I have been reading the classic ‘Dracula’ and have been surprised how good this book is! Today when we think of Count Dracula we envision blood and gore. Not so with this classic! It is written from the journals of those being written about. Each time a new person appeared you would see a line ‘FROM MENA HARKINS JOURNAL’ and read from her perspective. No one died or even got bitten until around the 600th page of 975! And then since we were reading journals the actual ‘biting’ was never really described.
This style captivated and encouraged me in my own journal writing. It caused me to stop and consider journal writing with a group of trusted friends. In the book, it became vital for everyone’s safety and well being that everyone record in their journals all events of their day and night. Then they would meet and incorporate their writings into one volume so that they could understand how to destroy Dracula. There were personal references as well as factual references. I had never considered a journaling exercise where the group used their personal journals to weave them into one.
While reading Dracula I realized that a writing group I am part of does this same type of exercise. The group is not seeking how to destroy Dracula, but monthly each member is given a topic to write on. Last month it was trees. Our instruction was simple ~ Write about trees. Then bring to the group and read what your wrote. It was amazing what came. One wrote as a lesson, one a parable, one factual, one a devotion and so on. I sat there and listened and what I was able to do was pull everyone’s perspective and writing style into one purpose statement showing the value of each perspective. None were more valuable than the other, just different.
Reading Dracula has put me a few days late in writing because I wanted to finish the book. The closer I got to the end the more I found I stopped and re-read parts. So I decided to put down my thoughts about this ‘group journal’ style down in a top 10 list. I will finish the book and then write a more complete article of this style of journaling.
TOP 10 Reasons ‘Group Journaling’ Can Be Beneficial
1 ~ By documenting your days and evenings knowing you will be sharing them with others causes you to write more accurately.
2 ~ By documenting your days and evenings knowing you will be combining them into one main journal causes you to write more precisely about the things that matter to you and you believe would help another.
3 ~ By documenting your days and evenings knowing others are expecting them causes you to be more trustworthy to complete the task.
4 ~ By documenting your days and evenings and sharing stretches you beyond what you believed you could be stretched.
5 ~ By documenting your days and evenings with your feelings knowing others will hear them causes you to write clearly so that your feelings are not misunderstood.
6 ~ By documenting your days and evenings with a group focuses you on a common goal that will be shine brightly as part of the end result.
7 ~ By documenting your days and evenings knowing that others are counting on you produces good writing habits and makes journaling a regular part of your day.
8 ~ By documenting your days and evenings knowing that you will be asked questions will cause you to use fewer words and begin to increase your vocabulary.
9 ~ By documenting your days and evenings knowing that they will be producing a final project will cause you to make sure of your facts because others will question you if they seem vague.
10 ~ By documenting your days and evenings and then sharing them with a group of trusted friends builds a firm foundation for all friends involved. A foundation that is not easily broken.
I challenge you to consider this journaling style. My writing group will be doing this for each month of 2010. I am more excited about this than I first was. Will let you know how it progresses!
REMEMBER: Others want to know how you are, what your think and what you experienced!