Journal Writing Prompt #8


Last week, I asked that you do a prompt that suggested you take a look back and make notes about the past week. A week in review is a good way to summarize your experience, but it also provides a bit of distance that allows you to find the things that most stand out for you. I look back, each day, to the day before. Often little things that would have slipped my notice if I hadn’t done so. Things that have emotional significance, and sometimes thought provoking ideas that I might have missed in the process of living each day and making my way through the jumble. It is a daily practice of sorting this from that.

Clarrissa Pinkola Estes, says in her book, Women Who Run With Wolves, that sorting this from that, finding the things you want to keep, versus those you don’t need, is a practice in honing your intuition. She points out that in fairytales, legends, and myths, the young girl who is the main character within the story is often given a task, wherein she must sort a certain substance from a huge pile of mixed ingredients. This is the honing of her intuitive abilities to discern what needs to be kept, from what needs to be released. Sometimes it takes only a glance, other times, for emotional and other hidden reasons, we hang onto things that might best be left behind. This is not necessarily a unique request of the feminine psyche.

I just watched Toy Story III. I know it is a very current movie, but the main task within the story is that the young man going off to college must sort out what he will take with him, versus that which will either be stored away, and what might be tossed out permanently. Periodically, we are asked, by circumstance, to sort through what we will keep and what must be let go of. And I will admit that I struggle at these times, often hanging on to things that aren’t necessary to my current reality, but have emotional or sentimental meaning to no one else other than my own person.

The prompt for this week is to go back, in memory, to a time when circumstances brought about this process of sorting for you. What did you let go of? What did you keep? You can write about one specific thing, or many, whichever you choose. But, try to remember what your reasons were for holding on to one thing, but letting go of others. Do those things still hold precedence over others, or have the perspectives, feelings and thoughts, changed? You can write in whatever format you choose. If you would prefer a simple prose, perhaps punctuated by dashes, or ellipses(…), do so. If you feel this is more suited to poetry, do what is most comfortable for you.

Whatever you decide, write it out. If you wish to share it, please come back and leave your URL for those of us who wish to read. If you have comments or questions about the prompt itself, then by all means use the comments section below and open a possible discussion. The choices are yours, and remember this is personal writing and does not have to shared with anyone. But, it is important to make note of it for your own self-exploration.

Have fun and write.


About 1sojournal

Loves words and language. Dances on paper to her own inner music. Loves to share and keeps several blogs to facilitate that. They can be found here:
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10 Responses to Journal Writing Prompt #8

  1. Pingback: Stuff | Vivinfrance's Blog

  2. vivinfrance says:

    I’m proofreading a novel for a friend, and now I fear my brain is going on strike. Here is today’s feeble effort:


  3. 1sojournal says:

    I feel guilty for saying this because my anscestry is French, but do these people ever get anything done?



  4. vivinfrance says:

    On a basic level, yes: eg they will knock spots off British building workers, plumbers etc. Local banks, motor repairers, shops etc are very efficient, and the people know what they are doing. The tax system works well, and is becoming more and more user-friendly.

    But somewhere along the line an excess of layers in the system of government clogs up with paper, and is frustrating to deal with. However, we can’t really complain: we live better, in a nicer house, in retirement here in France than we ever did in UK, where we were both earning. The French health service is in my humble opinion second to none.

    The law is, I think, the Achilles heel, in that it takes decades for the smallest change to be effected, and from a semi-outsider’s view, the politics are a nightmare!


    • 1sojournal says:

      Thank you Viv, for your very aware response. I personally think that politics anywhere, too soon become a nightmare. I like your concise and specific response to my sort of tongue in cheek question. Your personal loyalty is apparent and that also speaks well of your person. I have a tendency to not deal well with beauracracy, just go where I’m told and balk at the hoops I am asked to jump through. All the rules and regulations usually just confuse me. I’m impressed with your knowledge,



  5. Mary says:

    Boy, does this ring true for me, Elizabeth. I wish I had time to sit down and write about it. 5 days until the move, and I have sorted and boxed and sorted, and will be carrying too many boxes from the past to a new basement to sit there…as I cannot throw these things out. I am going to TRY to once I get to the new place, as otherwise my children will be left with this thankless job. Carrying ‘stuff’ is such a burden. Do I ever wish I had time to write!!


    • 1sojournal says:

      Mary I so sympathize. I still have two or three boxes that were never unpacked from my last move three years ago. It’s all paper, all stuff I wrote, and couldn’t let go of. I promised myself that I would slowly make my way through it, and even started at one point, but left it with ease when called away to help with my Mother. Never went back.

      I have other boxes, two of them, of things I published on my own. I refuse to throw them away, hoping some day someone might want to read them. That hope grows slimmer with each passing year. I also have a box of photos which although separated, have still to either be put on a memory stick or simply given to my children as mementos of their childhood. Sorting this from that is not my favorite activity. I have a tendency to get it to some point that makes a bit of sense, and then willingly get distracted.

      My hope for you is that you consciously take at least a few hours, if not an entire a day to do something by and for yourself. Nothing attached in any way for all the others you care for. I think you need that and the moving might go better if you have that bit of breathing space, but no one is going to give it to you except you.

      Maybe you could take those hours to just write, it might be a good way to settle many of the unsettling feelings that moving creates.



      • Mary says:

        Thanks, Elizabeth. I have a few moments now in the very early morn when I am looking at things like this. I moved some ‘stuff’ yesterday, and as I moved it I decided that today when I go over there I will immediately bag SOME of the clothes for Goodwill. Should have done so before this. I do have very little time right now. Truck moving day Monday. And my daughter asked me last night if perchance I could watch her two kids today (she works). I said absolutely not!!!!! Sometimes I just cannot be THE solution. This is one of those times. I need my own problem solver, and there is no one but me. LOL. Thanks for your comment on my happiness poem. I do hope by the END of January it WILL happen. That keeps me stepping along. Thanks for telling me you too have boxes. If I had only two or three I would jump for joy. LOL.


  6. 1sojournal says:

    Ahh, but Mary, I only told you about the boxes. Never mentioned the discrete piles stashed around here since I’ve moved in, lol. I work on them, but most often find that any cleared space is simply new dumping grounds. Someone told me, the other day, that I am methodical. I laughed and said, only with the writing. And that is pretty much the truth. Will continue to send positive thoughts in your direction.



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