Keeping a Journal, via Jeannine Atkins
I like the ease that comes of setting my own schedule, within or outside the typical workforce hours. I also appreciate the quiet satisfaction that comes of my own, heads-down efforts, whether or not they yield immediate results. But while writing is a solitary endeavor, I'm really a kumbaya girl at heart. So I like knowing that the view from my office window isn't all that different from that of other writers.
This theme is portrayed beautifully in Jeannine Atkins' VIEWS FROM A WINDOW SEAT: Thoughts on Writing And Life. I'll review the entire book later, likely after the busy holiday season is behind us. Meantime, I'd like to share a couple of passages from the chapter called Keeping a Journal.
"I start most mornings at the same kitchen window or on the porch," Jeannine says, "where I often ease into work by recording what I see.
I planted a sunflower, bright and cheerful, and surrounded her with nurturing thoughts. The image itself is a very loose interpretation of something I saw on Pinterest a while back. I drew it freehand and then added text, off the top of my head. Oopsies are part of the process, I kept reminding myself–put down that eraser and keep going! Growth: that's what came to mind as I painted, stamped, scribbled, and glitter-glued the images and text. Funny, isn't it, how certain themes sometimes burst through the topsoil, as if they'd been planted there on purpose?
One thing I know for sure: journaling helps me find clarity in the moment, and calm. Gifts for any writer, maybe more so for memoirists like me. More importantly (and in Jeannine's words again), journaling helps us "commune with ourselves, in a given moment, as honestly as we can."