I have spent the last year or so asking myself, mostly in an unnecessarily harsh way, “Why aren’t you writing? You should be writing”. But it occurred to me in the last couple of weeks that I am still writing – It’s just that I am not writing a book. I am doing other forms of writing.
The main way I have been writing is to write in my journal. I don’t know about you but I have notebooks everywhere. I have them by the bed, in the lounge and in my handbag. I always have something with me in which to write thoughts and things I need to remember. Nowadays, when so much is done digitally and online, it is easy to forget sometimes how much enjoyment there is in actually sitting down with a notebook and writing in it.
I have always have a notebook in which I write exactly what I am thinking, good, bad, angry or sad. I write it all down in my journal. These journals are for venting and often I address them to Father God. It is a way of praying on paper. I never keep these journals. Once I have finished them I shred them and dispose of them. If God speaks to me as I am venting I transfer the thought to elsewhere - normally my spiritual journal.
My spiritual journal or prayer journal is where I keep a list of those I am praying for and what their needs are at the moment. I also write down key thoughts about God, what he has been saying to me and what I learned in my Bible study time. These journals I keep. They are a record of how my life with God is progressing.Writing down things God says helps me to remember them better later.
Another way I write is making to-do lists and lists of things I needed to remember. I had to-do lists and reminders everywhere. I mean everywhere. I got lost in a sea of to-do lists and reminders that I could never keep up with. Then a couple of months ago a friend introduced me to the Bullet Journal© system (Bujo© for short). Bullet journals were developed by Ryder Carroll (see http://bulletjournal.com/ for more info). He describes it as “The analog system for the digital age”. It is a handwritten system, which is part planner, part to-do lists, part storing useful information. I find it very useful. I finally have all my to-do lists and reminders in one place. I am more organised than I was as well, which is a bonus. I know where all my lists are. I still use my Google calendar for longer term planning but my bullet journal keeps me on track with my tasks from day to day.
The good thing about this realisation about all my writing is that it is making me realise I am a writer. It is how I connect with the world around me. I was beginning to tell myself I am not really a writer if I am not writing a book but that is a lie. So, I am changing the voice with which I speak to myself . I am being kinder to myself and allowing myself to be a writer, who is not currently writing a book. I have a book I started but am taking a break from it for a while. And that is okay. I am still a writer.
What about you? Do you journal? Does being a writer come out in all the different areas of your life?
Lynda Alsford is a sea loving, cat loving GP administrator and writes in her spare time. She has written two books, He Never Let Go describes her journey through a major crisis of faith whilst working as an evangelist at a lively Church in Chiswick, West London. Being Known describes how God set her free from food addiction. Both books are available in paperback and on kindle on Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com. She writes a newsletter called Seeking the Healer, in which she shares the spiritual insights she has gained on her journey. When she finally starts her blog, it will also be called Seeking the Healer and you can find out more about both at www.lyndaalsford.com.