Friday, January 02, 2009

Friday Forays In Fiction: Journaling


At a Journal Workshop: Writing to Access the Power of the Unconscious and Evoke Creative Ability

I first worked with Ira Progroff's process journaling method in the late eighties and early nineties. I owned my own copies of his At a Journal Workshop and Process Meditation which was a companion volume then but has now been folded into the latest edition of At a Journal Workshop.

I wish the blurbs at Amazon and elsewhere had been clearer because I did not understand that Process Meditation had been folded into At a Journal Workshop and I wanted them both together again so when I ordered Workshop I tracked down a used copy of Meditation at the same time.

Anyway. What has this to do with fiction writing which is ostensibly the topic of these Friday Foray posts? Well, Progroff's Process Jouraling is designed to stimulate the creative aspects of our own mental processes. I found it helpful before in addressing a variety of areas of my life in a more creative way: social, personal, physical, phychological, spiritual, as well as writing.

One of the things about process journaling that serves to stimulate creativity is the unique feedback effect that it uses. This feedback between the multiple sections in the journal is the primary thing that works to stimulate creativity as it helps you see patterns and make connections that aren't at first obvious.

The section provided for carrying on dialogues with different aspects of your life was the one that first had an impact on my writing as it includes a subsection for dialoguing with our works those activities in our lives towards which we direct energy. Which would include though not necessarily be limited to projects like novels, paintings, fine needlework.

In spite of the success Progoff's Process Journaling provided me in my creative writing and many other things, I dropped the practice in the early nineties. I kept meaning to return but I lost the books in our 2001 move. Ever since I got the WhizFolders Pro last February and saw how it was possible to color-code with highlight, window color, text color and so forth, I realized how ideal that would be for doing Process Jouraling and itched to get my hands on the books again. Now I have them and Wednesday night I set up a WhizFolder for the workbook. This is going to beat a ringed binder all to pieces.


Above is a screen shot of my Process Journal. Below is the complete list of section and subsection titles for the workbook. You can see the list and how I've color-coded it in the image of its WhizFolder above. That image also shows how I've given the topic windows of each section the same color as its title in the sidebar list. The Progoff workbook binders have colored tabs for the section dividers. The idea for making the window the color of its section was mine. I find that having the whole window I'm typing in be the color of its section helps me keep track of where I am, what I am doing, and also to engage more quickly with each task I turn to in the workbook.

INTENSIVE JOURNAL WORKBOOK
PERIOD LOG
DAILY LOG
_1/1/2009
_1/2/2009
_1/3/2009
DIALOGUE DIMENSION
_DIALOGUE WITH PERSONS
_DIALOGUE WITH WORKS
_DIALOGUE WITH SOCIETY
_DIALOGUE WITH EVENTS
_DIALOGUE WITH THE BODY
DEPTH DIMENSION
_DREAM LOG
-DREAM ENLARGEMENTS
_TWILIGHT IMAGERY LOG
_IMAGERY EXTENSIONS
_INNER WISDOM DIALOGUE
LIFE/TIME DIMENSION
_LIFE HISTORY LOG
_STEPPING STONES
_INTERSECTIONS
_NOW
MEANING DIMENSION
_MEDITATION LOG
_CONNECTIONS
_MANTRA/CRYSTALS
_PEAKS, DEPTHS & EXPLORATIONS
TESTAMENT

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This week's update on my continuing work with Mobile Hopes my NaNo novel:

I must admit that I've done little with Mobile Hopes this past week except think and daydream a great deal about it as the time was consumed with the prep for my trip north to my Mom's and then getting settled in. But the project of setting up the Process Journal in Whiz was as much for the sake of Mobile Hopes as anything else.

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