Chapman (Celebrate Your Dream, 2002) offers a self-help book that aims to help readers find inner peace and joy through journaling.
In this modern age, much of what people write on a day-to-day basis consists of short, dashed-off, mundane texts and emails in truncated writing styles. But journaling, as promoted by the author, encourages a wholly different kind of communication with loved ones—and with oneself. Chapman does a fine job outlining ways that journaling techniques can help one achieve personal goals. In well-organized chapters, she shows how they can be used for problem-solving, self-healing, tapping into the subconscious, aiding dream analysis, and as inspiration to pursue one’s dreams. In addition, journaling can be used to help writers gain focus and clarity about what they want to communicate to others—whether in a letter to heal a troubled relationship or in an expression of love and appreciation to a friend or family member. “Even when you are living in the same house with someone, you may communicate differently in a letter than you would in person,” Chapman explains. In addition, she offers a variety of writing prompts that may help release writers’ aspirations or reveal unconscious emotions. The author also discusses the process of journaling in a group setting and her own first experience with it: “Each writer’s work was touched and shaped by the work of others....Each person’s learning was every person’s learning.” Although the book offers helpful examples of journal entries, some are so highly personalized that readers may find little context for them in their own lives, and they may find this trying and tiring at times. But overall, Chapman’s tone is reassuring and motivating, and even the most timid, inexperienced writers will likely be inspired.
A lovely guide to using journaling as a tool for self-awareness and self-expression.