On a daily basis encounter women online who tell me they cannot keep a journal because they have nothing to write about. Referencing our history as teastained women whose histories have been stolen from us and mis-re-presented, such a declaration both astounds and frustrates me. I cannot possibly believe that in this day and age anyone could possibly have nothing to put into a journal.
I think to myself, YOU ARE THE ONLY ONE EXISTING IN TIME IN YOUR BODY WITH YOUR MIND AND YOUR EXPERIENCE AND YOU SAY YOU HAVE NOTHING TO WRITE ABOUT? YOU’RE TELLING ME YOU CAN’T FILL A COUPLE OF PAGES A DAY WITH HOW YOU NAVIGATE YOUR DAILY ALLOTMENT OF 24 HOURS???? HAVE YOU NO INSIGHT? HAVE YOU NO WISDOM THAT MUST BE RETAINED? HAVE YOU NO CHOREOGRAPHY THAT MUST BE MAPPED WITH WORDS? HAVE YOU NO DESIRE TO MAKE YOURSELF IMMORTAL? It is a VERY big deal to live in remarkable uniqueness and simultaneously declare that no aspect of your humanity can fill a book.
Why do you do the things you do? Why do you associate with these people or go to those places or shop for these particular clothes? Why did you get that piercing or have that new coffee or eat that new dish? Why did you go to the museum this weekend or say no to that party? What motivates you to occupy time? If your motivations are steeped in others’ accepting, appreciating, validating, or celebrating you then yes, I can see why you have nothing to write about. If you don't own any aspect of your livelihood you won't own your narrative--nor will you be compelled to write.
Why do you allow certain individuals to share space with you? How do you spend your time?Whose words/songs swim in your head more than your own thoughts? Whose ideologies/ assumptions have access to your directional tools as you travel on the soulful journey? Who has access your soul? Whose narrative “inspires” yours to the point in which you don’t even check to see if your own life has a pulse? If you don’t spend your time speaking life and disagreeing with words that enable death to manifest through your life ( things never happening; immobility; generational curses and vicious cycles)--then yes, I can see how you can have nothing to write about.
Why are you wasting your literacy, writing data entries or proposals, grants or others’ business plans when you have a story to pull from the earth beneath your feet, a vision to outline for what you have to build. Why waste your understanding on comprehending TV show plots and solving others’ problems if you won’t create your own code, solve your own mysteries, or embed time with documented neologies?
It’s not normal to have nothing to write about. If you work the world’s most boring job you have writing material. If you’re a stay at home mom in a one bedroom studio you have writing material. And if you don’t agree then you have to ask yourself what’s going on within you that you have forfeit your position as declarative narrator to be a blind, illiterate participant in time, a vessel to happenstance and a dumb (meaning unspeaking) hustler through the years you've been allotted, thankful to see another day instead of creating a new one with your pen. Commanding a salary but never commanding your mornings.
Every culture on this planet has its books. Every religion has a book. Historical legends have [auto] biographies. You should have a book. Books. Don't be afraid to upset your "normal" to create writing material. Prod your reality with new questions. Practice discernment. Write...then do something about what you’ve written. Take newer, bolder, more unique actions...then write about what happened. In my opinion if you aren’t writing you aren’t living.
Think your life is too boring to to write about? Here are some starting points that will shake it up a little bit and give you writing material.
You are the earthquake you’ve been hoping will shake things up. Stop waiting for something drastic to validate that you are monumental. Start small and write about where you are--it’s the beginning of something.
Have coffee instead of tea and write about that choice.
Sit in a different part of the bus or subway and take in the new perspective.
Look up the random words in the dictionary and journal what the definitions have brought to mind.
Talk to your elders and listen long and hard.
Ask“why”when you regard your environment.
Take the stairs.
Research other cultures and countriesa and document what intrigues, fascinates you.
Make small shifts, petit deviations away from your usual pull. Decide against “that’s just what you do”, change and challenge yourself to reorient and untrain your feet from veering into the typical. It’s good for your story; it’s how you generate a genesis.
The recipe to genesis is:
chaos+darkness+declaration commanding light
There you have it. now write it.
Are you noticing tendencies within yourself that you need to outgrow? Sometimes we go through seasons of learning lessons, discovering and uncovering aspects of our identity. Part of this is examining your lineage for generational curses.
And you don’t have to be religious to believe in this. Some things we struggle with don’t belong to us because we chose them but because we inherited them. What have you inherited? Interview your mother, uncle, great-grandparent, etc. Learn what comprises your bloodline by finding out who did what and why and how those traits could possibly have filtered down to you, how they're manifesting through you. Some distant relatives were dealing with demons that have claimed your whole lineage. Someone else's actions could have metastasized into diseases that linger in your whole family line. Addiction, rejection, anger/rage, obesity, sadness... and on and on. Find out about the "stuff" in your family tree, down to the roots, mapping them out through casual conversations or letters or text messages and emails.
Journaling your findings, be honest and document the exegesis, also including your strategy to renounce and overcome these and recommence a new bloodline with your new decisions.
Who’s around you and how do they interact with you? What's their role in your life--do have a role in theirs (careful when asking this question, you don't want to assign yourself as counselor or role model when that's not who you are to another)? Write about them.
Family, coworkers, children, random old man on the bench, your neighbors, the regulars at the coffeeshop you frequent, the guy that says hello to you from his newsstand every morning, etc.
Using your natural tone, write like they’re important characters that will have a distinct role later in your narrative.
Starting with character sketches, next write about your interactions with them. Who are these people participating in this aspect of your storyline? What do they say to you? What do they do around you. Why are they able/not able to approach you and what information do they bring to you when they interact with you? What does their
interacting with you say about the sort of woman you are? Like attracts like. Remember this.
Are you allowing your soul to take everything in without discerning if it's for you?
Pause and regard your surroundings.
What's the "diet" of this place you're in--literally and metaphorically?
What do the people around you feed on and what's the impact on their bodies, mentalities.
What are you being encouraged to "eat" while you're here? How has it been affecting you?
What's the mindset that dominates your environment?
Are you supposed to be where you are right now--
physically, mentally, spiritually?
What are the reasons you’re still here?
Do you engage in subtle acts of self-preservation?
Meaning: are your actions rooted in what you don’t want to happen to you?
Have they become a lifestyle--do people admire you for what you’ve become as a result of it?
Are you handicapping your resourcefulness?
If you have an idea of everything you have to have before you take a step forward, this can inhibit you from being resourceful and innovating right where you are and using what you have. Do you condescend resourcefulness because you’re ashamed of not being able to “afford” what you want right now? A beautiful part of the journey is using what you have to accomplish what you can, where you are.
Resourcefulness IS a journey. Creating with the raw materials you have at the moment is a joyous dance of surprise. Don’t withhold it from yourself!
It’s a fruit of fearlessness, teaching you about who you are and giving you training for what you’re destined to own. It’s an adventure--no shame intended. I painted on the floor of a room I was renting for several months before I could afford a table. What are you waiting for?
When aggregated through documentation, are your current habits an indication that you’re procrastinating? Does your grandmother really need you to visit you every thursday night? Could you be working on that book you’re supposed to be writing while you watch your child at practice? Can you forfeit that voluntary business meeting and use the time to get quiet?
Also--what are you addicted to? Examine your habits and the motives behind them.
Are you noticing any hidden agenda(s) in the world?
Let's be real: sometimes trends and internet challenges seem to have
a sinister motive behind them than what’s being let on.
Why is everything hyper-sexualized? Why are music releases bigger news
than bombings in other countries? How is there never money for school systems but
always money for state banquets? Why are food deserts still around?
Ignoring your instincts can dim your awareness.
There’s an imagination you should have that is discernment
communicating with you, giving you curiosity about whatever
you’re noticing. Respond to this. Do research, ask questions, give your conjectures
a few pages where they can freely unravel without anyone calling you a
crazy conspiracy theorist or eccentric weirdo. There's nothing wrong
with starting a journal entry with “I wonder why...” or
“What if all of this is just an agenda..."
or "There's something suspicious about..." etc. That part of you that
tells you something's amiss? Exercise it and write what your gut's telling you.
Be aware of anything that hands you entertainment or some other
diversion as soon as you start thinking with sobriety, severity and urgency.
Most of us are aware that we are here for a reason, with a very
specific purpose no one else can achieve; yet out of self preservation,
fear, and entangling loyalty to an inhumane
system we make decisions that make us unresponsive to time
and the events we’re blessed to experience within it--
not as victims or participants but as narrators.
We mistakenly perceive life as a "job" with disparate moments of relief,
without recognising that we live in 2 realms: the physical and the spiritual.
When you pull non-physical meanings from physical circumstances
it yields to exposing a narrative that can fill many, many journals.
When you journal the former, it’s not meant to be tedious reporting or an academic assignment. One of journaling’s many definitions is daily cross-referencing: taking your experience and laying it over who and where you are right now in life. There are innumerable reasons why things cross YOUR path, and that’s enough for you to choose a journal and start writing. At least a few of these reasons will be impactful for your journey both for now and in the future.
Your journal entries are chronicles of your life decisions: what’s happened, what you discover, what you learn, and how you’re changing, etc. There’s writing material sopped in your existence. Step into your position as a narrator. Put your voice into a book and delve for the life in your life.
Everything in your human experience is noteworthy because it’s happening to you, in this body, with this biography, and in this particular space and time. Because you are the only “you” in the world, your experience is irreplaceable, unrepeatable, and thus already legendary. How do you make history? You document it. The ingredients to making history are a sound mind, discernment, quiet, assertiveness paper, and a working pen.
These ideas I've shared are meant to contribute to this journey.