Saturday, February 14, 2015

Justine's Journal #26

52 Weeks 500 Words

This is how it began: Justine (not her real name) decided to write 500 words (or as near as), anything goes, per week for 52 weeks. She would then submit it for anonymous posting, via me, her friend. Perhaps a pattern will emerge from her words, but at this stage it’s more an experiment I have agreed to share in. I’ll attempt to draw conclusions at the end of this. Stay tuned if this resonates with you.

Week 26

"This is the post that ends the first half of our 52 week experiment. No doubt Elaina will offer another report, but here’s my input on what I have learned over the last 26 weeks.

First up is this: It is easier to achieve a goal when it is shared. If my blogger friend hadn't agreed to help me with this, I honestly doubt I would have got beyond 4 weeks of recording thoughts. Because two of us made a commitment and two of us chose to work it together, here we are, halfway through, and that is amazing.

Secondly, the act of recording thoughts actually creates logic from chaos. I’ll share a secret with you. Some of my initial entries are absolutely chaotic. I sit, I write, I read after, and realise not only how crazy I sound, but how hard it is to find something worthwhile in what I wrote. It forces me to then think really intensely about what I will submit, and that act finds the logic in my thoughts. The end result is that I am better informed about who and what I am. That, too, is astonishing.

And thirdly (because three is enough, and I’m not here to write a report!), my writing skills. This may not be the fanciest writing I share with you, because I prefer a more conversational tone for this, but I tell you in the background I have learned more about sentence structure and grammar than I thought necessary before. It’s as if the writing action forces the brain to begin seeing patterns and structure, and hopefully this has helped what went into my novel. I know for certain it helps with the editing process!

I would also like to say this, to you reading this: we all have our methods of coping, whether it’s a long walk on the beach, playing with your dogs, gardening, a few drinks, zoning in front of the TV, reading a book, whatever.

I’m not suggesting my way is the right way, but I did find a journal helps. I have, in fact, started an actual paper and pen journal, something I jot a thought into every night before I switch the lights out, and it’s a direct result of this experiment. Think about doing something similar. It doesn't have to be a massive thing, it’s your thoughts, do it in a manner you feel able to cope with, but give it a try. I’m hoping, due to this 52 week commitment, I’m creating for myself a habit that will last the rest of my life. When I do put the light out, I feel unburdened, and that is amazing.

Here’s to the next 26 weeks and may it be as informative. Catch you next week!"

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