Journal Writing

Childhood Stories

Childhood stories are about friendships, laughter, bravado, tears and pain. Ask yourself a few questions to spark those memories.

As a child:
your favourite toy was …
your favourite book was …
your favourite sport was …
your best friend was …
your favourite sweets were …

Journal Writing

Stepping back in time

Your memories contain the sights, sounds, feelings, tastes and smells of your original experience. To step back in time, focus on just one sense.

Which sense to begin with? Ask yourself ‘What do I remember first?’ Is it an image, sound, smell or texture? Describe this first moment in detail to begin your journey into the past.

Journal Writing

Eat the cold

You may be angry, you may be sad, you may be livid. It might be about something that happened yesterday, or ten years ago.

Now, this can be tough, but ‘eat the cold’: look that moment in the face and plot it out as a series of events. In other words, instead of telling us how you felt, tell us what happened.

Next, step into character. Be the person who caused the most pain. What motivated him to act this way? Test out different scenarios. What happens if you handled things differently? What have you learnt? Would you act differently next time?

Digest the emotions just as your body digests food. Get rid of the junk and keep the energy.

Journal Writing

You are the filter

You are the filter for what you see, hear, taste, touch and smell in this world. You must own your experience, every detail of it, to write well. Each experience builds into a bigger picture. When you report where you are, what you see, taste, touch, feel and smell, you also release what is inside of you.

Be sensitive to all experience, no matter how small and you will be more deeply informed, often leading you to discoveries about relationships, places and yourself.

Write about those subjects that are surrounded with strong feelings. For instance, divorce, parenting, fighting a war or visiting a foreign country could be among your topics. Ask yourself “What do I hate or love about … ?” Do not answer with generalities. Be specific. List the smells, sounds, tastes, sights and textures of the event, place or person.

Smell, taste, hear, see and touch what you are writing about as if for the first time. Avoid writing about your attitude towards the subject and instead, let the images and details of the experience speak for themselves.