Tag Archives: moodiness

Journaling to nail the marketing jitters

It’s been an exciting week during which I pushed the publish button on The Journal Writer’s Handbook, thus inflicting my book on the world!

My head’s been full of marketing stuff, and last evening I had the great privilege to join in on #JournalChat Live on Twitter, beautifully hosted by Dawn Herring of Refresh Journal fame, who’d chosen my blog post 7 Astounding benefits of journal writing as #JournalChat Pick of the Week. The chat was awesome – heartily recommended – and I met some great journaling folks from the other side of the pond.

Needless to say, in amongst tweeting, updating Facebook, blogging, amending websites,writing press releases and emailing to get the word out, (the joys of independent authorship) I noticed yesterday that I was starting to get a bit jittery. I know this feeling – mentally I start to jump hap-hazardly from one thing to another without completing anything, and all the while ideas are crowding each other out in my brain. Add to that a deep physical tension like my body is constantly bracing against something, shivering like crazy and with an annoying ache in my jaw, and I concluded that this was certainly not conducive to making progress.  So I did what any wise and seasoned journal-writer would do in the same circumstances, I made myself a cup of tea and reached for my notebook.

I needed to nail the jitters. I needed to rein in my desultory thinking. I needed to be crystal clear on the key tasks that would take me the furthest along my checklist of things to do. I needed to prioritise.

What’s amazing is that within the time it took me to drink my tea I’d written 3 sides in my notebook – and completely nailed the jitters. And here’s how it went:

I named what I was experiencing and described how it felt in my body.

I named what it was I was working on, and described the last discrete task I’d actually completed.

Then my brain went wandering, and I started listing out the next umpteen tasks I might possibly embark on. I swear I got to 7 tasks before I woke up. Woah!

Things were getting desperate so I threw myself a challenge. “What’s the bare minimum I must do?” Fighting talk!

But it didn’t work! Immediately I began waffling on again about this or that I could or should do. What a twit!

“Hang on,” I manfully wrote, “What’s the deal?”

I was running out of tea. I knew it was my last chance. Effortlessly a list of 4 must-do-nows plus 2 nice-to-haves flowed from the end of my pen. I wasn’t shaking any more and I ticked off all my necessary tasks within the next 20 minutes. Phew.

And that is how journaling helped me nail the jitters – and take a significant leap forward in my book marketing activity!

(BTW, click here to buy the book!)

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Filed under Journal Writing, Mood Management, Self-publishing

How to control moodiness through journal writing

A lifetime ago (so it seems) I used to be an IT Project Manager, and one of the favourite axioms of the role was “you can’t manage what you can’t measure”.

Whatever you had to measure was by necessity a very specific thing, contained within particular boundaries, with very clear objectives and commonly recognised references. Managing such a thing then involved figuring out whether the boundaries needed to be changed, whether the objectives were correct, and whether the references were clear enough.

When it comes to moodiness, a similar process applies. We need to have a clear idea of what our mood is, how it’s making us feel, how it’s triggered and what impact it has in order to manage it. Of course, managing it might not always be curtailing it; it might also be prolonging it – so we need to be sure what mood we’re dealing with to know which tack to take.

Often we dismiss our good moods, or fail to notice that we’re in a bad one. We might be so used to being in a particular mood that we and everyone around us assumes that it’s part of our true nature.

But the fact is our moods are like our weather system – they blow hot and cold across us, are ever changing and, crucially, are not us. So we can allow ourselves some objectivity when it comes to our moodiness; in fact objectivity is vital if we’re not to be completely consumed by our mood.

This is where reflective writing comes in. Our journals give us the space to get curious and explore our mood. We can achieve some perspective by removing ourselves from our mood far enough to be able to ask it a question and find out what it has to tell us. We can also engage any physical symptoms we might have in a journaling dialogue, to deepen our awareness and clarify our understanding.

The keys are curiosity and objectivity, and our journals are perfect places to give these free rein.

Eventually, given practice in measuring our mood, it’ll be much easier to manage!

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December 11, 2012 · 1:55 pm