#TipsOnTuesday: How to Journal on Everlasting Footprint

One of the best parts of creating an Everlasting Footprint for someone you love is that you know the Footprint is accessible to an entire world of people. You build a Footprint because you want everyone to know how great the person was, and you want to relate to and create a support system with others affected by the person. But what about how to journal your private thoughts? What about the feelings that are too raw to be processed or organized or seen by others?

It is okay to keep difficult emotions to yourself, but it can be problematic to hold them inside. Expressing your thoughts, writing them out, can be therapeutic. For this, Everlasting Footprint has created the private Journal on your Canvas.

Consider how to journal outdoors to capture certain feelingsEverlasting Footprint wants to make it easy to Journal. (Photo by Pedro Ribeiro Simões)

There is a lot of different advice about how to journal. Three specific things to keep in mind when you sit in front of your computer or piece of paper and decide to write out the emotions deep in your heart:

1. You are your only audience. Remembering this will loosen your shoulders. Your word choice doesn’t need to be perfect. Your sentence structure shouldn’t worry you. Does your Journal entry need a beginning, middle, and end? Not unless you want them.

Journaling for just an audience of yourself means you don’t need to explain anything. You don’t even need to make sense at all. You know what you’re talking about, so don’t suppress your emotions by pausing. Write for yourself at whatever pace you want, and in whatever way makes you feel most free. There is no one telling you how to journal.

2. You have open permission. Let everything go. Don’t censor yourself because you are afraid of putting thoughts down. Censoring your writing is like censoring your emotions, and censoring your feelings makes healing more painful. You’re allowed to express yourself, and to feel. Opening permissions as part of creative writing opens opportunity to release thoughts that may weigh heavy on you. When you sit to write, know that it is a safe space, and that you are permitted to use it in whatever way is most beneficial to you.

Consider how to write your stories out by hand to capture certain emotionsWhen you need to write, write. (Photo by Tony Hall)

3. You don’t have to know how to journal, because there’s no wrong way. Journaling has no form, no structure. A journal can be anything. It can be a list, a rant, a memory, a dream, a conversation, a story, a letter, or just a bunch of words strung together. A Journal entry can be short or long or unfinished. You don’t need to finish a journal if you don’t want to. The freedom of Journaling can be refreshing. Write whatever you want in whichever form seems right at that particular moment.

The Everlasting Footprint Journal is a tool for you to express yourself, grieve, remember, and hopefully, to heal. Creative expression is a part of how to journal and release some of those emotions. We want you to find a way to celebrate the feelings, the moments, and the words that make up life.

 

About Liz Grear

Liz Greer, MFA, teaches creative writing, tutors students, and dabbles in ballroom dancing, book binding, paper making, and playing hopscotch between Chicago and New Jersey. She dreams of running a writing workshop in a prison, because she believes words can change things. Maybe not all things. But enough things.

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  1. Pingback: How to Cope with Loss through Expressive Writing

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