Review from a christian view.....
This is an extremely comprehensive book and goes over almost every single type of journaling technique that I've found. Instead of spending endless pages enumerating the values of a particular technique, she presents each technique with a few examples and leaves you to do decide how and where you need to apply them. Then in the middle chapters of the book she has articles on specific problems/or goals, such as working on being joyful, changing self-destructive habits of thinking, dealing with loss, fear, pain or loneliness, and over-coming writing blocks.
This is the only journaling book I've ever read that had a chapter on eroticism. I've never understood why in christian circles this topic is so taboo or why it has to be separated so strongly from everything else. I'm single and chaste, but I still have issues that I've had to repeatedly work through and this chapter reassured me that it was okay to write about them, that I wasn't being `dirty' by acknowledging that part of myself.
The chapter on rereading past diaries is Excellent! She offers a lot of good advice on how to avoid letting past pains overwhelm you, how to look for trends in writing and behavior and offers suggestions on how to balance your writing if you find your style leaning towards one particular mode of writing. She has a list of 21 questions to use
when you re-read that I have found extremely helpful.
This book is steeped in post-modern psychology and feminism. She quotes theories by Jung, Freud, Marion Milner, Ira Progoff and Anais Nin. It's better than a lot of books because she doesn't promise that her ideas or suggestions will fix your problems (a lot of books by therapists promise this), she simply presents her ideas for you to do
with whatever you wish.
She mentions some pagan new-agey ideas as well. Some of them are past and future lives, guided imagery (visualization) and predicting the future in dreams.
Because this book is not christian, there is no mention of quiet time, prayers, bible study, writing as a spiritual discipline, etc. Most of her suggestions can be applied to these, but if you journal just for those purposes then this book might not have much to offer you.
This is an excellent book for seasoned journalers that want to explore something new. Most journaling books are simply rehashes of the ideas presented here and if you'd like most all of the writing techniques in one volume then this book is for you.
Even though this book has a lot of bad elements in it, I am constantly surprised at how common-sense some of her advice and suggestions are. When she wrote this journal-writing wasn't taken too seriously so she might have felt the need to support her ideas by `experts' but you can ignore all that and just look at her suggestions.
This is a completely new concept of journal writing. It is for those who already keep journals as well as those who have neve done so.
This one book has been with me for 30 years! I've given away at least 200 books over the years, but this one stays. The ideas in here are sooooo different from other journal books, it really loosens up your creativity and releases your self conscious feelings if you are new to it. This book is also great for writers. Her techniques will definitely break any block you have. The free form ideas throw your idea generat or into overdrive. Get this book!!
As an avid journaler, I found this book to be very helpful. Although I already practice many of the recommendations, I discovered a lot of new ideas I would like to try for more in-depth journaling.
It's funny that I purchased this book in 1984 when I worked at a book store. It's stayed with me all these years even though I never had a chance to read it until now. I think that was meant to be. A lot of the ideas in this book would have gone right over my head even just 5 years ago.