Journaling for Joy

Journaling for Joy Workbook
by Joyce Chapman

New Page Books, 1991. ISBN 0878771638.
New Page Books, 1995. ISBN 087877226X.
Reviewed by Maggie Knorr
Posted on 07/16/2002

Nonfiction: Creative Life

I just can't get enough of Joyce Chapman's books! The conversational style and gentle encouragement make them so hard to put down.

Journaling is my passion, so I waited with fervent anticipation for the Journaling for Joy books to arrive. While I'm quite knowledgable about the topic, I'm always looking to learn more from someone else's point of view. I often learn much more about myself when I stretch my comfort zone and try new ideas.

I've found that I do so much better working in a guided situation with a mentor, and that's how it is with Joyce's books.

In chapter one of Journaling for Joy, Joyce covers Opening the Treasure Within by addressing how to go about journaling, common questions, guidelines for maximizing the use of your journal, and some benefits of journal writing.

Chapter two deals with your journal as A Daily Record to Capture the Meaning of Your Life. This is accomplished by framing a memory, using your daily record as a takeoff point, keeping a log for every occasion, and using your life as a learning laboratory.

Snapshots of Your Life is handled in chapter three with the topics of your story, your life from another viewpoint, releasing the past, turning points in your life, understanding the present by remembering the past, the many dimensions shaping your story, and the life you want to be living.

Chapter four has you "Listing Your Life" by looking at what brings you joy, who you are, what you want, milestones in your life, your beliefs, recognizing blocks and patterns and ending up with a list of lists.

Chapter five is full of "Creative Conversations" with yourself, your body, another person, an idea, discovering joy, achieving clarity, working through conflict, releasing anger, releasing pain and sorrow, releasing tension and stress and to dispel depression.

The Art of Self-Investigation is covered in chapter six by questions from the heart, questions that don't want to be answered, questioning for self-discovery, finding out where you are in your life right now, and a quest for questions.

Chapter seven takes you through "Letter Writing-The Art of Connection" by writing letters to save for special occasions, for release, the unsent letter, wisdom letters and letters of thanks.

Chapter eight shows you how to "Tap Into Your Inner Knowing" by looking at nature as your metaphor, accessing your inner wisdom, accessing a dream message, and unleashing your imagination.

Joyce addresses "The Magic of Writing in a Group" in chapter nine. She discusses the listener's role, sharing in a group, sharing the dark side, starting your own journaling group, how a group session works, and facilitating journal groups.

The book winds up with "Celebrate Your Life-Actualize Your Dreams." Chapter ten presents accentuating the positive, the importance of being awake, self healing and being all of who you are.

While her book is loaded with instruction and writing exercises, the workbook is a tremendous companion with lots of room to write on the guided activities that help bring the instruction book home.

All of Joyce's books are great resources by themselves, but together they build upon each other and guide you through a gentle course of personal enrichment which helps you find your joy, live your dream and celebrate your life.

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