Dear Journal Writer,
I’ve seen you scrawling.
I’ve seen you furiously scribbling away.
I’ve seen you fill reams and reams of sheets
I’ve seen how the grip around your pen increases and decreases.
I've likened that experience to looking at a time-lapse video in motion…
I’ve watched as you’ve hesitated to sometimes put words to the thoughts swarming around in your head.
I’ve watched as you’ve stared into oblivion when you couldn’t put words to the thoughts swarming in your head.
I’ve watched you sit glass-eyed when you’ve been fraught with trying to understand your thoughts so you could put them down in words.
After you’ve written, I’ve noticed the elation that comes from feeling the weight lifted off your shoulders…
Sometimes, I’ve noticed the relief that comes from being able to express something for the very first time…
Occasionally, I’ve noticed the surprise that comes from catching yourself off-guard by your own revelations on paper…
But of late, you’ve stopped scribbling away. The reams are now musty and blank. The pen has been rendered an orphan.
And of late, I’ve been noticing a wistful look when you leaf through some of your previous scrawlings.
I’ve heard you mutter to yourself: “Damn! I sound so sad. There’s so much hurt and pain in here.”
I’ve begun to wonder: Are you judging yourself for expressing your inner-most world to yourself? Are you terrified of how you’ve felt? Does the angst and the hurt haunt you so much that you’ve decided to stop writing completely?
How does it feel to choke your own voice?
How does it feel to fill that void with distractions?
Does thumbing away on social media, responding to and sometimes, perhaps, even being a troll serve as an outlet for that repressed angst?
Is being pseudo-poet-philosopher on Instagram fulfilling the urge to be expressive AND authentic?
Yes, I’m judging you.
I’m judging you for not writing anymore. Not writing authentically anymore, at least.
I am judging you for not being connected with yourself anymore.
I’m judging you for abandoning me.
Journal-writing is the closest to expressive writing or self-expression some of us have ever been.
For that exact reason, in my conversations with friends as well as with folks who’ve been a part of ‘Be You For You
’ workshops, a topic that comes up a lot is 'the decline in journal writing'.
Erstwhile journal-writers have claimed to stop journaling either because:
It’s felt like a repetitive process with little or no outcomes
They’ve found themselves on loop without having any breakthroughs
Sometimes penning difficult thoughts and emotions have taken a toll
I’ve been there too. And I’ve had times when I’d stopped journaling too.
However that wasn’t a solution. Writing helps us connect with our innermost worlds. And to not exploit this medium, is to do ourselves a huge disservice – this is more true if we’ve never journalled before!
To be disconnected from our thoughts, is to fail at understanding our emotions.
To not understand our emotions, is to fail at comprehending why we are reacting in a certain manner to stimuli in our external environment.
For the sake of simplification, I’ll say that expressive writing is journal-writing with nuance
The merit of expressive writing – i.e. writing to express and not impress because your only audience is yourself – is that it is non-intrusive
. We express and become acquainted with our deepest, most vulnerable selves when the nib hits the page. In other words, when we write, we begin to reconnect with our thoughts and our emotions.
Be You For You takes participants through guided activities that avoid pitfalls of finding yourself on a repetitive loop with no breakthroughs or finding yourself in the throes of emotions you suddenly feel ill-equipped to manage.
Be You For You enables participants to begin taking a step closer towards self-awareness.
Because like Robert Holden has said: Your relationship with yourself sets the tone for every other relationship you have.
I am facilitating a Be You For You workshops in Mumbai and Bangalore! Drop me an email on nomadicthunker[at]gmail[dot]com if you're interested in attending and would like to know more.
You may download the brochure here and FAQs here