I could never master the paper form of journaling. When blogging came along in 2000 or so, I was hooked.
I wrote. I wrote a lot. In 2004, my 4 year old blog had over 3000 posts. Some trite and trivial, some deep and soul searching. My blog had seen me through the end of a toxic relationship. The community around blogging helped me through some very rough times, and they cheered me on as I moved on. I met my husband Mike in part thanks to blogging – not online, but thanks to a mutual blogging friend Ann, I made a point to go to a coffee happy hour that he organized — just to meet him.
I poured myself out in to my writing.
Then Twitter came along, and my blog posts were replaced by short 140 character quips. The community that I knew and loved all seemed to move there, and I went with them.
Later that same year, in the fall of 2006, I decided it was finally time to go for it. I’ve always loved taking photographs, and I wanted to try my hand at doing it. I opened the doors on my business in 2007. Thanks to blogging, my business immediately thrived. I can’t tell you how many times clients came to meet me for their initial consult and told me that they already felt like they knew me because of what they had read online.
Running a business requires that you wear many hats though. Over time, writing took a back seat to everything else.
People stopped telling me about how they read my blog, mainly because I had stopped writing on it.
The words keep calling me back. Eventually, I picked up journaling. In part, thanks to Karen Walrond and her Path Finder course. The first time I opened up the Moleskine with the blank pages it terrified me. I love pretty paper, and I didn’t want to mess up the pages. I dug in though, and I started to write. I let the words flow.
At the same time, I was going through business coaching with Jeff Jochum and Team-X. Poor Jeff. Whenever we would have a call, a few hours later I would send him these incredibly long brain dumps of thoughts about what we discussed. Writing helped me work through things.
It has always been about the words.
The journaling helped me have some of the biggest breakthroughs in my coaching program. I didn’t expect the two to be tied together like they were, but instead they helped me find where I wanted to go, to cut to the core of it even faster.
Now, whenever I’m in a stuck place, I pick up the journal and my pen. I dig in, and dig deep.
As I’ve worked with Jeff now for almost two years as a Team-X Mentor to his coaching clients, I’ve learned something about myself as well. As much as I love photography, the power of the words are truly what matter the most to me. The story. The experience. The life. Picking up my camera allows me to make a visual record, but somewhere in there I stopped making a written record as well. Now I find myself journaling even more, and when I write my blog posts there is a new strength to them.
A friend wrote me recently and told me that she could hear my voice in them again. I don’t think she had any idea how much that meant to me. It is good to be heard, truly and authentically.
Thanks to journaling, the words are flowing freely once again. The photographs are a part of the story, but the words are the heart of it.