Journaling is a technique of writing down whatever thoughts and feelings come to mind on a topic without taking a break, stopping to think or slowing down to correct spelling & punctuation.
A form of Journaling known as "Hot Penning" has been developed by the Beginning Experience organization - a group that offers help for people who are grieving a loss.
In Journaling, a person takes a blank notebook or sheets of paper and writes about a topic or answers questions about a topic. The key in Journaling is to write as much as you possibly can in a 30-45 minute window without taking your pen away from the page or stopping to reflect, think or analyze what you have written. Spelling, grammar, accuracy or appropriateness are all considered secondary. Just writing your thoughts down as fast as they come flooding in is the key.
Confidentiality is crucial in journaling. What you are writing is for your eyes only. You may later decide to share what you have written with others whom you trust, but there may be things you want to write about that you will never want to say to another living soul - and that's ok and important. Nobody reads your book.
Some amazing things can get written during journaling sessions. People discover things about themselves they never knew were in there.
Examples of Journaling Topics
Here are some example questions to get yourself started with Journaling:
- How do I see myself - what are my main strengths and weaknesses?
- How have I been treated best/worst by people who are closest to me?
- What would I say if I were to write a final letter to a person who has hurt me?
- What is my plan going forward?
- What three adjectives would I choose to describe myself and why?
- If I could change one thing, what would it be?