Day 2: What’s Deep Writing?

Wisdom from yesterday’s comments, without additional comments from me:
From  Kelly Davies, The Naked Executive: “Today- I write myself whole.”

From Mary Ellen, a reality-check on why to participate: ” I can get caught up in “shoulds” and lose track of what my real goal was to begin with. I am at point in my journey where there are many twists and uncertainties; the path ahead is not clear.”

Jackie Dishner wrote about her first day of experience and included a great photo to think about.

And SimplyTrece discovered this piece of wisdom, “Write Myself Whole”. I may also transmute it into “Write Myself Home”.

“Day 2 of what?” you ask? Find out, join us if you feel called.

*     *     *     *    *

You see the shadow first, then the stick. The stick looks straight, the shadow doesn't. What's going on? It's just like reall life.

“I’d like to join,” said the email, “But I don’t know what Deep Writing is.” Good point. I was thinking of calling it Heart Writing, or Truth Telling, or even Authentic Writing, but the term authentic is so exhausted, it wouldn’t even raise its head when I called. And yes, I did think of calling it Raw Writing, but that just didn’t sit right with me. When I asked my book,  Raw Art Journaling flapped its pages at me in disagreement.  I’m open to suggestions.

The best way I can describe this soul-deep, clear-heart writing is the word “truth.” It’s a relentless exploration of your emotions, the truthful details of an event–without spin, without excuses, without bringing in someone else to shoulder some blame. Some questions I asked myself when I sat down to write last night:

  • What are you worried about? (It can also be angry, bitter, jealous, or ‘what can you not forgive?’)
  • What happened (a full description of the incident(s)
  • What did you feel (a full exploration of emotion)
  • What was your part in this event?
  • How do you feel now?
  • What needs to happen to set this straight? (you may not know, or have extravagant ideas.)

By writing down the blood-deep truth, there is no need to spin or dress it up, it’s just you and the journal. I do know it’s important to capture both the left-brain (event description) and right-brain (emotional) parts, to work toward a clear understanding and a resolution.

You may well write for days or weeks without knowing what to do, and that’s fine. Just be open to dreams, ideas, and well, the possibility that you will write down the solution right out of your pen tip without being ready for it. That’s one of the potential results from this kind of writing.

-Quinn McDonald is a creativity coach who helps people deal with change in their lives.

16 thoughts on “Day 2: What’s Deep Writing?

  1. Hi Quinn,

    I have been doing the walking meditation thing pretty regularly for awhile. The deep writing would be a new thing for me, but I’d like to try. It is nice to “run into” you again.


  2. I wrote last night and had the most amazing dreams early this morning. I have been thinking about them all day and how they so accurately depicted how I was feeling. I cant wait to write again tonight and see what happens!

  3. Quinn,
    I love how you describe deep writing and the steps you provide to help guide folks along so they have an idea of where they’re going with it. This process is worth every minute, every word for what can come to the surface. It’s all part of nurturing and validating our emotions and promoting positive change in our mindsets.

    I have chosen your post, What’s Deep Writing, for the #JournalChat Pick of the Day on 12/13/11 for all things journaling on Twitter.
    I will post a link on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, my blog and website Refresh with Dawn Herring, and in Refresh Journal, my weekly e-journal: .

    You’re welcome to join us for #JournalChat Live on Thursdays at 5 EST/2 PST for all things journaling on Twitter; this week’s topic is Journaling to Heal: Body and Soul.

    Thanks again for showing folks the way to Deep Writing.

    Be refreshed,
    Dawn Herring
    JournalWriter Freelance
    Host of #JournalChat Live and Links Edition on Twitter

  4. You could even describe it as “whole” writing, because it involves bringing in all of yourself to participate–your movement, your thoughts, your dreams, your fears, your feelings, etc. All of you. Your friend Kelly Davies hit that one in the ballpark, I think. So far, I can tell you I’m experiencing so many serendipitous moments that I’m amazed I was missing them before this. I know I’ll be thinking about this for a while. Is anyone else here experiencing any of that?

  5. As I was walking this morning I was surprised at all the street lights that guided me and made me feel safe. So many days I didn’t venture out into the dark because I did not feel “safe”. As we begin any journey- it seems dark and scary- this morning was a reminds- the lights are there for you- start the journey- they will appear and you will be safe- naked.

  6. I did write yesterday evening, and it was SO great. Just felt like another person afterwards. Guess it has been a few weeks since I took a whole hour to just do some handwriting.
    Calling it deep writing is fine with me, it’s just “journaling” as in thinking on paper, asking questions and trying to figure out the good and the bad – not my usual “diary writing” which is a description of the day, also great to do. Thanks for the prompt to do it!

    • Giving yourself permission to write as much as you need is important. This kind of writing is new for some people, tomorrow’s article will be on the different ways we use journals. I love the ideas that come up from you!

  7. As others have said, weather can throw a spanner in the works as far as walking meditation is concerned. In Ireland, we have 145km/hr winds, its not light till 9 and dark at 4, and its freezing cold and sleeting. I nearly gave up on the meditation, then decided it was ok to do it lying in my warm and comfy bed.
    The idea of hatching myself arose as a result. Maybe because of the warmth. I’ve posted about it in my blog today “hatching”.
    Its good to be sharing this 30 days with people across the globe.

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