Brain Dump- A Journaling Exercise for the Cluttered Mind
Jun 05, 2019
Brain Dump - A Journaling Exercise for the Cluttered Mind
As a life-long journal’er, I’m often surprised to meet people who don’t journal. You may be one of them. I find people who don’t journal often feel confused about HOW TO journal, how to get started.
I have to say, I think journaling has been instrumental to my love-affair with storytelling. The two just go hand in hand.
Stories don’t come to me on a silver platter…. I often have to go hunting for them. And more times than not, I’ll find them inside my journal.
One of the things I do the most is a basic brain dump. Whatever I’m thinking, I write. It’s stream of conscious writing where you literally write down every word as it comes to you in your head. It doesn’t always make sense…. but you write it down anyway.
There’s no editing here. You just keep writing. You write until the words run out.
When you’re done, it feels like you’ve given your mind the best hot shower it’s ever had. The entire process allows you to cleanse your mind of all the chatter and clutter and nonsense that tends to hang out in your head.
At first glance, you might review what you wrote during your brain dump session and think “what a hot mess that is” …. but I encourage you to go back through the pages and really look for the story. Often times, the beginning stuff is the crappy stuff…. because this is when your mind is getting rid of all the junk. But as you keep writing, this is where the golden nuggets come out… because once your brain gets rid of all the clutter, it can produce the real gold hiding in your mind. Your creativity will be unleashed. New stories will emerge. Nuggets of wisdom and clarity are often buried towards the end of the writing session…. so take care to cull through all the noise to find those masterpieces.
When I’m brain dumping, it often feels frenzied and chaotic. I usually slam my journal closed when I’m done and have to step away. But when I return to the journal and read what I wrote, I often find the most beautiful, honest, and thoughtful stories.
I often give this exercise as homework to my storytelling clients who feel extremely stuck. I can see their story right in front of them, but they can’t. So I advise them to do the brain dump exercise and then come back to me with their thoughts.
Over and over again, clarity emerges. It’s really a beautiful process, so I hope you’ll give this a try today.
Go grab a beautiful new journal and set the intention to fill it up …. no blank page left behind. Use the pages of the notebook to release the jumbled up stories…. iron out the wrinkles and discover fresh new stories waiting to be shared.
I want to know if you find this exercise helpful, so be sure to share with me! You can email me at april @lightbeamers.com or find me hanging out in my private Facebook group — the lightbeamers community. Join us over there for lots of storytelling tips, prompts, and discussion. I’d love to know how journaling goes for you!