The Journal Newsletter – September 2003

The Journal Newsletter

September 2003
Volume 4 Issue 9


Welcome to The Journal Newsletter!

First off, our apologies for not getting the newsletter out in August. We’re back this month, though, with a new tip for using The Journal, new writing exercises from Susan, and a new article.

Thank you for supporting DavidRM Software’s The Journal!

Tips & Tricks

TIP: Restoring from a Backup

Computer hardware and software being what they are, it’s almost inevitable that you will sooner or later find yourself needing to restore from The Journal’s backup.

Here are the steps for restoring The Journal:

1. Click on the Journal menu, find the Maintenance sub-menu, and choose “Restore From Backup”.

2. Click on the “…” button and find your backup (*.JBK) file.

3. When you select the backup file, the Restore form will list the Journal Volumes in that backup.

4. Select the Journal Volume to restore from the list.

5. If that Journal Volume does not exist in The Journal, you will need to click on “Create Volume” to create an empty Journal Volume to restore into.

NOTE: If you are restoring a backup, but do not want to overwrite everything in your current Journal Volume, make sure you create a new Journal Volume to restore into (example: Home2). Then you can use the export/import function to retrieve specific categories and/or entries.

6. Click on “Restore”.

7. Select the Journal Volume you wish to restore into.

NOTE: Everything that is in that Journal Volume *will* be overwritten by the information in the backup. So select the Journal Volume *very* carefully.

And that does it. The Journal Volume will be restored to what it was as of the last backup.

Writing Prompts

by Susan Michael

Free Writing Exercise – Write for 20 minutes (without editing) in any style, using a Laundromat as your setting.

Poetry Exercise – Write a poem using the phrase “a foreign language”.

Prose Exercise – Write a “diary excerpt” from a character of your choice, or one of the following suggested characters: a spoken word poet on a short tour, a person who has suffered the loss of a elderly parent, an actor who is “very talented”, waiting to be discovered, or a successful author who is working on a new novel.

Journaling Exercise – 1.) Write five personal short term goals 2.) Write down five things that you can do to help other people this week.

Memoir Prompt – Write about three people that you have lost contact with. Write first about your relationship with each. Continue the exercise by writing about why, or if, you would like to reconnect with that person again.

About the author: Susan Michael currently facilitates the Tulsa Writers Cafe for the Arts & Humanities Council in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Ms. Michael has also led writing & creativity workshops for children, teenagers, and adults.


The Journey of Journaling

By Tom Gilbert

“Yesterday, I was gazing up at the starlit summer sky. It was just about time for bed and as I prepared for it I again marveled at the great expanse of the universe and how insignificant my life seems in the great scheme of it all. Yet, that is how the ego is, constantly seeking assurance or leaping to the other end of the spectrum and exaggerating my importance. Either way, it is self-centeredness. I am still too much the taker, not enough the giver…”The above is an excerpt from a recent entry in my personal journal. The actual writing is part of gaining perspective and clarity for me. I’ve kept a journal for years. I’m not faithful to daily writing like I once was. Instead I do it when I sense the need or the inner prompting. It still is frequent enough to remain a habit and not a hindrance.

Consider the Implications

Journaling is truly a great tool. In our journey through life we need to spend time reflecting on our days and considering the implications of the events in our lives. I can still be very self-centered, even in my writing. Nevertheless, the more I journal the more I find the need to express the truth that has been revealed to me. I live not for myself. Life is a gift and discovering/revealing the insight through the written word is part of how I grow. There is such simple clarity in seeing the words, even as I type them.

There are many practical reasons for keeping a journal. As a spiritual tool it yields benefit upon benefit. At times I will read a previous entry. Usually Ill pull up the entry as close to a year ago as I can and read it. How interesting to discover that some of the things that were so pressing at the time have melted away with nary a current concern. Sometimes, though, Ill discover that a “big” deal was happening. Financial worries, problems with family members, a spiritual crisis or a major news event. Always lessons are learned. If I didn’t take the time to record these moments in life Id likely not fully benefit from the lessons.

Just Do It

One of the keys to successful journaling is to set aside some time to just do it. Make it an appointment with your computer or notebook. If you like to write long-hand consider investing in a nice blank book. You can find these easily enough in most any office store, or go online.

As you go through your day think about what is happening. If you hear something valuable in a conversation or read something that moves you, make a mental or written note. It makes it easier to have something to write at the end of a tiring day.

You don’t have to write at days end either. Pick the time that works best for you. Morning is often a better time for writing while you are fresh and you can write about your plans for the day as well as recall prior events.

Don’t worry about the length of your entry. Even just one or two insightful sentences will bear fruit. Or you may write for a few pages. My typical entries are a couple of paragraphs. Over time you’ll find what works best for you.

Your journal can be the place to record emotions, cares, concerns, hopes, desires, dreams and prayers. You can keep more than one journal, too. Many people have found the benefit of specializing. You can keep journals for travel, work, family, ideas, prayer or any other reason you can think of. These records can be terrific resources for an eventual memoir or life story.

The important thing is to keep some sort of chronicle. Life truly is a journey and those we meet on our travels have a purpose for you and them. Write about it, read it later and consider even sharing some of it, all in the spirit of encouragement.

“The Journey of Journaling” Copyright © 2003 by Tom Gilbert.

Tom Gilbert writes most of the content on www.livingthesolution.comand you can read his frequent thoughts on life in the “Journal” pages section of the web site. Tom also owns and operates to encourage others to write and preserve their life stories and family history.

Submission Information

If you would like to contribute to the “How I Use The Journal”, “Writing Exercises”, or “Tips & Tricks” sections, or would like to submit an article about journaling, writing, or another The Journal-related topic, we would love to hear from you.

Submissions for the newsletter should be sent to:

If you are submitting for a particular section, please indicate which one. Try to limit your submissions to 500-1000 words. Submissions may be edited for length and content.

If you prefer to remain anonymous, please state this in the email. Otherwise your name (but not your email) will be used in the article heading.

As always, if you have any suggestions for, or bug reports about, The Journal, please feel free to email them. Both are always welcome.


Editor: David Michael (
The Journal Newsletter Copyright © 2015 by David Michael.
Updated: June 18, 2015 — 8:54 pm