Joy Held's Writer Wellness

"Be well, write well."

Thursday Thot: Stillness and Journaling

on December 1, 2011

One great side effect to journaling is learning to still the inner critic. Regularly throwing caution to the wind and writing down whatever you want without regard for grammatical correctness is very liberating. Being able to say whatever you want in writing but not sharing it with the eyes of others helps clear away the junk when it comes time to think a creative project through to the finish. It isn’t always obvious, but the things we worry about, wish we hadn’t said out loud, or want to happen create a fog in our brains and emotions. This misty blinder can easily poison our creativity by spilling ideas into our work that shouldn’t be there. The work is the work. The therapy is in the journal pages and should not be in the creative process.

So even when you don’t want to journal, think of it as an opportunity to still the inner judge who stops the creative process when we need it the most. Look at journaling as a chance to recognize when the critic is creeping up behind you and learn how to silence it with the writing. Actually write/speak to the inner critic in your journal and tell it to be still when you are working. When you feel it sneaking through the work, you’ll recognize it and be able to stop and send it back to stillness so you can get on with creating. The critic is there for a reason and the journal is a safe place for it to come out and play and for you to learn how to manage it.

Try this inner critic busting journaling exercise: write about a problem and talk about what different people you know would say about the issue. What would your spouse think? What would your parents say? How would your boss fix it? This is a playful and practical way to give your inner judge several faces and hear what she has to say from different angles.

What practices do you use to silence and master your inner critic?

There are five primary areas of practice to the Writer Wellness plan. Every other week I will post an idea for relaxation (Monday Meditation,) creative play (Tuesday Tickle,) fitness and exercise (Wednesday Workout,) journaling and misc. (Thursday Thought,) and nutrition (Friday Feast.)


Meanwhile, remember to look for a digital or print copy of Writer Wellness, A Writer’s Path to Health and Creativity at Who Dares Wins Publishing,

And check out these great blogs for ideas to keep your writing and publishing healthy and prosperous. Bob Mayer Jenni Holbrook Kristen Lamb Inspiration for Writers, Inc. Natalie Markey Amy Shojai


Check out my new website Joy E. Held

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Be well, write well

One response to “Thursday Thot: Stillness and Journaling

  1. Marcia says:

    Journaling: I like it. I use it in stressful times to sort out the baggage and put it in appropriate compartments. One of those compartments is the trash heap–very necessary sometimes! Sometimes it is to sort out emotions that spiral out of control.

    Journaling for me is like self-talk; a mental exercise that can accomplish the same goals as journaling. Ah, but journaling forces focus. I can’t get away from words on a page!!

    I also use journaling when the occasion is overwhelmingly happy!! Writing down exciting events and precious moments with details keeps them forever-when the mind tends to forget.

    At this time of my life childhood memories sometimes pop into focus. Quick, grab the journal lest I forget them!

    So many purposes for journaling!



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