from The Great Book of Journaling
Chapter 1 by SARK | Posted 6/14/22
"I hope you will go out and let stories, that is life, happen to you, and that you will work with these stories from your life — not someone else's life — water them with your blood and tears and your laughter till they bloom, till you yourself burst into bloom. That is the work. The only work." —Clarissa Pinkola Estes
Welcome to your curious, friendly, inspired writer self! Welcome also to your resistant, crabby, or avoiding parts that might feel afraid to write anything.
Juicy Journaling contains all the parts of you — not just the easiest or most attractive parts.
I've been practicing what I call Juicy Journaling for forty-two years, and it's a place for me to:
Juicy Journaling has led me to:
Here are some of my recommendations for writing:
One of my very favorite recommendations is to write your life as you live it. Write your stories. The ones that only you can tell. A powerful way to write more is to use my MicroMOVEment Miracle Method. This is what I created almost thirty years ago to write what I dreamed of while still sometimes procrastinating, avoiding, and resisting writing.
This works because starting smaller will cause you to start more often instead of just thinking about what you want to start writing! I also use my MicroMOVEment Miracle Method to do everything in my life because it beautifully supports my writing between going to the dentist, doing taxes, napping, avoiding, fooling around, and all the rest of what we do as humans.
MicroMOVEments are like an ignition system. They are a way to get started with your writing. They are five minutes in length or even less. I designed this method to work in five-minute increments because I figured I could do just about anything for five minutes. Most people are high achievers or overachievers and will immediately question how "enough" writing can get done in five minutes. It works better than not starting at all or trying to do too much and getting crabby and tired.
My thirty years of research show that we'll keep going 60 percent of the time if we can just get started. For the 40 percent of the time that you don't keep going, using MicroMOVEments convinces the brain that something is happening with your writing, and this part of the brain doesn't care if it's five minutes or five hours of work—it stops you from constantly knowing that you're not doing anything with your writing. This is powerFULL and will create great internal shifts that will change your writing habits forever.
MicroMOVEments help you to stop using your mind as a filing cabinet and gives your writing plans a physical home and plan. MicroMOVEments cause a "habit of completion," which circumvents a habit of procrastination.
The MicroMOVEment Miracle Method is customizable to your style, and results will expand the more you make this method "yours."
The main way to create what you want with your writing is to create the "center description." This means that you'll be writing down what you desire for your writing in a way that pleases or delights you. What you write in the center wants to be delightful.
I've become aware that we do and create the most when we're delighted, inspired, moved, amused, and feeling good with our writing and writing processes.
You write what you desire in the center. You can write in the center of a piece of paper.
Here are two examples:
The way we describe our desires becomes what happens to them!
I recommend adding delight or amusement to your MicroMOVEments because when you add delight, you'll use them even more! Write a tiny movement on the paper you wrote your center on or use a Post-It.
The main point is to create easy movement; any movement will lead to more movement. You can think of the MicroMOVEment Miracle Method as yoga for your mind. Tiny movements will lead to huge results. Develop a "micro mindset" where you realize that continuing is the whole point and that your writing process is equal in value to the results you seek. Think tinier, smaller, much smaller, then tinier and tinier still. This will result in words getting written.
It's so much more fun to have an easy way to make more writing miracles and creative magic in our lives. A micro mindset does that most of all! Make it smaller, and you'll start more often and become a happy finisher of writing rather than someone who rarely starts.
Also, pay less attention to creating the MicroMOVEments than you do to actually moving. If you find one or more MicroMOVEments that work, keep using them. I've used one for years that keeps working:
Find my lucky purple pen and put it next to the chaise lounge.
This led to at least a dozen books being written and published.
I micromove daily with my writing, and I exuberantly recommend it.
Here's some of what I don't recommend about writing:
Here are some ways to play and practice Juicy Journaling with prompts:
Go deeper, say more, and write about all the other thoughts and feelings — the ones that surprise you, scare you, delight you, or embarrass you. Allow yourself to write words that are quintessentially real. Describe the places inside you that jump for joy or collapse in fear.
How can you care exquisitely for yourself with all your emotions? What brings out your best, most magic self?
Instead of saying "on a lighter note," say "on a darker note," and see what comes. What does it mean to live your life in full color? What color(s) most represents your life right now, and why? What color(s) would you like to represent your life right now, and why?
What is the juiciest thing imaginable that you would dare to write about? Go ahead… write it, write now! Let your writing be juicy!
Create a fast list of your favorite gorgeous moments, such as the smell of clothes dried in the sun. List two to twenty-five gorgeous moments as quickly as you think of them. Add details like "perfectly steamed broccoli glowing in the pan." I think that fast lists are a great way to get writing moving. When your writing is moving, it can make miracles.
Give yourself permission to allow the fun of flow in your writing. Your writing will respond beautifully to you letting it flow.
Flowing is nonlinear; it's full of grace and wonder. Fresh glistening peaches and slants of sunlight are commonly seen during times of flow. Flowing can occur in the bathtub and the shower. Notice that water flows, as your writing will when you allow it. The state of flow loves surprises and new environments.
Take yourself and your writing somewhere brand new and fun! Let your stories tumble out. You have treasure chests of stories inside that are of great value. Let them out so that others may benefit from them. Hoard nothing. And do not wait for the inner perfectionist to approve, or you will wait a lifetime.
I also invite you to rest and reset with your writing. It's natural at the start of writing something to feel energized, hopeful, and optimistic. It's also natural to start enthusiastically and then experience living life as an interruption to one's writing life.
I support you in seeing and feeling your value as a writer, whether you are writing or not.
If you wish to publish, let your full heart lead your journey.
When we focus on the song of our soul and heart, then others will be touched similarly.
Sometimes people wonder or worry whether people will like or approve of their creative expression. It's none of your business. It's your business to stay present and focused on the work of your deepest dreams. It might look crooked, strange, or odd, but if it delights you, it is yours and will find its way into other hearts.
All your creative dreams and writing will grow if you help make them real and let them bloom.
The time is truly now, and your stories and wonderful words are needed. We need your creative spirit in action because there is only one of you.
Your words and stories need a human channel to bring them down to earth, and that human channel is you!
About the Author
SARK (Susan Ariel Rainbow Kennedy) is a bestselling author, artist, inspirationalist, and acclaimed teacher and mentor. Her purpose in life is to be an uplifter, transformer, and laser beam of love — she offers that with love through her art, words, and spirit. To learn more about SARK, visit PlanetSARK.com
This chapter is from The Great Book of Journaling: How Journal Writing Can Support a Life of Wellness, Creativity, Meaning and Purpose by Eric Maisel PhD (Editor), Lynda Monk MSW RSW CPCC (Editor) Conari Press (June 14, 2022).