Springboards to Insight

Springboards to Insight

© Joanne Klassen

Quote of the Week

Write your pain–it will subside.

Write your pleasure–it will grow.

Write your name on every page

Write when it is the last thing you should be doing.

  ~David Elias, Writer, Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada


  • What is the best thing that writing does for you?
  • What propells you to the page to write?
  • What keeps you from taking time to write?
  • How can you trim time from routine tasks to free up time to devote to writing?


Once upon a winter time, a few years ago, I had grown positively cranky about how little time I was finding to write–which is one of my favorite activities. There were Christmas cards to buy, write, and mail on top of all the family preparations for the holidays.  Then I saw a sign I had made peeking out of a stack of papers waiting to be organized.  It said:

Who says I have to do this? These words were a springboard to greater insight about the things I do without examining their relative importance in my current situation.  My mother had sent Christmas cards to over a hundred people each year. Did I need to follow in her footsteps?  My husband read the daily newspaper each morning, but did I need to continue the habit in my own routine? The answer to both these questions was NO.

When I gave myself permission to stop buying, writing and sending Christmas cards, my husband Ted and I co-wrote a holiday letter which we each emailed to the people we wanted to stay in touch with at the end of the year.  We have continued this and my stress level around the month of December is much less.  I also stopped reading the daily newspaper and devote that extra 30minutes to writing most days. I am more cheerful and productive with something I value. There really has been no downside. In fact, we stopped getting the newspaper delivered and Ted reads it on the computer, so the trip to the recycling box is another task that doesn’t need attention.

Consider several versions of the sentence that I used as a springboard to insight:

  • WHO says I have to do this?
  • Who says I have to do this?
  • Who says I have to do this?
  • Who says I have to do this?
  • Who says I have to do this?
  • Who says I have to do this?

This sentence triggers insight that me to see patterns in my behaviour and routines with a more expansive eye to possibilities for change.

The motto for Heartspace Writing School, home of Transformative Writing, is AWARENESS IS POWER: The power to choose; the power to change; the power to create; and the power to appreciate. Springboards are like the diving board at the deep end of the pool, they can propell our thinking away from the safety of remaining on the board, into the water where where we enter the swim of things that are much more rewarding than hanging out in the safe zone.

Writing Exercise
In what area of your life could you use a  reminder to re-evaluate the importance of time consuming, “not terribly rewarding,”  safe or routine activities or tasks?

  • Write Freestyle for J5M (Just 5 Minutes). Notice what you become aware of.
  • Is there something you can choose to change to create a different approach, one that will give you more time for important things–like writing?
  • My best wishes as you write-away,

Joanne Klassen, January 13, 2012Winnipeg, MB Canada

jklassen@write-away.net  www.write-away.net   transformativewriting.wordpress.com See Tools of Transformation, by Joanne Klassen at amazon.com.