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Monday, March 23, 2009

Timed Writing

One of the easiest ways to start writing in your journal, especially if it's your first time, is to try timed writing. This simply involves setting a timer for ten, twenty or perhaps thirty minutes and writing without stopping until the timer sounds or ends. I like my microwave timer. Once the time runs out it beeps and then again every thirty seconds. It's non-intrusive, yet quietly nags at me from the kitchen until I finally put down my pen and go switch the beeping off.

Ten minutes is an achievable way to begin. If you've never done any journal writing before try not to worry too much about what you're going to write. Simply sit in a comfortable position and place the pen on the page and begin writing. Fly straight off with your first thought. Knowing the timer is ticking away propels you to get as much writing done as possible in that ten minutes. You can write about everything and anything or nothing important at all.

Often the best way to start is to describe where you are. Write about the room you're in. List items inside the room or describe the people if you're in a public place. What are they wearing, doing, eating and talking about? What are you wearing? Do you feel warm or cool? Focus on your senses. What can you hear, taste, smell, see and feel? Heightening an awareness of each sense helps you really experience where you are. At some later point, when you reread your entry, you'll be amazed how the scene will come back to you in a vivid rush. You'll find yourself remembering details you didn't remember to catch in your journal.

Find a quiet corner, sit down, pull out your journal, set the timer and begin writing. Once your timer ends stop writing. If you feel you've just begun then don't let the timer hinder you. Keep on writing. Write until you can no longer write or your hand cramps up. The timer is simply a device. Try this method and see if you like it. You might find the pressure of a time limit helps you be more concise about your feelings. You might access what you're trying to say faster; a boon in our busy lives. I hope you give this technique a try in your journal.

Photo used with permission from stock.xchng

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