IAJW Member Spotlight Interview with Jennifer Bradley

How I came to journaling ….

This morning I was reminded again the source of my interest in journaling. Like the sky I saw from my back door (see photo above), change can happen before our eyes. But even visible change is not easy to keep up with. And then there is the challenge of “invisible change.”

Relocating geographically has been very much part of my adult life. My search for an anchor during major work-family-life transitions was why I began to journal.

The desire to learn more led me to the Therapeutic Writing Institute https://twinstitute.net. While completing my Journaling Facilitation Certification, one of my classmates introduced me to IAJW.

For a more personal reflection on “why I write,” here is a recent journal excerpt:

“I write to remember who I am, to slow down my mind, to stop and feel what is happening now, to find a moment of focus …..I write to remember, to forget, to plan, to sort, to let go, to hold one, to relive, to reconsider, to understand, to see another way, pickup another lens, to feel the coffee cup in my hand, my feet on the ground, the glasses on my face, to remind myself I am still here, still alive, still breathing in and out …”

What I have learned so far…

If you look up the word journal in the dictionary, you will discover that it originates from the Latin word diurnalis, which means daily. But don’t worry, journaling is powerful even if you don’t do it every day. At least that’s my experience!

The thing about journaling is that there is space for confusion, complexity, and contradictions. Personal writing gives me the freedom to “do it my way” and to use different approaches at different times.

Sometimes, it’s a quick list or a short poem. Sometimes it’s a couple of pages of venting. Sometimes it’s a reflection on a piece of work or a meander into an imagined future. Before sleep, it might 1-minute review to remember the good in the day.

Why I keep coming back…

Today I continue to use personal writing both personally and professionally and have been fortunate to work with Leia Francisco and to benefit from her wisdom on writing through career and work-life transitions. http://www.careerconvergence.org/aws/NCDA/pt/sd/news_article/148446/_self/CC_layout_details/false
(This is a great article on navigating disrupted careers with proven transition writing tools! Thanks for sharing this resource with us, Jennifer.)

Individual writing is inspiring, but what I value even more are opportunities to write with others. To listen and be heard. If you’re a member of IAJW, hopefully you have already had the opportunity to join a monthly writing circle. If not, try it out!

I have facilitated personal writing groups in several of the places I have lived. I am happy to be starting a group here in Edinburgh.

As the pace of change accelerates and uncertainty is ever-present, finding ways to connect feels more important than ever.

Community writing makes this possible. It creates opportunities for change by making time to listen and felt heard.

Thank you for reading.


Guest Author:  Jennifer Bradley, PhD, IAJW Member and writing group facilitator.
You can connect with Jennifer: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jenniferbradleyphd