Monthly Archives: October 2014

Journal Prompts and Journal Jars to Explore the Public, Personal and Secret Selves


Personally, I seldom have writers block but I am aware that some people do look at a blank page and just freeze up. Last November I delayed my departure to Mexico for the winter ONE month so that I could try one more time, my third to participate in a month of writing mayhem called National Novel Writing Month. Twice I had registered. Twice I abandoned m first novel of 50,000 words for either a variety of reasons or no reason at all.

It just happened.

Well, last year at this time, I cleared my calendar completely, put my car in storage, reverted to walking and taking the bus around town and  cranked out (an apt word to be sure!) the required 50,000 words that was the minimum word count for writers and wanna be writers for this writing challenge. It was tough slogging (again a very apt word!) but since it was kind of a cool rainy month anyway I did finish on time and got the coveted WINNER certificate. Not that those fifty thousand words were readable or worthy of anything but a quick tap of the delete button but still it was a doable goal. I stated my intent, registered a NANOWRIMO meet up group for support and I was off and typing.  I even did a one day writing workshop with a  Creative Writing prof from Langley College in Vancouver who had come to Vancouver Island. I learned a lot and on the basis of that  workshop I actually do have…imho… quite a good first chapter of an epic I called, No Fixed Address.;

The wheels soon fell completely off the plot wagon and most of the plotlines as the month wore on but I still think the first chapter is not too bad.  In the comment box at the end of this chapter you can let me know what you think. IF the rest of the book was at least as good as the opening chapter would you be interested to keep reading this book?

But I digress. The topic of this posting is the matter of journal jars and lists of prompts. Some of the ones that I ve seen when I was writing my novel last November are in of themselves not too inspiring but the following link to THIS site actually  is useful and not only in this section on Self Disclosuree , Secred  and Cinema Selves.

It is said that each of us has three selves. Our Public Self, the one we show to the general public. Our Personal Self that we show to our immediate family and those nearest and dearest to us. What Julia Cameron is really interested in these chapters I believe is delving into the Secret Self. We all have one wherher we advmit it or not!

So everyone tomorrow in the writing group will be getting two jars. One for journal prompts and one to use as a God Jar. Other writers besides Cameron have used this term or something like it. So what is a God Jar? Basically its a receptacle for putting say a small slip of paper whre you put your worry or concern. The idea is that you think about or read out loud what you are worried about and then, ‘let go and let God.’ Now this is not to say that you suddenly STOP taking the next right step but what you want to do is break the self defeating look of obsessiveness that of course ALL in our heads and rarely do all those catastophes that we vividly image actually happen. So let it go; let it ALL go.

The Mexicans say Que sera, sera. Translted well before Google Translate means simply what will be will be. And to add a biblical touch let me ad the wise truism stating that all things wll sure pass.

And they do both the good and the not so good…


The Theme of Colour


Once again is was a stimulating and inspirational session on the theme of Colour. We started out in our inner sacred circle doing a brief check in followed by each of us intuitively choosing a colour that resonated for us last Tuesday morning from a Colour Therapy book. We read the interpretations and then went back to our writing spaces to write with our new coloured pens  (no black or blue ink today!). We wrote for fifteen minutes and then shared some of our writing. Lots of interesting discussinn and laughter ensured and before we knew it we had just enough time to  have a brief show and tell when T showed us her Vision Stage and both Creativity Doll and Demon. Jane showed up her Creativity Doll. Throughout Julia Cameron’s book there are always many more tasks than there is ever time to do so it was superb that two ladies took/made some time to think of what a creativity doll OR creativity demon might look like!

Kudos to you Jane and T!

One think that I missed saying that one of the uses of the provided highlighter pens is to highlight the ‘juicy bits’ as you read each chapter excerpt. And the theme of Colour is so well…colourful!

Even though we started out in a predomindantly beige church hall for Session One the second session featured a string of brightly coloured   prayer flags neon paper and coloured pens to write with. Certainly, as my time to depart for Mexico draws nearer and some days are getting grayer and cooler I am stating to crave the visual banquet that is Mexico! Centro San Miquel de Allende has a more limited colour palette due to it being a historical UNESCO site but once outside the inner core of the city the houses start to explode with colour and often contrasting colours! pink and orange or green and purple houses are not uncommon and a constant visual delight on my daily walkabouts hither and yon and yon and hither!

Next week, now that we know each other better the next theme is Self Disclosure, Secret and Cinema Selves which  I:m sure will make for lively discussion next Tuesday and beyond…