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This article appeared in the August issue of Personal Journaling. Take a deep breath and begin writing, fill in the blank essay outline. Use the textbook structure to your advantage! Acquisition Begin with the story of how you acquired your journal. Practice them until they become your way of studying. Each of you can copy a problem and then race to see who solves it first. You are not allowed to stop writing!

March 11, There is something daunting about the crisp, first page of a new journal. I have been journaling for more than 15 years, but I still struggle with moving past that first page. Take a deep breath and begin writing. Blank Page Skipping the first page may seem like an obvious choice, but I struggled with many journals before the idea occurred to me. No rule says you MUST start with the first page. Give yourself permission to begin randomly anywhere within the pages of your new journal.

Greeting Write a greeting to your journal as a way to open communication and honor the intimate relationship you will be sharing. Welcome your journal into your life, reflect on the place where you are now, and look ahead at the places to which you hope to journey within the sanctuary of its pages. Dedication Many published books begin with a dedication page. Try this technique to honor someone who has been important in your life or who has brought you inspiration.

Explore the ways this person has impacted your life. Acquisition Begin with the story of how you acquired your journal.

Was it a gift? What prompted you to purchase your new journal or notebook? Has a significant event or transition in your life prompted you to begin a journal? Outline your short-term and long-term goals. Consider the areas of your life you want to nurture within six months, and those in which you hope to grow within five years.

Reviewing your progress and accomplishments is a great way to keep on track. The first page of your journal is a great place to host these goals. Not only will they be easy to locate, but you will be reminded of them each time you open your journal. Table of Contents Leaving the first couple of pages blank will allow you to make a quick reference table of contents as you fill the pages with entries. Number the pages in your journal so you can more easily reference each topic and page number in your homemade index.

Collage Add a third dimension to the first page of your journal by including some of your favorite items. Photographs, ticket stubs, dried flowers, drawings, comics, horoscope clippings. Add to the collage as you add to your journal. Practical Matters Record birthdays, anniversaries and other important dates for easy reference on page one. Or consider using this private place to list pin numbers and passwords for personal and computer accounts. Still another practical suggestion is to use these opening pages to create monthly calendars to keep your appointments and priorities organized.

Personal Mission Take a cue from successful businesses, and craft a personal mission statement. This should be a focused statement of purpose in which you identify the most important roles, relationships and other priorities in your life. Who do you want to be? What do you want to do? To whom and to what do you want to give your life? What legacy do you hope to leave?

What principles would make sound anchors for your existence? Spirituality Pen a prayer, verse, meditation, mantra or affirmation. Use this space to examine your progress thus far in your spiritual journey or to define your personal theology.

Find a picture from a magazine or postcard that symbolizes your spirituality, and paste it onto the page next to your writing. Lyrics Write the lyrics to one of your favorite songs. Explore what makes the song so special to you. Current Events Take some time to capture the events that are shaping history. What is going on in your city, your country, the world? What are your thoughts and opinions about these events? Genealogy Draw a diagram of your family tree. What funny or sad stories can you remember or have you been told about your relatives?

Write the theme boldly upon the page and find quotations that relate to this word or phrase. Look up the definition of the word, or write your own. What does the word mean to you? How will it apply to your writing? Letters Compose a letter to a lost friend or loved one. Write a letter to someone who has inspired you or to someone with whom you have unresolved issues. This therapeutic exercise can often stir some heavy emotions. You may want to do this again on the last page of your journal to see what if anything has changed.

Poetry Grace the first page of your journal with a special poem. If you are a natural poet, this is a great place to showcase one of your own favorite poems. Write down all of the words that come to mind. Circle each word and draw a connecting line between each circle. Use free-association to build upon each word or short phrase. This exercise will probably generate ideas for writing past the first page of your new journal. Refocusing Instead of concentrating on the first page, try randomly writing quotations, prompts or drawings at the top of other pages.

This technique will give you inspiration down your journaling road. This article appeared in the August issue of Personal Journaling. You might also like:

Areas of Study. You can find the material for the multiple-choice portion of the the English Composition with Essay CLEP exam, in the English Composition CLEP without Essay Study Guide. I'd like to discuss the Essay portion here since it worries so many people. 3 Additional Outlines that You Can Print. Basic 5-Paragraph (Argument) Essay Outline: This outline also serves for other essays such as research papers, or the basic 5-paragraph greenclix.pwght-and-print outline to fill in. Another Argument Essay Outline: This outline asks questions that help you critically think about your topic. Highlight-and-print outline to fill .

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