Writing about writing

Archive for October, 2015

Last day of NaJoWriMo for October 2015

NaJoWriMo, Day #31—Saturday, October 31, 2015

Today’s Prompt

tumblr_meqrmvGB6v1re99nqo1_400 (1)This being the last day of NaJoWriMo, write a letter to your journal about the last 31 days of journal writing. Write about the challenges, what you learned along the way, and how your thoughts changed about what creativity means in your personal life. 

Dear Precious Journal,

I have enjoyed this past month with you so very much. While I don’t typically need journal prompts in order to write in my journal, I have enjoyed almost all of the prompts for October 2015. I especially have enjoyed the fact that some friends and students have been participating this month as well! A few of them have shared their journal entries with me, but obviously journals are meant to be personal and not everyone feels comfortable sharing their journals—as it should be. I just tend to be someone who is willing to share it ALL for some reason without fear! I just like to. That’s the way it is—for me.

I wish every month was National Journal Writing Month. It should just be National Journal Writing Year! LOL! Regardless of whether or not we’re “celebrating” National Journal Writing month, I plan to continue writing in my journal every single day.

One thing I discovered this month while writing my journal entries using Microsoft Word has been that instead of just including a picture as part of my journal entries, I can actually use a picture as the background—a watermark—for my whole page for my journal entry! I wish I could do that with my digital journal, Penzu. The one negative about doing it that way is that if I want a separate watermark for each entry, I have to leave each entry as its own Word document rather than putting them all together as one month-long document. But that’s ok.

Up until this past week, I even printed out my daily journal entries and glued them into my printed journal! The only reason I quit doing that is because I finished that journal! My new one isn’t designed to be able to do that as nicely as the previous one. At least I can still print them all out and put them in a book if I still want to do that with all of them into one.

Because of my background studying the works of Julia Cameron, I’ve been learning more and more every year that I am a very creative being. I’ve never really thought of myself as such because my scrapbooks aren’t as creative as some of the ones by my scrapbooking friends, I can’t create anything like wreaths or such like, I hate decorating—yes, even for Christmas—even though I love all the decorations, and I simply don’t make visually creative STUFF.

But the reality is that because of my love of writing and the fact that it brings me joy, plain and simply, makes me Creative. It doesn’t matter if I prefer to write nonfiction rather than fiction. The important thing is that I love to write. I have fun writing and I honestly do feel creative when I write.

I can’t wait until the next NaJoWriMo—April, I do believe!!!

Every month should be NaJoWriMo

At approximately the halfway mark of NaJowriMo (National Journal Writing Month), Bakari Chavanu had us do a self-evaluation of how NaJoWriMo is going. I’d meant to post this then, but the days have gotten away from me. I must say at the outset of this entry that I am thoroughly enjoying participating in NaJoWriMo…so much so that I sincerely wish every month was NaJoWriMo!!!!

NaJoWriMo, Day #17—October 17, 2015:

Today’s Prompt

We’re about half way through NaJoWriMo. Thus, let’s take this time write about your journaling for this month. How is the journaling going for you? Any surprises, insights, or recurring thoughts? Any challenges? Likes/dislikes? How is the theme of creativity speaking to you? 

The Journaling is going very well for me. I’m not one who typically needs topics in order to write in my journal. I am just fine with writing my thoughts and feelings on any given day and still being able to find something to write about each and every day. I am enjoying writing about Creativity this month, with that being said.

Within the past year, I read Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way. I avoided it for a long time because of the word “artist,” but so much of the journaling and other writing activities, web sites, etc. that I have been involved with/participated in referenced Cameron’s book. I found that I couldn’t avoid it any longer, so I bought it as a package deal where I received the book and a journal wherein to do “Morning Pages.”

In spite of “drinking the Kool-Aid” and knowing that everything Julia Cameron writes about is worth noting—and following, I just can’t get up early enough to write in the mornings. I find that writing in the evenings just before going to bed works better for me. (This is an aside, BTW.)

Anyway, Cameron’s book is a wonderful reminder of the fact that we are all creative beings and whatever we do can be seen as a creative outlet: painting, drawing, other art work, sewing (all kinds), writing, and the list goes on and on. She explains very clearly that we need to see ourselves as creative beings and we need to pursue our creative sides. If we don’t, we miss out on everything that LIFE, the Creator, has for us. It’s in our creative selves that we find who we are and what we’re meant to DO with our lives—our purpose.

So the fact that the theme for October 2015 NaJoWriMo is “Creativity” simply goes along with what I’ve been learning and studying with Julia Cameron.

The biggest challenge in participating in NaJoWriMo is finding the time to write every day and devote the amount of time I really want to devote to my entries. I chose to type my entries rather than handwrite them this time simply because of time—I can type faster than I can write by hand. So that helps, a lot. But I’m also sharing my entries with my students. They have to keep a digital/online journal this semester, so I copy/paste each of my entries into the digital journals for each and every class. While copying and pasting is much quicker than re-typing my entries each time, it is still time-consuming to be sure that I get each entry posted and not miss a single class. (I’m sharing my entries with my students because I’m giving extra credit for anyone who chooses to participate in NaJoWriMo with me!)

Likes about NaJoWriMo for October 2015? Since I love journaling for any reason, I am just enjoying the whole process! As I said, while I don’t need topics to get me to write in my journal, it’s fun to have a focused theme to write about for 31 days. And writing about creativity and how I am a creative being whether I believe it or not is definitely a life-changer!

Dislikes about NaJoWriMo for October 2015? I didn’t like the entry on describing what I see wherever I happened to be while I was writing. Good grief. It didn’t matter which spot I would have been in, they all would have been long and complicated—as was the entry I finally wrote! I could have also described my office and that would have been challenging considering the number of pictures, posters, books, and other paraphernalia I have, especially the textbooks and assignments to grade! The only reasons I disliked that entry were: 1. I couldn’t decide whether to write about my home writing spot or my office at school where I do a lot of my work, too. And, 2. Whichever place I chose to write about was long, complicated, and quite involved!!!

ship-sky-balloons

Participating in National Journal Writing Month

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When I first happened upon National Journal Writing Month (NaJoWriMo), I quickly learned that “NaJoWriMo will be held four times year: January, April, July, and October.” The first time I participated was in July of 2015 and I LOVED it. I’ve been journaling almost every day for several years, and I typically don’t need a topic when it comes to journaling. It is very rare that I don’t already have something I want to write about! 🙂 But Bakari Chavanu created topics that I thoroughly enjoyed writing about. I especially loved that he had a theme for the whole month for the journal topics. I had a wonderful time in July participating and I couldn’t wait until October so I could participate again!

We’re now in the 10th day of NaJoWriMo for October 2015 and I am enjoying this month as much as I did July’s. I was able to talk a few friends to participate with me. I’m not sure how they’re doing; they’re not all sharing their journal entries with me at this point, but that’s fine. Not everyone is willing (or able) to share their journal entries. I have come to a place where there are very few things I’m not willing to share with the world, so I willingly share most of my entries with these friends. Bakari is writing a book about doing NaJoWriMo, so there is a link in his website for NaJoWriMo participants to share their daily entries. (Yes, I’ve shared most days of this month! I don’t even care if he uses my entries or not! I just don’t mind sharing.)

I am an avid journaler and I honestly do believe that EVERYONE should keep a journal. I’m not artistically inclined as far as drawing is concerned, so most of my journal entries don’t include any artwork–unless I download a picture from Google Images! LOL. My point is, though, that if writing is not your “thing,” find a way of journaling that is your “thing.” If you like to draw, draw in your journal. If you write music, use your journal as a means of song-writing. Poetry. Short stories. Recipes. Anything that you enjoy can become journaling for you. It doesn’t have to be just writing or even have any writing at all. The object of journaling is to CREATE–to take what’s inside of you and put it on the outside.

Journaling is incredibly person, so most of the time, we tend not to share too many journal entries with others unless we feel that we are able and willing to put ourselves out for the world to see. I read once that sharing something we’ve written (or done creatively) is the same as standing naked in public, so we should only share journal entries that we are comfortable sharing. It’s honestly one of the reasons why I like Bakari’s writing themes for NaJoWriMo: I tend to be more apt to share what I’ve written when it’s based on an outside topic.

So whether you choose to participate in NaJoWriMo in January, April, July, and/or October, I hope you will begin to keep a journal….feel free to share you thoughts with me!

RobinWilliams

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