Showing posts with label Journaling. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Journaling. Show all posts

Journaling Goals

There are plenty of benefits to journaling from self-care and emotional wellbeing to problem solving and productivity. It's one of my favorite tools!

Last month on GoalChatLive, I discussed journaling with Jen Jones Donatelli, Creative Groove; Lynda Monk, director of the International Association for Journal Writing; and cartoonist Chari Pere. The panel shared their early journaling experiences, as well as thoughts on the value of a regular practice, options for journaling, and so much more.

Journaling Benefits

  • Lynda: Journaling helps you to know – and craft – who you truly are. It’s one thing to think our thoughts, it’s another to write them down. Plus, knowing yourself improves you relationships with others 
  • Jen: It gives you a reason to carve out time for yourself every day 
  • Chari: You get to say things to yourself that you wouldn’t necessarily say out loud 
  • Jen: Journaling also helps you track synchronicity 
  • Lynda: Manifestation happens when you think about what you want, write it down, and speak it

Journaling Goals

  • Chari: Pick one thing to write about: gratitude, a good deed, etc. Then, put a doodle next to it. The doodle should add to what you are writing 
  • Jen: Find ways to make your journaling routine really juicy: find your ideal spot, snack, or practice to make the entire experience enticing 
  • Lynda: Join a journaling community

Watch Our Conversation:

Final Thoughts

  • Jen: Give yourself some grace around your journaling practice 
  • Chari: Start by writing in 15 minutes sessions 
  • Lynda: Write about your thoughts and feelings, not just what you see and experience
How, when and what you journal about is up to you. Your journal. Your choice. Commit to setting journaling goals and enjoy the benefits that come from it!

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For more inspiration and motivation, follow @TheDEBMethod on Facebook, Instagram, and Linkedin! 

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What are your tips for creating courses? Please share in the comments. 

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Debra Eckerling is the award-winning author of Your Goal Guide: A Roadmap for Setting, Planning and Achieving Your Goals and founder of the D*E*B METHOD, which is her system for goal-setting simplified. A goal-strategist, corporate consultant, and project catalyst, Debra offers personal and professional planning, event strategy, and team building for individuals, businesses, and teams. She is also the author of Write On Blogging and Purple Pencil Adventures; founder of Write On Online; host of  #GoalChatLive aka The DEB Show podcast and Taste Buds with Deb. She speaks on the subjects of writing, networking, goal-setting, and social media.

Featured Productivity Tool: How to Use a Journal for Clarity & Decision-Making

For writers, a journal is your Swiss-army knife. It can be used for just about everything, While journaling is traditionally used for jotting down what’s going on in your life – tracking your actions, activities, and emotions, one of my favorite ways to use a journal is for clarity and decision-making. 

Whether you’re pondering your next writing project or dealing with a personal matter, you may find yourself mulling it over constantly … and sometimes to no avail. However, when you take pen to paper – or fingers to keyboard – you are much more likely to come up with an effective solution.

To gain clarity for about just about anything, try my directed journaling technique. Directed journaling is stream-of-consciousness writing spurts, focused on a specific theme, issue, or problem. 

Here’s how Directed Journaling works:

  • In your electronic calendar, schedule between three and five 15-minute sessions over a few days. Be sure to set a reminder. 
  • When you get the alert for your appointment, set a timer for 15 minutes, and start writing. Note: While there are numerous benefits to writing by hand, if you are more likely to complete the process by typing on a computer, go for it! 
  • During each journaling session, ask yourself pointed questions. 

For a writing project: 
  • What’s the genre? The format? Novel, screenplay, story...
  • Who is the main character?
  • What's the motivation?
  • What's the theme? How do the characters reflect the theme? 
  • How does the story begin? End?

For something personal:
  • What's the issue? 
  • How can I resolve it? 
  • What are all the possible solutions?
  • What are the pros? The cons?
  • What are my other options? 

When you do your journaling, think outside the box. Be as logical - and as extreme - as possible. Your journal rants are for your eyes only. And don’t worry about repeating yourself. The idea is to get everything out of your head and onto the page.

Here’s the Trick

  • Do not read any of these journal entries until you have done the process several times.
  • Once you have exhausted your thoughts on the subject, then you may read the journal entries. 
  • As you go through them, note the ideas you repeat – those are what you are most drawn to. You may also come up with solutions that seem to come from left-field. That’s what happens when you allow yourself to babble on paper. 

Final Thoughts 

When you open yourself to all possibilities and look at them objectively, you are more likely to come up with a successful solution or comfortable decision, along with a feasible plan. And when you have a plan in place, it’s much easier to face and embrace change!

Good luck. The power is literally in your hands.  

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For more inspiration and motivation, follow @TheDEBMethod on Twitter and Linkedin! 

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How has journaling helped you? What is your journaling style? Do you use pen and paper? Or do you type your thoughts? Please share in the comments. 

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Debra Eckerling is the award-winning author of Your Goal Guide: A Roadmap for Setting, Planning and Achieving Your Goals and founder of the D*E*B METHOD, which is her system for goal-setting simplified. A writer, editor, and project catalyst, Deb works with entrepreneurs, executives, and creatives to set goals and manage their projects through one-on-one coaching, workshops, and online support. She is also the author of Write On Blogging and Purple Pencil Adventures; founder of Write On Online; Vice President of the Los Angeles Chapter of the Women's National Book Association; host of the #GoalChat Twitter Chat, #GoalChatLive on Facebook and LinkedIn, and The DEB Show podcast. She speaks on the subjects of writing, networking, goal-setting, and social media.

26 Reasons a Writer Should Blog - Part 3

Is it possible that writing a blog can improve your health?

By the time you have read all 26 reasons why writers need to blog, you will know the answer to this question is another


According to the experts, blogging can help you 

  • emotionally, 
  • mentally, and 
  • physically.

Let's take a closer look at that statement as we move on to our next four letters in the series.

8.       H is for Healthy Habits

  • Regular journaling is good for your health. Many psychologists and other health professionals tell how journaling helps you process traumatic and stressful events. It is a means of dealing with emotions and thoughts without having to work through another person.
  • Blogging works the same way. After all, that’s what blogging is—a Web log. It requires a commitment of time, devotion, and discipline, all healthy habits to develop in this crazy lifestyle many of us seem to follow today. 
  • Blogging keep your mind working, and many believe when we write about emotional topics, it increases the effectiveness of our immune systems*. A well-working immune system will keep you physically healthier.
  • We can also write about health topics. These would make an excellent theme for a month of posts. Following a month’s dieting habits might encourage us to be more disciplined ourselves as well as encourage others to follow our examples.
* Pennebaker, J.W. (1997). Writing about emotional experiences as a therapeutic process.
 [Electronic version]. Psychological Science, 8 (3), pp. 162-166.

9.       I is for Inspiration
  • We need to be inspired so we can create a post that will benefit others. As we write, we need to give thought to those who will read our words. Will this encourage them? Will they be inspired to read more on the topic? Will what we write improve their day? 
  • There are many ways to find inspiration for your next blog post or series, however, one that really makes sense is to look at your blog comments. Remember to ask relevant questions at the end of each post and then see what your readers come up with. If you don’t get enough helpful comments, try going to another blog that is following a similar theme. Read their questions, and then use them as a kicking-off point for your next blog or series. (Don’t copy their answers though!) 
  • A blog post should not attempt to cover a subject. After all, how could I possibly have told everything there is to know about the Serengeti National Park in one post? People have written books on that topic alone. All I wanted to achieve for that post is an article to titillate the senses of my readers. Maybe they will want to read more. Maybe they’ll get a book out of the library or spend their morning on Google. Or maybe one person somewhere in the world will be inspired to add the Serengeti to their bucket list! If you want to cover a topic, then you definitely need to turn it into a series of posts.

10.     J is for Journal

  • Your blog could become a personal journal. Until recently, I thought this was the most common purpose for a blog. But doing the A-Z challenge I became impressed with the creativity people show in choosing themes they can follow for a month, one alphabet letter at a time. 
  • A Travelblog can cover a journey. One writer was traveling across the States with her husband. She wrote a daily blog on a new place she’d seen, following the letters of the alphabet. What if there wasn’t a suitable town for that letter? She would come up with a creative title. e.g. H is for Horse Statue in City Centre. (My own suggestion as we have one in Port Elizabeth where I live.) Even as I write this, my brother and sister-in-law are preparing for an overland trip to East Africa which will take them four months. They have built a blog for the family and their friends to follow their adventures.
  • Blog a life’s journal. This could be public, or you may choose to make it a Family and Friends Only blog, where people join by invitation only. This could be done chronologically, but if you’re anywhere near my age that could take an awfully long time to write! If I were to do this, I would probably go for an A to Z theme, and choose places or events or people to write about for each letter. 
    • Imagine the surprise I had one day when I learned my 30-year-old son believed he was born in the city where his brother had been born. He had gone through his life believing that was his birthplace. His true place of birth only came out by accident! 
    • Ask yourself, how much do your children know about your life? Do they know your place of birth? Were there unusual circumstances to your birth? In today’s global society more than ever before, families are fragmented, and a Life’s Blog could be a great way to bridge the gap between the generations. 

11.     K is for Kindle or other e-books

  • Blog a Book: Nina Amir has written a book and has a website devoted to this topic. Once a year during November, at the same time as NaNoWriMo, she encourages other writers to join her in a commitment to write a complete book on their blog. I did this one year, but I didn’t prepare adequately in advance. I plan to do this again, but next time I will spend some time before kick-off choosing 26 (perhaps) chapter headings on the proposed theme. 
    • Each day I will write one chapter of the book and post it on my blog. At the end of the month, provided I have kept to schedule, I will have the draft copy of an e-book
    • The technique to convert the writing into an e-book, or even a pdf book, is straightforward. Numerous books are available to help. Just Google the topic. I did a course with Val Waldeck a couple of years ago, and I felt a real sense of achievement when the book opened beautifully on my Kindle. 
    • I have considered turning Out of Africa into an e-book, but I will have to do it in pdf format as I have used many pictures in this theme. Something to consider for future ideas. 
  • Collect books and information on blogging. Go to Amazon and you will be amazed at the e-Books available on the topic. There is just no reason for us to remain in the cyber-darkness, wishing we could build a blog.
  • Get yourself a Kindle today! If you don't have a Kindle or other e-reader, go to Amazon and download a Kindle app for free. There is one available for your PC, your laptop, most smart-phones and your tablet. 
    • Early in the days of Kindle a friend suggested to me that, although neither of us could afford to buy Kindles especially as we both live in South Africa, we should nevertheless download the app to our computers and start to collect books that came up on special or even free. I followed her advice, and when I eventually received and registered my Kindle, it immediately had all the books I had collected during the preceding year.  

Have you learned anything new today? Or is there something you would like me to cover in this series? Can you think of ways you can use your blog material in other ways? Share your ideas in a comment below. 


26 Reasons to blog - part 1: A - C
26 Reasons to blog - part 2: D - G

    SHIRLEY CORDER lives on the coast in South Africa with her husband, Rob. Her book, Strength Renewed: Meditations for your Journey through Breast Cancer, has brought encouragement and inspiration to a multitude of friends and contacts across the world.

    Visit Shirley through where she encourages writers, or at where she encourages those in the cancer valley. You can also meet with her on Twitter or Facebook.

    Sign up to receive a short devotional message from Shirley in your inbox once a week. 

    What is Flash Memoir

    Guest post by Jane Hertenstein

    Many of us are looking to write memories—either in the form of literary memoir or simply to record family history, in order to pass down stories to children or grandchildren. In Freeze Frame: How To Write Flash Memoir I look at memoir in small, bite-size pieces. Not all at once, but in small bursts of flash.

    Flash is a relatively new genre. Other terms for flash include: Sudden, micro, postcard, short shorts. The roots of flash lie in the vignette or scene. There is no widely accepted definition for the length. Some journals are asking for no more than 100 words. Six Minute Magazine is looking for quality fiction that can be read in under six minutes. The upper limits of flash might be 1,000 words. Much of what I love about flash is about living in the moment. Capturing and seizing a point in time. Freeze framing it—much like a Polaroid snapshot.

    Memoir can be defined as autobiography that uses novelesque or literary devices. Perhaps it is better to say that memoir is autobiography that relies less on chronology and facts and more on telling a story.

    I like to treat the page like a friend, like a sounding board, or what the poet Frank O’Hara has described as unmade phone calls. The Internet actually makes it easy to record one’s life: Instagram! Facebook! Twitter!

    Julia Cameron in The Artist’s Way instructs us to “make time,” not wait to “find time” for writing. One of the best ways to make time for writing is through journal writing. She suggests free writing where for 10 – 20 minutes you write whatever comes into your head without editing, without even lifting your pen from the page. Here is a link to how to write what she calls “Morning Pages.”

    No matter what it is called or how you view it, the writer needs to be able to slow down, turn off the critical, and turn inward.

    EXERCISE: Where you are at, right now, whatever you want to call it: blog, journal, prayer, an unmade phone call, twitter, tweet—send one out. Write it, the flutter on your heart. No more than 500 words.
    Read the headlines: ever wonder what’s behind them. The newspaper is full of real stories that at some point might alter or connect with our own story. Think tsunami, school closing, threat of e. coli in lettuce.

    Ernest Hemingway had a background in journalism where he was embedded in several wars and learned to write concisely and yet place the reader there.

    EXERCISE: What’s in the news? Using a headline as a prompt, write a flash.

    This can be strictly memoir or you can take any headline and place yourself there as a reporter. Write about what affects you—your flash might also be written as an opinion (op-ed) piece.

    Much of memoir is about ordinary life. Despite the fact that nothing important ever happened to you (I’m assuming), if your story nudges the reader to remember, then you will connect. People are interested in ordinary stories if they have the smell and feel of authenticity. An honesty that resonates. A skillful writer will use words like blood, injecting life into a story—and visa versa a story into life.

    EXERCISE: Compose a flash built around your to-do list.

    Even if you think you have lived a boring life, all of us have anecdotal moments, snapshots that if freeze-framed and cropped can offer entertainment/education/refuge for fellow readers.

    About the Author:
    Jane Hertenstein’s current obsession is flash. She is the author of over 40 published stories, a combination of fiction, creative non-fiction, and blurred genre both micro and macro. Her latest book Freeze Frame: How to Write Flash Memoir  is available through Amazon. Jane is a 2-time recipient of a grant from the Illinois Arts Council. She can be found blogging about Flash Memoir at


    Is Thinking About Writing, Well Writing?
    How to Write a Novel – Start with a Novel Outline
    Letting Go of the Novel – How to Deal with Empty Pen Syndrome

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    Book Spotlight: Bible Bites and Guest Post with Shirley Kufeldt

    An interesting twist to learning the Bible and great way to preserve family history!

    I'm not here to share my view points on religion, however, there are many Christians in my family so when I meet author Shirley Kufeldt and she shared her little booklets with me, I was intrigued. I had never seen anything done like this and really liked the idea. I know a lot of people who would love these personal journals/devotions. So I asked her to share a bit about her books and inspiration for putting them together.

    Albert Einstein stated:  God always takes the simplest way.

    BIBLE BITES booklets are small pocket-sized monthly journals that include current prayer requests and focused daily Scripture for journaling and reflection. This is a simple solution to a situation many would like to resolve. Through BIBLE BITES people can easily learn, memorize or meditate on Scripture as they journal regularly with direction and purpose.


    I’ve learned to use what God gives me and to praise Him for what He takes away because both attitudes bring glory to Him

    My working years were spent as the admin in offices where I excelled in organizing, editing and simplifying the work process. Now retired, becoming an author is a total career change for me and a chance to start something new.

    While attending a Christian-based support group at my church for a number of years, I realized recovery from codependency is hard work. Too many attendees just showed up without doing the homework and missed out on what God could do for them and through them. They didn’t invest time in their own recovery from codependency. It was my desire to develop a simple method for those folks who, for whatever reason, are unable to complete homework assignments but have a sincere desire to examine God’s Word and develop a personal relationship with Him. 

    Many of us have received greeting cards with a Bible verse specific to the card’s sentiment. I now enjoy reading my Bible as History, using my admin skills to look for treasure, to find familiar verses in context and discover the author’s original intent. The Bible is the story of real people who lived, believed in God, disobeyed Him, experienced consequences for sin, and then amazingly found redemption in His all-consuming love for them. 

    In 30 years of Bible studies, I’d been encouraged to journal my personal faith walk but was never successful. For the past three years, I journaled in small booklets developed as devotionals, which include pages for prayer requests and topical verses for each title in the series.

    In prayer, God gave me the name BIBLE BITES and the cover photo for the first book, Meet God and His SonBIBLE BITES records an individual’s faith walk and connects the writer to their descendants with a record of hopes, dreams, aspirations and answered prayers. BIBLE BITES will become a treasured family legacy similar to family photo albums and heirloom items passed on to future generations.

    Albert Einstein stated that Everything should be as simple as it is, but not simpler. Beginning the habit of regular devotions while developing a personal relationship with God can hardly be simpler than responding to His Word in BIBLE BITES.
    I continue to use my admin skills compiling verses for future titles. I’m learning to promote my books and have been gratified when friends enthusiastically appreciate my efforts to make Bible verses so much more user friendly. Now I can praise God for taking something away from me—my fears because BIBLE BITES deepens my relationship with Christ and brings glory to God.

    Book Titles:
    Paperback ISBN: 978-1-61244-099-6

    Paperback ISBN:  978-1-61244-100-9

    Paperback ISBN: 978-1-61244-101-6

    Paperback ISBN:  978-1-61244-102-3

    Publisher: Halo Publishing, Int.

    Places where your book(s) are available for sale:

    Note: Verses come from the New Living Translation


    Shirley Kufeldt is a wife, mother, grandmother and tea party activist who helped raise their two daughters with prayers that ended by Thanking God for giving us our daughters. She now searches for Bible verses for her BIBLE BITES Legacy Series so others will easily find the one verse that will cause them to develop a personal relationship with Jesus Christ for salvation. Check out her posts at and on Facebook.

    You can find out more about Shirley Kufeldt and her Bible Bites series at

    Don’t Depend 100% on Your Publisher

    By Terry Whalin (@terrywhalin) In 2007, America’s Publicist Rick Frishman invited me to participate on the faculty of MegaBook Marketing Uni...