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Writing for Reflection

July 22, 2009

We write for a myriad of reasons; a story or character that compels us to share it with others, a act of social justice, self expression or as a journey of self discovery. Writing for reflection, be it in a public format or as a private journal is similar to meditation in that it gives us the opportunity to hear the deepest desires of our souls as we express ourselves outwardly. Along with many other techniques serves as an important piece within the writers toolbox.

Journaling opens the door to one’s soul, giving rise to self-discovery and empowerment. It also allows us to see our situations in black and white and in some cases, once committed to a page, these issues either resolve themselves or appear a lot less traumatic or troublesome than they were when we held them in our heads. Journaling also provides us with an opportunity to question ourselves more deeply than we may ever have experienced before. These answers may then give us inspiration – or further pondering on which to base a character or write and article on.

Reflective writing gives us the ability to keep in touch with our honest feelings, to explore without judgment our desires and gives us a sense of intimacy with the mysterious movement and process of living.

Diary

Keep a Diary

Journaling or reflective writing can be approached in a number of ways, dependant up on your outcome. Many people prefer to keep it in a private format and for this reason rely on pen and paper to capture thoughts. Commit to reflection as a ritual to your writing day and begin by writing without editing your thoughts or direction for five mins. More often than not this time will be stretched outward and like any skill, you will become more at ease with it. Finish when you believe the piece to be finished. For other writers, who, like myself, prefer to commit thoughts through they keyboard, you may like to set up a private blog or a alternate identity to express yourself.

As you reflect each day things will become clearer, with patterns in your life emerging and memories resurface. In turn, these memories or patterns may give you inspiration for other writing projects, or simply serve as a piece to your psyche puzzle. If you are fortunate enough to have kept a diary from when you were younger, you may see that no matter how mundane or silly you believe the entry to have been, you chose to write about it or the way you felt about an event for a reason. These small incidences helped form who you are now and can act as a bridge between yourself and the much younger, innocent self.

As we turn our attention inwards, it allows us to heal our souls and reflect on life, understand ourselves better, heal our pain, find our purpose, and put our goals and intentions out to the Universe. You may even be gifted a storyline from these revelations which sings not only to your soul, but to countless others.

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Annie Evett loves the idea of a fountain pen and beautiful book as a keep sake journal but has  an online diary as her handwriting requires the skills of an Egyptologist and a babel fish to interpret its meaning.   Catch her growing amount of websites and blogs here
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3 Comments
  1. July 22, 2009 3:52 am

    I was an avid journaller/diary keeper for years. I have the box of old journals under my writing desk as privy to the thousands of hours spent scribbling thoughts, feelings and events. And I feel very blessed (and often rather confused) when I read through them.

    Up until about a month ago I was a committed morning pager – as per The Artist Way – but over the past month haven’t felt the urgency of being there in private with myself on the page.

    Given we are exposed now publically, more than any other time perhaps, I think it is becoming increasingly important to have quiet time with yourself on the page. A place for safe reflection.

    And yes – I love fountain pen and paper. Which reminds me – maybe it is time to try a new coloured ink!

  2. July 22, 2009 6:24 am

    I’ve never been able to keep a private journal for longer than a few months but my blog has been going for five years and has more or less served as a way to express myself, albeit not in all the areas I wish to seeing it’s public.

    But reflecting on things I’ve learnt with the process of writing, or through political debate has certainly helped me grow in areas I need to.

  3. July 23, 2009 4:02 pm

    I have tried on numerous occasions to keep a journal. I started with pen and paper and went several months with it… until my parents found it on one of their “sweeps” of my room as they tried to control me. Then I started one on my first computer, password protected. It went nearly a year, then a software upgrade broke the password and left the files completely unable to be opened. Next was another pen and paper attempt which I only kept up for a short time leading up to the birth of my daughter. That one got lost in a flood in my basement.

    In high school, we had to write in a journal every day, with the goal being that we’d find something to mine to use in a story or something. I think it worked for me for that goal one time for a short story I ended up writing but mostly it was a study in futility for me as I filled the daily page with “I don’t know what to write” over and over again. My english teacher and I remained friends beyond high school and she was going to get me the journals, which she apparently kept… and then she died of cancer a couple years ago.

    I’m not one that tends to read “signs” like this too much, but I’m starting to wonder if maybe the writing for reflection thing is not something I’m supposed to be doing, though I can completely see where there is value to doing it.

    Maybe I’ll try again sometime(I’ve been thinking about it for some time now), just not sure what medium to use for it.

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