Category: Journal

Expressing Your Emotions Through Freeform Writing

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No Limits Enjoyment

When was the last time you had a good dance? Notice I didn’t ask if you are a good dancer or not, because that is irrelevant. I am talking about a carefree, blissful, and liberating experience of allowing yourself to enjoy good music by moving according to the beat or even contrary to it but still having ecstatic fun. If this is a practice you often do, you know how it’s more than skin deep. You know by doing this you shake off some worries in your mind and shackles keeping you anchored in a place you no longer want to be in. about sprinting instead of the ordinarily composed jogging sometimes? Foregoing the accepted, grown-up way of doing it and deciding to let loose and be under no limitation. Besides the obvious running out of breath sooner, this exercise will do something more and that is to propel you to let go of other limitations in your life and make quicker decisions. Try it and this also: singing out loud in the shower or elsewhere paying no attention to your voice or confidently speaking a language you consider yourself not-so-good at.


Maybe you are the kind of person who watches other people dance at weddings or parties and hold tightly back. Oh no you would never try dancing, singing out loud or anything that puts you in the limelight, it’s not in your nature to but maybe that is the problem? You are composed, you are serious, you have targets to meet and life-altering decisions to make so you wouldn’t be caught dead doing any of the above things but is it possible that you have some bottled up emotions begging to be set free? What other way is there to fully express them, let go of negative energy and embrace brand new wholeness and positivity?

Freeform Writing

Freeform writing is a form of therapy that you can engage in to express your emotions without attracting anyone’s attention like in the above-mentioned methods. All you need is yourself, paper and pen. You may need to be alone so that you aren’t disturbed as you allow yourself to ‘flow’ into that piece of paper, writing down every thought as it comes into your mind. You don’t have to care for spelling, punctuation, or even making sense, only write down whatever you think or feel in that particular instance. Using a book designed as a journal makes it easier to get into the flow of writing.

There are times you can be so angry but cannot say everything that you are feeling because you risk destroying a relationship or scaring someone off or even scaring yourself! Freeform writing is a judgement-free zone you can put yourself in at such times. Whatever you write doesn’t have to make sense and you could find yourself frantically pressing onto the paper as rage or intense excitement is channelled from you onto the writing pad. This is why it is best to use a pen, not a pencil whose lead can break off. Jot it all down in no particular order, using capital letters, exclamation marks, dots, question marks, and any other marks you find necessary. When you are done, you may want to tear off that paper and perhaps rewrite a clearer piece of something important and positive that you got out of the exercise. By now you may be calm and free from anger.


“THE EYES…I like her smile makes me feel warm. I think she is a warm person…ask her out. A real date? Flowers, she is an angel. Could complete my life. I really do need her. I’m scared to commit but I think I can try Maybe this is it MAYBE it could be maybe I should give it a try oh yes try”

This is a raw example of what it means to flow onto paper if you want to figure out how to express love but aren’t sure of what emotions you have exactly towards that girl. As you write everything down as soon as it visits your mind, you may find yourself smiling, blushing, or beginning to do some deep thinking. Keep this up for some time until you are sure what your sentiments really are.


When grieving the loss of a loved one, a break-up, or perhaps a divorce, it is normal to feel at some point that the time to expressly talk about it to other people has expired. You may feel that you make them sad when you still wallow about it after a certain period of time. Don’t worry if this is your case. Get your pen and writing pad and begin to pour your heart out onto that paper.

Hidden Talents Discovered

A lot of good can come out of freeform writing. Great poems, songs, or even creative stories could result. You could stumble upon a hidden talent of yours while practicing it or realise there is a feeling, that though strategically buried behind many layers as a defense mechanism, still holds you back somehow. Try it out today!


If you are a writer, or a student trying to write an essay, dissertation or thesis, you can use this type of writing too. It is known as freewriting, a term used by the author (Emeritus) Professor Peter Elbow in his book, “Writing Without Teachers”, though I prefer his book “Writing With Power”, which also includes it. This can be used for fiction stories as well as factual pieces. And if you are desperately trying to complete a college essay but finding difficulty with it, or you have procrastinated too lomg and your essay is due tomorrow, you can download and read a book on The Procrastinator’s Guide to Writing an Effective Term Paper by Stephen Posusta which also uses freewriting and which can help you write your term paper even if you have to pull an all-nighter (provided you have already read the necessary books for writing the essay).

If this is an area that is important to you, you can read more about studying effectively here.

Oral History Project For Family History Research a diary is a useful tool for recording everyday events and coming appointments, it doesn’t always form a record of an important period in someone’s life or of important events. Sometimes, a different form of notes is required and this is where an oral history journal can be helpful.

Oral (spoken) history was the first kind of history – stories, memories and knowledge passed on from one person to another by word of mouth. It’s how myths have been passed down through the centuries, as well as knowledge about herbs, sources of water in the dry seasons and apprentices have learned from their elders. Even today, there are story tellers who entertain groups with old stories and one of the first ways that children learn is through stories and information from their parents or carers.

Many families have their stories, passed down through the generations but these have not always been kept or recorded for others to find out what happened or how people lived at a different time or how certain events had an impact on whole generations or locales.

Oral histories can change in the telling, over the years until the original story may not be recognisable. By writing down these stories, they can be preserved for future generations to understand what it was like to live through certain events or at certain times and what it was like for a person alive at that time. For instance, my mother in law used to talk about going to school in the 1920s and how each pupil had to take a piece of coal with them to warm the schoolroom in winter, how she would take off her shoes and hide them on the way to school, going in barefoot, retrieving them on the way home and how the children would dig up a carrot from a field to have something to eat. These stories are not written down anywhere yet (though they will be). Children may not always be receptive to tales told by their grandparents, yet in later years would love to hear about those everyday tales, possibly when it is too late.

Oral history and the written down versions are primary sources for studying history, yet listening to stories told by older generations is a fascinating way of finding out how people lived a generation or so ago and does not feel like learning a lesson.

Stories from eyewitnesses are used today in court proceedings and have been used for thousands of years as the basis for recording events from wars, volcanic explosions and political upheavals, for instance. These days, oral history is often produced from interviews with individuals, recorded on video or audio media and then often transcribed to produce books. This can be done professionally by trained interviewers using the latest equipment and transcribers working from the tapes produced. It does not have to be so involved if you want to produce a family or group history that will form an interesting record for later generations. For instance, my mother tells of a time as a child when an earthquake shook her house, bouncing her about on the sofa and china rattling and books falling. This may be everyday stuff for some people, but she lived in an area where earthquakes had only been read about.

Until recently, children in local schools were asked to talk to elderly relatives about their memories of World War II. There are fewer and fewer people with these personal memories now but earlier recordings are still available for later generations to listen to or read. Ann Frank’s diary is her story of living hidden in an attic during the later years of World War II. It is not the spoken word but was written directly by her during her time in hiding. Books written about people’s ordinary lives at the time that events happened include information that may have been common at that time but which can be forgotten as time passes and circumstances change. For instance, a story written about life during world War II included such everyday items as what the family had for tea. One day, it was a slice of apple pie. That was it.

A diary of everyday events is not the same as an oral history, though it is also a primary source of information. An oral history taken from someone will include a lot of their background information, such as their date of birth, parents, full name and may include only information on certain events, like a war or natural disaster, whereas a diary often keeps information on everyday life in a chronological order, whether big events, small events or no significant events happen.

Taking an oral history is a way of carrying out historical research and there are professional interviewers who do this, however, it is also fun to carry out your own oral history project with older family members and who knows, you may also find out something interesting about your family as well as learning how life was different years ago?

It doesn’t have to be difficult or complicated. You may only need to ask the person to tell you about “when they were young” to start them talking. Recording the conversation is the best method of remembering everything that was said, however, transcribing even ten minutes of conversation can be a time consuming and difficult task, so it can be better to write notes down as you are listening. They may even be willing to write part of the information down for you and then you also have a record of their handwriting.

For younger people, writing the interview straight into a project book can be the best way to record and keep information they get. Older people may wish to take notes on paper and gather them together to create a composite note of memories that they can then write into the project book as a cohesive whole.

Oral History Interview Questions For Family Research

Oral History Project

You may be doing this as a school project or as part of a family search or an interest in your ancestry or genealogy or just for history research. Talking about past times can also be useful when talking to someone with dementia. While present times may be fuzzy to them and they often cannot remember the answer to a question they asked two minutes previously, they often have clear memories of what happened in the past and often greatly enjoy talking about people and events that happened in their childhood or early adulthood, especially with family members who also remember those times and people but also with others who may not have been there.

Oral History Interviews

[image_pointer id=”361″]If you want to ask someone about their experiences of something that happened in their past, start out by letting them describe this in their own way. Use questions like “Tell me about ….” or “Can you describe …”. Let them start out telling you about the topic as a story that they lived and the experiences that they had and then just listen. These kinds of questions are called “open questions” because they encourage someone to talk, rather than just say “yes” or “no” or give short answers or even give you the answers they think you want to hear.

You can take notes in your journal to record the oral history. older children or adults, it may be better to record the notes on a separate piece of paper and then write it up later in the journal. For non-professional interviewers, audio recording an interview, then writing it out, takes a long time and can be very tiring. It is more likely to get completed if notes are written at the time. If you have the chance, talk to the person several times about their experiences. Quite often, they will add more points that they missed out previously.

You can also add copies of photographs of people or photos of objects that they may have mentioned. It is best to use copies of pictures if sticking them in a journal like this, especially if the journal is to be kept for a long time, as the paper and glues used may not be of archival quality. If you want to keep old photographs or pictures of objects, make sure you keep those separately in archival quality boxes or using special covers, so they remain good.

Open Question Starters

Tell me about ….
Can you describe ….
What was it like when ……..
What do you remember best about …..
Can you tell me any stories about …..


……. when you were a child
……. how you got your name / nickname
……. your earliest childhood memory
……. your parents
……. your brothers and sisters
……. your grandparents
……. other members of your family, like cousins and aunts and uncles
……. family discipline
……. where you lived
……. when you moved house
……. the type of house you lived in
……. the type of area you lived in
……. your best birthday present
……. your first pet
……. the games you played
……. your hobbies
……. going to school
……. your age when you left school and went to work
……. your first job
……. something scary or important happened, like the war or a big storm, or an earthquake
……. anything historical that happened when you were young
……. learning to drive
……. your first car

Remember to note the person’s name and date of birth and when you recorded the interview.

Why Use A Coloring Diary

Why Use A Diary At All have been described as a personal record of events or a personal journal. Noah Blake wrote about living on an American farm in the early 1800s. in the “Diary of an early American Boy“. And “The Country Diary Of An Edwardian Lady” recorded the English flowers and animals in the countryside around the author (Edith Holden), while “The Diary of Samuel Pepys” was written in shorthand, and recorded his daily life as well as events in 17th Century England, including The Great Plague and The Great Fire Of London. Anne Frank wrote “The Diary Of A Young Girl” in The Netherlands, while hiding from the Nazis during WWII. She died in a concentration camp at the age of 15 years, not knowing her diary would become probably the most famous in the world. Many current political figures keep diaries of events and conversations while they are in power, anticipating publication after they have left office, where they will be able to “tell all”. And of course, many novelists write fiction books in the form of a diary.

Yet these days, diaries are often more likely to be used to record upcoming appointments to be kept, business, dental, doctor’s etc, to remind you of what is ahead, so you do not double-book yourself, rather than store details of what has taken place. They are also often pocket sized for easy storage in a pocket or bag, so there is less space for recording interesting details of the day or national events.

The personal planners and organisers – those large diaries, with aims and objectives manuals included for businesses and accounting sections for recording expenses – have mostly been replaced with electronic versions available on smartphones. But that is not to say that diaries are no longer needed. They seem to take two forms these days, the pocket diaries with appointments, now often electronic; and journals which their owners lovingly complete with drawings, motivation charts, exercise records, artistic representations of their aims, objectives and missions and lists for everything from glasses of water drunk daily to vision journals for remodelling houses to holiday packing lists and Christmas preparations. These journals are definitely kept manual and may have a separate set of coloring pens for creating flourishes, tables and icons but they are not necessarily kept in date order. They may be organised by subject or season or by their author’s objectives or whims and the author may well go back to certain pages time and again, to record new thoughts or objectives reached.

Coloring Book With Diary

For those who are not artistic or who do not have the time to create their own drawings and flourishes, it’s possible to combine these into a coloring diary. This includes a coloring page plus a weekly reminder list on the other side, to allow appointments to be recorded. The coloring page encourages relaxation and improves focus, while waiting or travelling and the weekly reminder page can be used for appointments or to create little doodles or cartoons. The coloring diary is a smallish book that fits in a pocket or bag. It can help pass the time, encourage focus or allay anxiety and worry by providing a complex picture for coloring.

Coloring Diary Journal

This would be a larger book for coloring, with pages for notes and lists, rather than appointments.