Use these guidelines as a reference as you explore these writing prompts. Remember that the goal is to answer the questions truthfully, not to create perfect prose.
1. Write for 20 minutes a day at least five days a week if possible.
2. Take your time with the questions and allow yourself to dive deep. It’s much better to answer one question thoroughly than five questions superficially.
3. Resist including everything that pops into your head the way one does with free writing. Hone in on the question. Unlike morning pages or journaling, this is a practice focuses on self-inquiry as a tool to liberate you from faulty thinking (stories).
4. Know that some of your writing days are going to be better than others. Expect to meet your saboteurs along the way. Telling the truth often calls up resistance. You will know that you’re approaching some breakthrough or epiphany when you begin to feel uncomfortable.
5. Pay attention to how you feel in your body as you write. When you sense tension, that is connected to what you are writing, so inquire into the tension. What is its source? What is scaring or exciting you?
6. If you find yourself feeling numb or bored or absent when writing, that’s a sign that you’re not taking any risks. Pause in that moment and ask yourself, What am I avoiding? What scares me here?
7. Remember that writing is only half the process. After you’ve responded to a question, set it aside. Reread your work the following day. Notice the gaps between the story and the truth in your writing. This is when the insight will come.
8. Remember to include your thoughts and feelings about the material you are exploring. Don’t just report the facts.
9. Allow your confusion, messiness, and uncertainty to appear on the page. There is no need to be crystal clear about the question you are exploring. The exploration is the point.
10. The beauty of self-inquiry is that one question leads to another. Note the questions that arise in your responses and explore them later.