Two weeks ago, I started an experiment with myself. I made it a goal to do some free-writing every day to see if it would help me be more productive. You can read the first post here. And the Week 1 Update here.

This week I was less consistent with journaling. I journaled 4 of the last 7 days. Some days I forgot to do it all together, other days I realized too late when I had already begun to get ready for bed and so decided to skip it.

One thing is definitely true: on the days I managed to write, I was more productive.

In many cases, the journaling led to some good insights about what was or wasn’t working about my routine or strategies for tackling my research. I scribbled down some thoughts on alternatives to my approach or possible solutions. I wrote about what I felt was holding me back and workshopped how to overcome those feelings.

I also had an eerie feeling that time was circular when I flipped back to last January and realized I was doing morning free-writing practices then too. At that time, I was trying it out after my writer friend, Louise, suggested it as a way to work through anxiety I was experiencing surrounding creative writing.

I compared several entries that were exactly 1 year apart: strong patterns emerged.

I got creeped out, feeling like I was in some sort of self-improvement spin-cycle. 2016 Tori will likely make the same mistakes and suffer the same pitfalls at 2015 Tori. What a cruel cosmic joke.

Then upon further reflection, I thought to myself– without this journal I would not have known how similar my January 2015 and January 2016 frame of mind and thoughts were.  Rather than be troubled by the similarities, I choose to be grateful that it allowed me that insight. And it’s not that I haven’t grown or made improvements. If nothing else, the fact that I have had similar goals (at least) two years standing shows…tenacity?

And last year at this time I was only able to write for myself. One year later I am sharing my thoughts with you, dear reader. So that’s progress I will proudly claim.

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