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…


About canmexartistway

I am a happily retired teacher/expat to be now relocated to the spectacularly beautiful Harbour City of Nanaimo on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada. During snowbird six I decided to morph from snowbird to Mexpat! I'm taking the 'scenic route' geographically and metaphorically during the next 5 to 6 months as I downsize, downsize, downsize in preparation for an international move in the fall. Follow my blog at

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