Journaling for inspiration – or just to find out what we know

It’s happened again. One of my readers has mentioned how astonishing it is to find out what comes from the end of their pen when they are journaling.

When we allow ourselves to write, when we just allow the words to flow from the end of our pen without censoring, it is invariably true that whate emerges does so without our control. The words seem to appear undirected. Certainly our conscious minds don’t play a part in dictating what we write. The words come from nowhere that we know about – and astonish us.

Many writers often bemoan the fact that they don’t feel inspired enough to write. We sit with writers’ block, willing it away, trying to ignore it, grasping for that small but perfectly formed idea we need to get us started. (Just as many writers also know that you’ve got to write anyway, even though your conscious mind may not be offering you anything by way of a well-presented thought or argument.)

So here’s the thing. Journaling enables us to write when inspiration is lacking. Instead of being inspired to write, journal writing inspires us. We can start anywhere. As long as we start. Something will pop up. And it will invariably be exactly the thing we need.

Similarly if ever I’m asked what I think about certain things I would have to say in many cases that I have no idea, until I’ve got the time to write about them. I find it very difficult to form an original opinion about complex issues without asking myself the direct question “what do I think about…?” in my journal. Sure I can tell you what others think I ought to think about things. I can tell you what it says I should think on the TV or in the newspapers or on the radio. But I can’t tell what I really think until I’ve turned it over in my journal.

Given this state of affairs I have to get comfortable with the thought that I don’t know a heap of stuff. Every question is a new one. I may have thought one thing about it a while ago, but I may have changed my view. Life, experience and intuition need to be consulted afresh and my journal is the perfect tool for this ever-changing kaleidoscope.

And it’s good to lose control every once in a while. Control is illusory anyway. Far better to be frequently surprised by what we didn’t know we knew than desensitised by what we know we know.

Inspired yet?

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