Journaling

I have really been struggling lately with a writing requirement for a new program I started. I decided three years ago to become a Gestalt trained coach. I started the program and then let someone talk me out of finishing it. I say “let” because, while the persons comments dismissing the program may have been self-serving, I was the one who took them to heart and believed them.

I committed to the program this fall and, if all goes well, will be certified by the summer. Unfortunately, this doesn’t mean that I have resolved the issues that caused me to throw in the towel three years ago, only one of which I am fussing with today – the jounaling requirement. I have to submit a certain number of journal entries per month as part of a development plan. I am already behind.

I have a couple of problems with this requirement. First, a journal by definition is supposed to be a private record of ones thoughts. So writing a journal for someone read after the fact to track your developmental progress hangs me up. Secondly, it was explained to me by folks who like this sort of thing that journaling is a kind of self-dialog. When I do that I call it “thinking” and I don’t generally write it down. Unless there is a topic, assignment or an audience.

I have not been able to figure out how to make myself the audience. I write these blog posts but I imagine (perhaps speciously) that I am in conversation with whoever reads them.  And I am not being graded for overall improvement or developmental growth or however the journal will be evaluated. Perhaps I am overthinking. Actually I am without a doubt overthinking. Its one of my many skills that has yet to find a category to live in on my resume.

What I am trying not to do is turn the requirement into a work of fiction. Writing carefully groomed installments with an eye toward that A+ with just the right soupçon of insight and self-deprecating humor. So I am stuck.

I came across a great quote by Susan Orlean today that sums up where I am with my journaling requirement

“Remember this: writer’s block doesn’t exist. What does exist is a condition in which you don’t really know what you’re trying to say, and therefore are having trouble saying it.”

I really don’t know what I am trying to say yet. So I guess I’ll keep blogging until I figure it out.

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