How to Choose the Best Journaling Method for Your Lifestyle

How to Choose the Best Journaling Method for Your Lifestyle

In an effort to make sense of the emotional turbulence that is adolescence, many young girls retreat to their rooms to scribble pages and pages in a journal. Flooding our emotions onto the page is how many of us arrive at the practice to begin with.

As I came to learn, the furious journaling I embraced as a teenager wasn’t sustainable in adulthood. A new stage of life demanded a new approach to the reckless and uninhibited journaling I enjoyed as a girl.

Most likely, the real reason you’re having hard timing sticking to your journaling habit has less to do with your commitment to the practice, and more with not embracing the best kind of journaling style for what your life looks like at the moment. 

This Kitchen Tool Taught Me a Valuable Lesson About Change

This Kitchen Tool Taught Me a Valuable Lesson About Change

It all started last month when I spent two hours doing a deep clean of our condo before friends and family arrived for my son's birthday party, and while I was up to my elbows in towels and non-toxic cleaner, I made one very small change in the kitchen. I moved the sponge.

Our sponge rests on a ceramic tray painted in an abstract teal and navy pattern. Its home is usually on the counter, to the left of the sink, but to free up the space and make it feel even cleaner I moved it to the right side of the sink, on the silver lip where the dish soap and hand soap used to be.

It was one of those seemingly insignificant changes that actually made me feel better about life for a few minutes.

But what happened next surprised me. For about four days, whenever I picked up the sponge and dish soap to wash the remnants of our meals, I would place the soap bottle directly onto the ceramic dish.. Within seconds, I realized the mistake, but it got me thinking about muscle memory and change.

How to Gently Abandon Writing Projects (Plus 5 Questions to Ask Before You Move On)

How to Gently Abandon Writing Projects  (Plus 5 Questions to Ask Before You Move On)

We all have them: discarded stories, poem fragments, first drafts of novels we haven’t looked at in years, recipes we never tested, old journals, and so on.

Starting projects we don’t finish comes with the territory of being a writer who changes her mind, grows, and embraces new life experiences, but the process of letting one project go for another isn’t always straightforward.

Before I made the decision to stop writing one food blog and start another one, I struggled for months before making a decision. During this interim period, I was confident I needed to do something new but unsure what the details might look like. My spirit was restless, confused, and hungry, a sentiment shared by others.

We’ve all stood at a crossroads in our writing journeys, wondering which way to turn. Do we walk Robert Frost’s less traveled path, or stay on the road we’re on until reaching a destination?  

Use a Museum Visit to Boost Your Creativity

Use a Museum Visit to Boost Your Creativity

During my junior year of college, I took a seminar on Impressionist art led by a visiting Monet scholar who was intensely passionate, offering insight into every brush stroke.

Impressionists were true observers, he said, the type of artists who could look in a puddle after it rained and find beauty in the mud and the worm that crawled to dry land.

Impressionists were all about the details.

Consider the fruit in Cezanne’s famous still life paintings. If you look closely, you’ll see the tension. Thick, feathered brushstrokes create a cradle for the apples, without which they would roll to the floor.

We can come unnerved at any moment, always hanging somewhere between hope and fear, or love and sorrow.

7 Supportive Facebook Groups for Writers

7 Supportive Facebook Groups for Writers

Social media often conjures up feelings of inadequacy, urgency, and anxiety. Everyone else’s living room is more beautiful than yours (based on Instagram). There are more cat videos than you can possibly devote your time to (according to your Facebook feed). And you create boards for vacations you won’t take for years (thank you, Pinterest).

For writers, social media provides an additional dilemma to grapple with: distraction.

Twitter feeds draw us into conversations, some valuable, some not. RSS feeds pull us into reading blog posts when we should be writing our own. Pinterest offers inspirational quotes to stick on our mirrors, but can’t do the work for us.

It’s a fact of the modern writer’s life that social media makes us procrastinate.

But when you’re intentional with your social media consumption and strategically participate in conversations where you can both be of service to others as well as find support for your own projects, everything changes.

As my friend Kasey Fleisher Hickey notes, “the key to using Facebook with intention is Groups, Pages, managing your settings, and unfollowing when you see no value add.”