Listen to Your Journal

Note: Congratulations to Denise Huntington who won the book giveaway on my blog! Denise, send me your mailing address (to QuinnCreative [at] yahoo [dot] com) and Just My Typo will be on the way!  Many of you were generous and said April Lopez and her Dad should win the book. April, send me your mailing address and I’ll send you a book you and your Dad will enjoy!

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listen1Listening to your journal is a skill  often neglected by the very people who would benefit from it. We write a lot in our journals, but then we close the covers, put them on the shelf and forget about the wisdom we just wrote. We are used to writing, asking to be heard–praying for answers. But we often miss the answer when it shows up. And it will show up. That’s one of the benefits of  journaling.

For a while, all the writing is pouring out of you in an endless flow. One day, you will find yourself thinking about what you are writing–the words aren’t pouring out on their own. You are paying attention. And all of a sudden, you write something interesting. Profound. An answer to a question you had. You are now in a deep connection to your own wisdom or a wisdom of your Inner Hero.  You have tunneled deep enough to be away from the distraction, and you just dug up an important truth, courtesy of channeling your Inner Hero. Your Inner Hero gives you permission to dream up solutions.

Truth is surprising. We recognize it and blink. Sometimes we wish it were Quotation-Jonathan-Safran-Foer-music-love-listening-experience-Meetville-Quotes-59162something else. But the flash of recognition is the key. You will know. Maybe it’s not the answer you had hoped for, but maybe it’s exactly what you need.

Your pen may race on, while your mind chews on the answer. You may not want to listen, but you will. You will be drawn back to those words, that flash of recognition. It can be an answer, a key to an answer, or simply a truth you have not believed before. Because you could not.

And there it is, on the page in front of you. Underline it. Save it. You may have to finish your thought, your paragraph, your page, but the answer is right there.

You have created the start of a habit. A habit of writing and listening. And when you listen, you’ll find answers. You might have to write a long time to learn to trust yourself, but once you start to listen, you will hear your answers.

Quinn McDonald is a writer who has a lot to learn.


18 thoughts on “Listen to Your Journal

  1. Hi again Quinn. I hope you get this. I just wanted to let you know that my dad passed away last night. He was not alone and he was not in pain.

  2. Pingback: Weekly Retreats - Link Round-Up | Pierced Wonderings

    • I got it April, but I removed your address from your post. About 1,000 people a day read my blog and I’m not sure posting your address made me feel secure. But I do have it and the book will be on its way.

  3. HI Quinn. I am totally blown away with the kindness of your readers. I am touched very deeply this morning. Late last night my dad was moved to our local hospice house. We are not sure if the cancer has invaded his brain or if there is another problem but he has fallen several times every day for the last week or so. I will treasure this book and the hearts who said that I should receive one. I am at a very sad and difficult time and I love to see that people care. This warmed my heart. Thank you all. Quinn do I email you my address or post here?

    • I have, no doubt, the best readers on the interwebs. I was blown away by the generosity myself. It made sense to get you a book you could enjoy with your Dad. I”m sorry he’s in hospice, but you are surrounded by love.

  4. I do get these moments, of recognition, of truths or inspirations coming through the ramblings. Sometimes they are a bit scary and I put them away, not ready to deal with them yet. I try not to beat myself up about this running away, and just be happy that at least I am aware of what I am doing.

  5. I’m so pleased for you winners Quinn! You are very generous.

    I’m about to go through an unfinished but rather large one (an old A4 page a day diary) and remove some sections I’ve underlined or highlighted in some way. After that I’ll burn it . . . a fresh start is called for in this late start I’ve begun . . . just carrying what I need for the journey ahead, travelling light, keeping it simple sweetheart.

  6. Thank you so much for selecting me to win “Just My Typo”. I’m sure I will enjoy it! And I’m happy you are sending a copy to April Lopez to read with her dying father. I just recently read then tore up several journals kept during the early 2000’s. It seemed I was more unhappy than happy during my late marriage and that was reflected in those journals. However, writing regularly in those journals brought me back to poetry. There were several partial or finished poems in the journals that I saved and hope to publish in a chapbook some time in the future. Much of the other torn pieces of my journals will be used as collage fodder for my art journal . . . so nothing of those years — including my pain — will go to waste.

  7. Very interesting post—I’m currently nursing a broken heart. It’s been almost 5 months and I still catch myself pining for him…I kept many journals during our 9 years together and though I destroyed them not long ago, I DO remember as I was destroying them, I read the words I had written…thousands upon thousands upon thousands, and I sadly realized that most of what I wrote was unhappy. He was so often homesick for Mexico, confused about what he wanted and where he wanted to be, felt empty and would withdraw. He had a porn addiction to self-medicate and that had caused me great pain. I wrote many admonishments to myself about this man being incapable of being a fully present partner and certainly a marriage would be a disaster, filled with uncertainty and his moodiness. I had described how he would seem to close a great, heavy door, and though I knocked it would not open…There WERE wonderful, happy times—colors and flavors and fiestas…new experiences…love and friendship—but then he would become a dark cloud and it would be ME who was raining. This post was a reminder that I KNEW through those years that what we had together just wasn’t enough. For either of us. Yes, I still love him and miss him but I am not helping myself by pining and romanticizing…
    The words I wrote were true and meant to be as friends to myself.

  8. Wonderful wise words ,appropriate as I have written a lot this week and this has gelled many thought patterns together. Getting close to a few lightbulb moments. Some not pretty,some just plain fact,others marvelous ….listen,accept and let go will be my mantra for a while,journalling has helped massively.
    You mentioned our word of the year recently . Mine was wild. It has been useful and it has reared it’s head in unexpected ways but that’s only just become apparent! . The only wild thing I have done was book a trip to India for new year. …however the results of that mean I have had to focus on really shifting out of my welfare situation after the tragic events of two years ago,moving country ,divorce etc as you know. I booked this way back in April and after thought it rather foolish as had no finances ,it was a cracking deal and my friend put it on her credit card! However,a goal and a focus is what spurs you on and it occurred to me today that in think I am going to pull it off,with money,childcare and time. I love India and the vibrancy color and soul I feel in my spiritual home will hopefully awaken my wild side again and take me to a new level of perspective and growth. …some time to reflect and move foward.
    Thanks for being my online best mate…I love your posts …from across the oceans in stormy Uk…blessings Quinn.
    Never know I might even have a wild time dancing on the beach!

    • India is such a different place–a way to make you see differently, think differently, and feel differently. Another country, culture, music, food, makes us bring out parts of ourselves we don’t use in our “regular” life. Often, that switch in surroundings gives us permission to explore other aspects of ourselves, and maybe bring them back with us to the “old” world. Going on that trip will be wonderful for you! Glad you are going.

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