WHAT IS SOC JOURNALING?
There is a journaling practice called Streams-of-Consciousness (SOC) Journaling.
This is where you write everything, and anything, that comes to mind within a certain period of time. The time intervals can be 10, 15, or 20 minutes... Or anything in-between. I recommend 10 or 15-minute intervals.
A SOC IS SOME OF THE MOST IMPORTANT JOURNALING YOU/WE CAN DO
I cannot stress this enough. It’s one of the most underused tools and types of journaling.
Please do not skip this, avoid it, or fail to do it. It’s extremely beneficial for so many reasons and on so many levels.
HOW OFTEN SHOULD YOU DO A SOC?
I recommend doing this at least once a day. If you want to get the most out of a SOC, you’ll do it ten or more times per week.
WHY DO A SOC?: THE BENEFITS
Why do a SOC, you might be curious. Let me explain.
We all have things going on in our brains that we just need to get out. We spend time on thinking these things that we do not really need to. However, we cannot release them unless we capture them on the page, so we can read it again later and remember it. Once we have it on the page, we can let go of it and think of something else. This is the first valuable part of a SOC.
There is another reason to do a SOC. We all have things going on in our heads, and weighing on our hearts, that we just do not know about. When we write as much as we can, as fast as we can, we might tap into this and can then journal about it and either let it go or recognize that this is something we need to pay more attention to in the upcoming days. Talk about beneficial.
And the final reason to do a SOC is because this is how we capture valuable nuggets in our journaling. We will put something on the page that is extremely rich and we can and need to look more at that later.
For all these reasons, I think this is one of the most valuable types of journaling we can do.
At this point, I bet you might wonder, how you do a SOC. Well, let’s look at that now.
HOW DO YOU DO A GENERAL (UNSPECIFIED) SOC?
If you do not have a journaling question, prompt, thought, or memory that you want to do a SOC for, then do this:
§ Grab your journal.
§ Set a timer for 10 or 15 minutes.
§ Write as fast as you can.
§ Do NOT stop writing. Even if you do not know what to say, journal that as many times as you need until you figure out what to say. Journal something like, “I do not know that to say. I still do not know what to say. Still no clue.” Eventually, something will come to mind. Trust the process and do not allow yourself to get frustrated.
§ Do not edit as you go. Just keep writing.
§ When that timer goes off, finish the last thought.
§ Read what you just journaled.
§ Underline anything you would want to look more at later or so a SOC about later. And then do so.
§ From there, journal about what surprised you.
§ Then journal about what jumped out at you.
§ Then journal about what you learned.
§ Journal any questions you might have.
§ Journal a summary.
A SPECIFIED SOC
§ If you have a topic you want to explore, then do all the steps listed in the previous section. It’s that simple.
DO A SOC OF A SOC: A 20 to 30-MINUTE SOC
§ Every week, I recommend doing this at least once. It’s quite beneficial.
§ Do a SOC of 10 to 15 minutes.
§ Then, when you find a nugget, something you want to look more at, do a Specified SOC of that for 1o to 15 minutes.
HAVE A SOC JOURNALING RETREAT
Why have a retreat?
I cannot even begin to express how beneficial this is. You and your journaling will grow tremendously because of this. Try it. You will see what I mean.
Hint and tip: Make sure you have more than enough writing utensils necessary, batter life for your device, and so forth.
Another hint and tip: Eliminate all distractions. Turn off your phone. Put your device on airplane mode so you cannot get online. Just journal.
§ THE WEEKLY 1-HOUR SOC RETREAT: Once a week, do multiple SOCS for at least one hour. Take a 5-minute break if needed. But, do SOCs for the total of an hour, plus time for breaks.
§ THE MONTHLY 4-HOUR SOC RETREAT: Once a month, do multiple SOCs for at least 4 hours. Take a 10-minute break, or a few of them, if needed. But, do SOCs for the total of 4 hours, plus time for breaks.
§ THE QUARTERLY 8-HOUR SOC RETREAT: Once every 3 months, do multiple SOCs for at least 8 hours. Take a 15-minute break, or a few of them, if needed. But, do SOCs for the total of 8 hours, plus time for breaks.
§ THE ONCE EVERY 6 MONTHS 12-HOUR SOC RETREAT: Once every 6 months, do multiple SOCs for at least 12 hours. Take a 15-minute break, or a few of them, if needed. But, do SOCs for the total of 12 hours, plus time for breaks.
§ THE ONCE A YEAR 16-HOUR SOC RETREAT: Once every 12 months, do multiple SOCs for at least 12 hours. Take a 15-minute break, or a few of them, if needed. But, do SOCs for the total of 16 hours, plus time for breaks.
Hint and tip #1: Do a SOC as often as possible.
Hint and tip #2: Review all your SOCs regularly and remember what you journaled.
My experience: Some of the best journaling I ever do is through the use of a SOC.