Posted by: rememberingyourpresent | June 11, 2010

Journaling Technique: SOC–Stream of Consciousness


DEFINING THE SOC (STREAM OF CONSCIOUS WRITING)

A Stream of Consciousness (SOC) is a journal entry in which you write anything that comes to your mind, no matter how silly, outlandish, irrelevant, foolish, or futile, it may seem. There’s a reason for this; we’ll hit that in a bit. But write it all down even if it doesn’t seem relevant or appear at that moment to make sense.

Just make sure to write fast, don’t stop or even hesitate. Capture on the page anything that comes to mind, whether it’s just single-word thoughts, notions, or complete sentences.

The reason you do this is because you may not know what to write just yet, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t an infant thought there just waiting to be more fully developed in time.

Initially, your first thoughts may seem vague or unimportant. Not so! These are the ‘bare-bones’ thoughts which lead to a more contemplative expression at some point in the future. These thoughts are all gems which must be shaped and cut…fashioned by past events which you revisit—things you have not thought about (but probably should have) for years. The combination of things seemingly blurted on the page, along with the contemplations these entries generate, will expose them in their full brilliance at a later point. But that cannot happen unless you first capture them on the page. This brings us full circle.

For example: in the event you don’t have a fully developed thought, write in your journal, “I don’t know what to write, so I think…” Often by doing just that, you’ll get ideas of deeper things to write about. There will be days when that’s all you write for this exercise, but that’s okay. There will be other days when you do the SOC for an hour straight because you have so much to say. Capture it!

Make sure you don’t edit anything. Don’t worry about scribbles on the page or typing errors as you do the SOC. Just let them go until you’re finished with the SOC. Then, you can go back and fix stuff. Just as importantly, don’t delete anything. Ever. If you ever feel the need to make a neater presentation, that’s great. Just do not discard your rough draft(s).

It is crucial to remember humble beginnings. It is essential to remember origins. Your original thoughts on the page or in blank e-documents, scribbles, errors, and all, are worth keeping for just these reasons. To discard them is to discard your thoughts. Please don’t do that! Your thoughts are emblematic of your life—don’t throw them away!

Keep all of your original work not only to be reminded of things of the past, but also to give yourself the opportunity to track your own progress through a particular series of thoughts or time in your life.

It’s important to remember that a SOC is meant to extend the life of undeveloped thoughts and ideas. Editing is not the goal here—that comes at some point later. It can happen immediately, but sometimes editing your work is what happens days, months, or even years later.

This practice of keeping all your work will help you see your progression later to help you learn and comprehend how you grow. It’s also a great tool for review and personal analysis later. So, hang on to your drafts! It can be a wonderful thing to understand and therefore appreciate where you are by realizing where you’ve been. It can even help you to navigate to where you’re going.

THE CHRISTIAN SOC

The rule of thumb you need to remember is to make every sentence you write a tribute to God in one way or another. It’s the way you connect with God.

Therefore, if everything you write is positive, and you choose to omit the ugly stuff, then you’re not being real or truthful with God. You’re glossing-over stuff and you’re refusing to deal with whatever issue(s) it might be—this is a form of denial. So, make sure to include the good and bad, even while you make your journaling a sacred act of worship.

THE “HOW TO” OF THE SOC

~ For 5 to 15 minutes (but of course you can go longer than that, if you wish) first thing in the morning, do an SOC entry. We’ll call this one your “Daily A.M. SOC.”

~ When you’re finished copy and paste what you want to write more about later into a new document/journal and title it what I’ll refer to as the “Future SOC List.”

~ Then, do a SOC any time during your day you get upset, need to vent, or need to work through a problem. Also, whenever you’re really inspired by something or are very pleased with something. Don’t forget to copy and paste what you want to write more about later and put it on your Future SOC List.

~ Finally, do the same thing at the end of your journaling day. We’ll call this one your “Daily P.M. SOC.”

As we discussed earlier, the SOC is a wonderful idea generator. I find it’s the single-most important tool in my journaling toolbox. I can write entire books from one sentence of my SOC. The key is even though it might not inspire you at the time, it’s important to review your SOCs because years later they can inspire you to write about something new and different.

YOUR CHRISTIAN SOC

Your Christian SOC is a wonderful place to talk to and listen to God. Make sure to include both when you do your Stream of Consciousness writing. What you say to God and what He says to you are some of the most sacred parts of your life. God will never leave you nor forsake you. He will never steer you wrong.

3 TIMES & 4 WORLDS EVERY DAY

Every day needs to have a journaling entry about your 3 times: past, your present, and your future.

Also, every day, you need to write your 4 worlds: thought world, your feelings/emotional world, your outer world (those in your life), and your soul world (your faith, your inner-being, your spiritual state of being, your deepest parts).

DAILY ENTRIES

Your daily journal entries are at least 2-fold. They consist of:

~ Your Daily SOCs

~ Daily Template

Make sure to include how you feel when you journal about the situation along with what you feel as you write your journal entry. Also make sure to include what you think about the situation and what you think about as you write your journal entry. Be attentive to your reactions and don’t let them pass by without getting them on the page and analyzing them.

DAILY TEMPLATE: PAST

~ 1st, list in your journal 5 memories of your past you haven’t mentioned previously. Give each of the 5 memories a memory title, date (or at least approximate season or month as well as year), how old you were, a paragraph description, and how it’s shaped your life.

~ 2nd, choose 3 of the memories and write a page about each. List the 6 senses of: discernment/intuition, smell, sound, taste, touch, and sight. Also, answer who, what, where, when, why, how, and what-if questions to that memory. (You may also choose to do a SOC about them as well.)

~ 3rd, choose 2 of the memories which stand out to you the most and take 3-7 snapshots/photos of the memory with your imaginary camera. If the memory is crystal clear and you remember lots of detail, make it 7 snapshots. If it’s foggy, make it 3. If it’s in-between, you decide how many snapshots. Then, describe each in your journal. This will add about a paragraph per snapshot per memory.

~ Take 1 snapshot from each memory and write it from the perspective of a stranger who’s looking into the moment. Remember, the stranger doesn’t know any of the people or events in the snapshot until the stranger sees this snapshot for the first time. Be descriptive.

PRESENT

~ 1st, describe each of the 4 worlds for you today:

Thoughts:

Feelings:

Outer:

Soul (What do you have to say to God and what has He said to you?):

~ 2nd, list 3-5 memories you made today. Give each of them a title. State what happened, and why each of them are meaningful to you. What were your 4 worlds regarding each memory?

~ 3rd, of at least one of the memories, and take 3 to 7 snapshots of it. List them for each memory. Describe them. Go into as much detail as you can. Then, pick one from each memory and write it from the perspective of a stranger looking into the moment.

~ What legacy do you want to leave from today? Why?

FUTURE

~ 1st, list at least 2 new things you want to do before you die.

~ 2nd, make an action plan for each of those 2 things you want to accomplish.

~ 3rd, if you were to die tomorrow, what would you say in your journal and do today that you haven’t said or done before?

~ 4th, how do you want to remember your life today in the future?

CONCLUSION

~ List at least 3 new things for which you are grateful to God for and describe why.

~ Do at least a 5-minute SOC. This is called your Daily P.M. SOC. You might even include a summary of what you’ve learned, done, thought, felt, or lived today.

Feel free to add stuff to the template as you see fit.

**** From my book coming out in July 2010: THE TRANSFORMATIONAL TOOL OF CHRISTIAN JOURNALING. ****

 By Stacy Duplease of Remembering Your Present, LLC


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Categories

%d bloggers like this: