Act I: Discover Your Narrative Intro
Producer’s Love Letter
“For now we see a reflection, as in a mirror…” -Part I of 1 Corinthians 13:12, NIV.
Welcome to your life as a “Journal-artist” where you will be fusing journaling, journalism, and your Hero’s journey. This program is designed to inspire hope, faith, and love, the fruits that the Holy Spirit desires you to receive, should you be open to accepting the call to adventure.
But I’m not going to lie to you. It takes work (when you work it), time (when you make it), and commitment (when you push through in spite of it all).
Love, after all, is a choice, and God wants you to discover the fruits while you are journeying towards love, one day at a time.
Journal-artism is journaling in fiction, based on a true_____, told in the third person, present perfect tense, sometimes limited omniscient and other times omniscient (perceiving through God’s/Maya’s eyes).
That’s because miracles operate in the present perfect tense.
Journal-artists journal-fictionalize for the therapeutic, transformative, and inner awakening process. When done well, it can even create social changes that leave the people who are read your journal entries feeling inspired rather than ashamed, hopeful rather than discouraged, and faithful rather than nihilistic.
Discover Your Narrative is Act I of your 3-Act Love Story.
Act I is designed to explore the Hero’s Ordinary World.
“To know others is to be wise, to know thyself is to awaken.” –Lao Tzu
The inspiration behind Journal-Artism:
My name is Mingjie Zhai, and I am the founding producer of this organization. I started this a few years back when I was going through serious heartache, depression, and physical, mental, and emotional anguish, triggered by a series of unfortunate events, where the inciting incident happened to be the collapse of a seven-year friendship with my lover and friend (quoteth Usher and Ludacris). It had to take all parts of my soul to find light in the darkness of depression.
What helped me was the authentic, vulnerable, and honest pain to passion stories of those who have gone before me, who have sojourned alone through the valleys of the shadow of death, and who have gone through their metamorphosis while traversing their path. Combine that with the power of creativing writing and journaling, and you have journal-artisism.
Discover Your Narrative is Act I of your three-act love story. It is leveraging the soul mirroring effect so that you may truly experience it rather than just take my word for it, that, through journal-artism, you will personally experience the revelations that:
- You are not alone.
- There is nothing wrong with you
- There is a point to all this pain–choose creative expression and the point will be revealed to you.
My spiritual advisor, Mel Novak, once told me, “Love is an action. Not lip service.”
That couldn’t be any truer than now. By becoming a member, you are telling yourself that the journey of introspection is worth it.
The 60+ artists we have interviewed have gone there, to the dark side of the moon, with their stories–the parts of them that are so intimate that they probably wouldn’t even tell their best friends or psychiatrists.
They share it with you authentically, vulnerably, and passionately because we all know what’s on the other end for you–hope, creative expression, and a verve for living life.
We want you to keep breaking your heart until it opens because we know from first-hand experience that when you shine a light upon the darkness, you will discover the truth, and the truth will always set you free from the past so you can stay, appreciate, and create from the present.
My friend Isaac Mckee once told me that the present is perfect, and “that’s why God made the present a gift.”
Discover Your Narrative is about getting you to the truth–the good, bad, and the ugly. We all have our own version of Dorian Gray’s portrait. This is your opportunity to paint yours with the flow of journal-artism.
Welcome. Your journey of character revealing itself begins here in Act I: Discover Your Narrative.
Love and Blessings,
Mingjie “MJ” Zhai
How you Discover Your Narrative
- Find a designated notebook you can journal from.
- Title it “Act I: Discovering My Narrative”
- Leveraging the power of Artist-Inspired Journaling, choose an artist and a title that resonates with you for that day.
- Don’t overthink. Go with first instinct and stick to that story, even if you feel the urge to click out. This isn’t shopping. Trust the process.
- Watch the interview and pause during places in the story that trigger you remember a piece of memory, a scene, or a fleeting thought.
- Write down what the artist said on the top of your paper (like an essay prompt back in high school). Time yourself 5 minutes and start freeflow writing, unfiltered, with whatever comes up. It does not have to make sense, it does not have to be in complete sentences or thoughts, just let it come up. Do not judge yourself or the writing. If you go over five minutes and you find yourself still in flow, keep going until the inspiration subsides.
- Continue the interview. Keep stopping at intervals that trigger a memory, a fleeting thought, or a scene that stood out from your past. Do this until the entire interview is over.
- You have the option of answering the journaling prompt that we created at the end. Do this especially if throughout the artist interview, you did not find anything that resonated with you.
Act I: Discover Your Narrative Program
- Explore the power of a scene that is built upon the id, ego, and superego.
- Knowing what scenes in your life to choose.
- Building a chain of events through a series of journal entries that weave in a mosaic that reveals the story.
Chapter 5: “The Village People”
- Have a clearly defined picture of the two paths the hero may take–one that represents the lower self and the other the higher self.
- Explore opportunity costs and through the process of elimination, determine the hero’s sacrifice for the treasure.
Chapter 7: The Hero’s Pursuit