Journaling as a Lifestyle (Upcoming Series)


Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart. ~ Williams Wordsworth

How long has it been since I first discovered the power that comes from taking pen to paper? How does one recognize the point when an activity crosses the line, becomes a way of life, as instrumental as the brushing of teeth, and no less profound in importance to the maintenance of one’s health. 

I come in the morning, most often, sit in silence waiting for the dawn. I wait with expectation, not always rushing to begin moving pen across paper, but allowing the stillness to lead lead, to coax me into hearing the strains that accompany the emergence of a new day.

When did my childhood meanderings under lock and key become vital?

When did writing take on such meaning to me? The rantings of a young girl scribbled over pages quickly; the rage of teen years spilling emotions onto wide ruled notebook paper, finding relief in the releasing. The clock ticking, footsteps in the hall, and the hiding of all dreams, secrets of the ages tucked under the pillow, the mattress…safe from prying eyes. Only to be redeemed from the darkness again and again in the still watches of the night. Flashlight beaming under the covers, pen madly dashing line upon line seeking meaning beyond years…answers unknown in youth.

I wish I still had those journals from the early days.

The earliest journal I have aside of the wild poetry I wrote as a teenager is from 1985. I was enrolled in a Human Relations class taught by a Professor who insisted we had to keep a journal for the class. The clincher was, he would read our entries and be giving us our prompts. I spared him no detail…I wrote through that semester and shared every love, hate and detail of my life bar none. Even in my late teens and early twenties I was brazen in my transparency…I dared exposure, shared the details of my on again- off again relationship and the abortion I chose. He responded carefully to every passage I shared…and I believe gave me a gift, he challenged pointedly me about risky behavior, encouraged healthy boundaries and nurtured my continued honesty. He gave me the gift of acceptance…did not take advantage of my over-exposed life on paper. I dared, he cared…and I believe God used it all to encourage and empower me…out from hiding. I became unafraid of baring my naked soul.

Who dares to expose their very soul on paper?

There is nothing more liberating- or dangerous. It’s all risk. Yet, so much to be gained. I hold back nothing…the pages are blank, but soon covered in nothing less than  soul emergence. Sometimes it takes a lot of practice before the soul appears on paper…

“Write what disturbs you, what you fear, what you have not been willing to speak about. Be willing to be split open.” Natalie Goldberg

Are you a Journal Keeper? Do you long to live a journaling lifestyle, but are unsure or overwhelmed about how to go about it? Do you fear overexposure? Let’s ponder these questions together. Let’s travel together, digging deeper.

If you are ready to journal your journey but feel stifled, stimied or stigmatized in your writing, but long to be free to fly previously uncharted skies, discovering new horizons and exploring endless opportunities for personal growth, and soul stretching -then you will enjoy the upcoming series The Journal Keeper’s Journey: Journaling as a Lifestyle. Please stay tuned for details in the days ahead.

After much consideration and discussion with my Co-Hostess Susie and regular participants, it has come time to share some news. Random Journal Day will be discontinued, a least in the form we have been participating in since the first RJD in 2012. It has been such a wonderful season shared with wonderful friends- Some faithful and some who drop in occasionally. All have blessed and I hope been blessed in participating within our close knit community.
I am still happy for fellow Journal Keepers who would like to guest post on the blog (I will be creating a page for this possibility soon) but NEXT Friday – February 5, 2016 will be our last official “RJD” link up. BUT- STAY TUNED for the alternative journaling opportunities ahead.

Thank you for participating here, sharing your heart and giving us a glimpse into your intimate self. What a sacred trust we have as journal keeping friends who honor one another in the exchange of words, baring of souls and sharing of community.


“Few can see whither their road will lead them till they come to its end.”  J.R.R. Tolkien 


Feel free to respond to this post and its ruminations, and/or any of the quotes or questions that prompt you. See you next Friday – February 5, 2016 for the final RJD Link up Party!


2/14/16 UPDATE: I am also linking this post with Jamie Ridler and the Give a Girl a Journal Launch which was shared with me by my across the big , blue sea journaling friend Marianne of Poketfull of Vintage . I am hoping to share a poem for that theme soon but meantime figured I would join in even though I am on a Social Media Break I think it sounds like a wonderful endeavor! I look forward to hearing more in the days ahead.

Published by enthusiasticallydawn

Dawn Paoletta is the author of Journaling for Discovery and Delight. Her writing is included in several anthologies and her poems have been included in the Wickford Poetry and Art Exhibit and Books. Dawn is currently working on her next book. Inquiries at

18 thoughts on “Journaling as a Lifestyle (Upcoming Series)

    1. So for you, Melissa I thnk journal for a few minutes on this…what keeps you from following through? There are so many ways we complicate the simplicity of pen, paper…listen, write. I do the same. Also what is it you want to follow through on? I am sure you are following through in some areas…or at least one. I think exploring exactly what you are having trouble following through on is key…maybe you are setting the bar to high, or thinking it has to be a certain way, or All or Nothing thinking. What is it you want to do ? Define it specifically…is it Journaling for ??? Greater intimacy with God, or self reflection, to write for creativity…or to support your life planning? Maybe it’s all…but if you want to make it a habit…build continuity…you have to break it down. I will be supporting that consistency. 😉 A few minutes a day…is better than none…we can build on it. So start small…follow through comes in steps and stages.


  1. Thank you for sharing this Dawn. What an awesome and wise teacher you had! I am just beginning to journal …it’s amazing what comes out!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Love this post Dawn. I love the picture of you as a kid scribbling your deep inner thoughts! Our journal journey together is not over, just taking a new pathway! Love you!


  3. This sounds so juicy to me! Right now, my journal holds only my n.,w., s. (news weather and sports). I love the aspect of pouring my soul onto the page, and later, noting the changes I experience.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Love this, Dawn. I have kept a journal for years and they inhabit two bookshelves. Sometimes I wonder what they will say about me after I am gone and my family finds them.


  5. You’ve got some real poetry here, Dawn. Like that third paragraph. If you laid it out in lines instead of a paragraph, it would be, undoubtedly… a poem. Maybe it’s because poetry (I think) pours more from the heart than the head, while a lot of other writing is the other way around. Except journaling, huh? That’s where the heart can have full, and securely secret reign.
    I’m looking forward to seeing what this series is going to be!


  6. here we go soul sister! I am sad for the moment to say good-bye to RJD, but also expectant to see the new pathway…new things are percolating over here too…which I find interesting since only the Holy Spirit could have coordinated this coincidence 🙂

    I changed my blog name to soulPantry and tomorrow I am starting a series on…you guessed it journaling! with prompts, quotes and resources…I will be referring the readers to your series my friend! This is making February so much more enticing for me now…

    Love ya! Kel


  7. Dawn, I hadn’t read this initial post to launch your new series…only that you would be ending RJD. I felt bittersweetness in the news, but the old must always make way for the new…or endings for beginnings. I thnk you already know what journalng means to me. At first, I was upset to learn that you were more or less forced to share your journal. I always teach that that should be completely invitational. And I am so glad that it had a happy ending for you and helped you to bare your soul. My purpose in life is to encourage transparency; it’s the only way to be set free. That is what I love about journaling classes….they provide a safe, secure place for such sharing. You have read my book and its “Oceans” chapter. Please know I totally understand.
    Much love


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