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Joint Journaling
Corinne Pratz

As effective as writing is my journal and talking with myself in this way is for me, I have found tremendous growth, understanding and insight in joint journaling as well. Simply put, joint journaling is sharing one book with another person where both communicate with themselves and with each other.

In a family of six, it can be very hectic to say the least. Everyone has their own schedule and days can fly by without a lot of deeper communication. I introduced joint journaling to my children as a way of feeling more connected with them and what was happening in their lives. I also used this as a way to let them into my life. At times the entries were in letter form to each other. Other times, they were the same as an individual journal entry and then there were shared prompts where they answered a prompt and I did the same. The point was to express and to share and it continues to work beautifully. Each book is a guarded treasure between myself and the kid I am writing with. We have gained so much more by taking time to write with one another.

I have also experienced joint journaling in a relationship and what a powerful tool this has been. Questions and prompts, along with just expressive writing, bring far greater insight into the other person by providing a platform of expression that is free and unrestricted by time restraints that can see people say something without thinking it through first.

A while back a Creative-Journal reader shared her experience of joint journaling with a dear friend. She wrote:

"Mary, my best friend of 30 years, and I have always written letters of great depth to one another, but somehow with the onset of E mail, we moved to an entirely new plane. Though we have each journaled off and on over the years, somehow our correspondence evolved into a kind of journaling for us....we each wrote about our lives and let whatever flowed out simply come, uncensored for the most part. This turned into a daily event for each of us.

I was often surprised at the material that would fly magically onto the screen from my fingers. That was the first level of insight. But then Mary, a person who loves me unconditionally, would have the opportunity to read it and respond to my comments if she so chose; what an incredible blessing and what an acceleration of my personal growth!

Many, many days we each walk the path of our own destinies, a kind of parallel play. Some days synchronicity intervenes and we find ourselves side-by-side, thinking about the same issues, unbeknownst to one another. And some days we respond to one another's concerns directly. We dance together, we dance apart, but we have maintained this thread across the miles and across the years of our lives in our shared journaling and we are forever changed."

Joint journaling allows us to touch another person and to be touched in a very special way. I have kept all of the books we have filled with our thoughts, feelings and happenings. The closeness we have gained will live long past the pages.

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All contents 2001, Corinne Pratz unless otherwise noted. "Creative-Journal" "Creative-Journal.com" and "Achieving Growth One Word At A Time" are trademarks of Corinne Pratz.