I’ll start by saying that I’m not discussing matters of POV shift and usage IN your writing, but rather, the effect your personal POV has ON your writing. And a great way to monitor and track your own POV is through journal entries where you can view them with some objectivity and distance.
Yes, I suppose I’m still going on about the new year, but my own ambivalence led me to consider past journal entries, and what I found both amused and surprised me. Because I found I was experiencing the same things in my life, the same struggles, even though my life now is considerably different than in those previous years. What I think this tells me – and you – is that sometimes the most important perspective we have to beware of is our own, because it’s the same excuses, the same feelings of inadequacy, the same fears that can hold us back from creating the best things we can, from becoming the best people we can be.
I’ve been writing about resistance and how to overcome it, and I think a huge part of that always must come back to the idea that we create our own reality and our own experience of reality. Sometimes we get so caught up in the present (not such a bad thing), that it becomes difficult for us to get perspective and decide whether what we “know” is indeed fact, or perhaps a result of our own perspective.
Writing in a journal often happens when you’re swinging on either a high or a major low (at least for me, since I’ve never been able to keep up with daily journaling – if you are, power to you for it). Looking back on past entries, you’ll probably quickly start to see patterns if you can avoid getting sucked into the experience of that past day. For example, when I look back on past journal entries, it’s clear evidence that I’m falling into the same traps for writing bad habits and emotional swings. Are you doing the same thing?
Every year I seem frustrated by my lack of progress the previous year – I can never achieve enough to be satisfied, it would seem, so perhaps I’ve set impossible goals. I continue to see time slipping away from me, and feel I’m living in some kind of limbo – but rather than waiting years more for what’s after that limbo, why not see that perhaps that IS my experience of life? Indeed, I may want more – and by all means, goal-setting, future-planning, these are all essential, but what about living in the present? What about experiencing and appreciating the life that IS?
Journal or diary entries are a great way to judge how you’re feeling at a particular time, and to also watch for habits and tendencies. How do you feel when you start the first draft of a WIP? How long before you start to droop, around what word count or number of days writing? At what point do you think the whole piece is crap and want to throw it all away? And finally (yes, I’m skipping a few steps), at what point do you come back to the beginning and think the WIP is worthwhile, and actually, it’s pretty good?
This can be extremely helpful when you’re in the low point of the emotional rollercoaster that often accompanies a WIP. If you know where you are (ie: a high point or a low) you can moderate your response and anticipate what will likely come next. Mostly, you can get over the over-emotional crap, and just get on with what’s important: the creation and your writing. Because after all, that’s what really matters, right?
And hey, if the retrospective doesn’t help your writing, at the very least you can look at a past rotten day and think at least you survived that and you’re not experiencing it today.
Thanks for reading, have a great week, and hoping today will earn a “wonderful day” journal entry. J