William Dobell, a major Australian artist of the mid twentieth century.

(c) Linda Visman

Earth Hour 2014

March 29, 2014 at 10:05 pm | Posted in Destroying nature, Nature, Philosophy, Social Responsibility, Special Occasions, Ways of Living | 2 Comments
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Tonight is Earth Hour, the time to reflect on the damage that we are causing to our planet.

I wrote this in my journal in fifteen minutes.  I enjoyed a glass of wine and some chocolate, and wondered as I did so, how much longer an ordinary person like myself would be able to enjoy something like that.

 

I am writing this in pen in my journal in the almost-dark, lights off.

It is quiet tonight – unusual for Saturday;

just an occasional car in the distance.

Dogs bark as something disturbs them,

street lights shine on

tall, slender spotted gums

whose high-set branches

are silhouetted against silver-grey clouds

lit by reflected street lights.

 

The only noise apart from distant traffic

and barking dogs is the buzzing I hear –

either crickets, or the tinnitus in my head.

I think of the reason for the lights out –

Earth Hour – a symbol and a reminder

of what we face if we do nothing,

if we do not change our ways –

for Climate Change has begun,

and it is quicker than we are.

 

I think of those who are steadfast

in their refusal to acknowledge any problem

or that we are an integral part of it.

I wonder if millions of minds

meditating on one thought, one desire –

to save our world –

can influence and change those other minds.

But I know that we cannot change minds

that are shuttered and barred,

locked tight against anything

that threatens their grasping hands

or their wilful disregard of what they do.

 

I think of our Earth, ravaged

by Nature so often in the past,

but even more threatened now

by the greed and lust for power

of a disbelieving and dishonest humanity.

I grieve for the damage we have already done

and I grieve for that which is to come.

 

I can do nothing in the Big Picture,

but I can do something

in my own little part of the world.

I will continue to do what I can,

hoping that my small efforts,

joined with those of others with like minds

can be enough to halt the rape

of the only planet we have.

 

(c) Linda Visman

Motivation and Self-discipline

January 11, 2014 at 10:28 am | Posted in Health, Mental Health, Writing, Writing and Life | 12 Comments
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I have a friend who has all the daily tasks and responsibilities involved with her grown-up family and grandchildren, as well as her friends, that I have.

This friend has taken on the challenge of posting a blog entry every day since two months ago. And she is meeting that challenge brilliantly.

NaBloPoMo icon for January 2014

NaBloPoMo icon for January 2014

My friend also works four full days a week at a demanding job. Being an age pensioner, I no longer have to work for a living so, theoretically, I have more time and energy for writing than she does.

One of my goals is to write at least one (just one) blog post each week. But I am having trouble maintaining the effort I need to achieve that goal.

What is the difference between my friend and me?

I think there two differences, both of which relate to what my friend has and what I lack: motivation and self-discipline.

I used to have both of those in abundance. I was a school teacher and principal in a remote area of Australia. I maintained a household whilst working long hours –and  usually for six days a week. I got up early and went to bed exhausted every day.

busy-bee

When I retired from teaching and discovered writing, I was unstoppable. I wrote short stories, both fiction and memoir, I wrote poetry, and articles about various aspects of writing. I entered writing competitions. I wrote two children’s novels and a longer Y.A. novel, and began a second one.

Now, I can barely write more than a page or two in my journal. Why? Where have my motivation and self-discipline gone to?Missing motivation

I have so much that I want to write: to finish my second Y.A. novel; to write my fiction and memoir stories, my poetry, my father’s life story; to write articles for the magazine I publish and edit for my writers’ group.

The past year has been difficult in several ways, and I have been emotionally and physically drained by it. But I don’t know if that is the reason for my lethargy and my current procrastination.

No Excuses

I don’t want to make excuses. And I also don’t want to give up my writing. I have a lot to say, much to pass on, and I don’t want all that to die.

Somehow, I have to find what is holding me back. I have to regain that strong motivation and self-discipline I used to have. I have to find a way to again become fully engaged with my dream.

DO IT

P.S. I wrote this in my journal. Then I realised I have actually written a blog post! And, in doing so, I have my target post for this week! Well, it takes all kinds, doesn’t it?

Have you gone through a similar experience of losing motivation and self-discipline? If so, how did you regain them, and the rhythm and energy to write again?

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