Thursday, April 20, 2017

Journaling: Q = Quotes (as prompts)

Yesterday I talked about using the Visual Arts, specifically photographs, as journaling prompts. Today I will focus on using the Literary Arts to prompt our journaling efforts.

Using the words of others to inspire our own writing is a valid method of brainstorming. It isn’t plagiarism if we don’t publish it. Since journaling is for our eyes only, there is no risk.

Music especially has a way of transporting us back to a different place in time. 

For example, when I hear Rod Stewart’s song, Maggie May, I am instantly reminded of sitting in the back of the sixth grade school bus. I had just moved from Texas to Connecticut, and I had transitioned from parochial school to public school. While I have no other vivid memory of the bus ride itself, I have enough memories of that sixth grade year to fill several journals. That is the power of music.

When I listen to music, however, I typically focus on rhythm and melody. For me, lyrics often remain in the background. I'm always surprised when I take the time to read lyrics of a favorite song, they somehow capture exactly what I’m feeling. This multi-modal form of communication - sight, sound, and rhythm (touch) is especially powerful for bringing the subconscious to the surface.

However, musical lyrics are not the only texts suitable for journaling.

Since the advent of Pinterest, I've started a collection of favorite quotes (they can be found on my Words to Live By board). I typically use these for inspiration or positive affirmations. However, quotes can also serve as journaling prompts. The concise language of others stirs up emotions and memories within us.

Spiritual journaling is often aided by reading through scriptures. Once you discover a verse that speaks to you, don't be afraid to personalize it. Insert your name for the given pronoun and allow this intimacy with the Lord to translate to your written page.

Finally, poetry is a visual language. Rich symbolism combined with concise verbiage provides excellent inspiration for exploratory writing. Conversely, a good journaling exercise could be to distill discursive thoughts into a focused poem. Try a bit of figurative language, an appropriate metaphor or simile, to put emotions into words. Don’t rush through the exercise, but instead relax, ponder, and use your imagination.

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Do you have a favorite quote you'd like to share? I'm always looking for more to add my growing collection.

Up next - Journaling: R is for Retreat


12 comments:

  1. What a vivid childhood memory - and clearly one that's served you well.

    I definitely use quotes and poetry as journaling jump off points.

    I particularly like and am inspired by what Ram Dass said: "We are all just walking each other home."

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    1. I've never heard that quote before, Deborah... but I like it. I think it will be my journal prompt later this week. Thank you!

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  2. One of my favorite quotes is from Gretchen Rubin which I used as a lead in to one of my earlier A to Z posts, “The days are long, but the years are short.” WeekendsInMaine

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    1. I remember reading that quote on your blog, Karen, and I instantly loved it. Reminds me of life with toddlers.... especially now that I am an empty-nester.

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  3. I have two favourite quotes.
    For everything that brings me joy...Rumi's : "What you seek is seeking you."
    and then this one by Maya Angelou: "There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you." This helps me overcome my blocks when I write.
    I agree, quotes are a great way to get started. Thank you for this post:)
    Q is for questions to a Blogger

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    1. I adore both of these... but the Rumi quote is one I haven't heard before. There is lots for me to journal here

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  4. I really enjoyed this post. Here is a quotation that I really like. Pablo Picasso: "The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls."

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    1. Another great quote I've never heard before! This is definitely one that will spark pages and pages of journaling :)

      A Picasso quote I enjoy is: "Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up."

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  5. Picking a favorite quote, or a favorite book is like picking a favorite child. It is not done. I have many quotes in my files. My family knows of my love for quotes and got me a quote a day calendar one year.

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    1. A quote calendar... that sounds WONDERFUL!!

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  6. My favorite quote is "take it or leave it" - pretty straightforward.
    I find music to be extremely inspirational, be it for the "time traveling" you mention, they lyrics or just the general atmosphere they create.
    As of the end of this month a photo blog challenge post is due. You get a prompt like LOVE, FOUR or COLORS and you submit five pictures. April's post is going to be inspired by music, am very excited about this one!
    https://thethreegerbers.blogspot.ch/2017/04/a-z-blogging-challenge-quads-quizzes.html

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    1. I love the sound of a photo blog challenge! I will look forward to more information at the end of the month :)

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