The most essential tool for Storykeeping is pretty basic: pen, paper, and Focused Freeform Jotting or “FFJ.” Let’s take each word in turn:


  • Start with a focusing question or topic. We provide them when you take our programs, and include them in the posts on this website.
  • Give yourself a time limit, anywhere from 1 to 5 minutes. We’ll designate that for you on all Discover Activities on the website.


  • Don’t write in complete sentences; words and phrases will suffice. Don’t correct your spelling, grammar, or include punctuation.
  • The rule of thumb is first thought, best thought.
  • No censoring. Write as freely as possible. You’ll have a chance to make edits afterwards.


  • Jotting best describes what you are doing – it’s quick, and should have the rhythm and feel of taking notes. You are taking notes on whatever is in your mind.
  • Jot continuously. No stopping, keep your pen moving.

Why Use Focused Freeform Jotting?

  • It makes beginning easier.
  • It enables you to observe yourself.
  • You use a different part of your brain than you do when you type on your computer. You’ll gain access to information and make connections that won’t come from your thinking mind.
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