Journaling for the Soul: Surprise yourself

How’re ya getting on? Today marks the halfway mark in the course.

Good job getting this far without quitting!

You’ve made it further than many others! And don’t worry if you aren’t doing these as the emails are coming in, the most important thing is to do it at a pace that suits you.

Today I wanted to start with a quote from Mexican writer Carlos Fuentes:

“Bad books are about things the writer already knew before he wrote them.”

– Carlos Fuentes

How this applies to life is that without a sense of discovery, most things will simply not be interesting.

Getting that sense of discovery is why we journal.

You want to know more about yourself. You want to get intimate with the things you don’t know about yourself, but maybe suspect.

You write because you want to discover what you have to say.

And how will you know what you think until you read what you’ve written?

Writing is a much more complex act than simply transcribing existing thoughts into words as accurately as possible.

If that’s all you do, you’re serving as a reporter.

The physical act of writing is the cause, not the effect, of new and original thought.

And a creative journey is a journey of discovery.

Good journaling is about acquiring wisdom and perspective, less about explaining the point of a given experience and more about exploring and learning about yourself.

It’s the splendid gift of not knowing which drives you to find out more.

Because it’s kind of like driving a car in the dark, you can’t see further than the headlights, but you can travel the entire journey that way.

By having a regular journaling practice, you actually start to lift the darkness around you and get a clearer view of the landscape you’re driving through.

Kind of like bringing up the sun to get a better look.

So, today you’re going to explore the things you don’t know more deeply.


Part 1: I want to know why.

To identify interesting gaps in your understanding or knowledge, I want you to create a list of at least 10 items that fit into the category “I want to know why.”

Some examples:

I want to know why I always see the same woman sitting at the bus stop but never actually getting on a bus.

I want to know why I always end up behind an old lady counting out her total sum in small change at the supermarket when I’m in a hurry.

I want to know why my neighbours always get super noisy when I’m about to go to bed.

Part 2: Choose one of them and free-write about it.