Tips for Starting a Writing Journal

25Jul07

Angela Booth posted a good little entry on the basics of starting a journal to harbor your thoughts, ideas, and complaints.

Journaling for a novice writer

If you’re a new writer, and have no idea what you want to write – fiction, nonfiction, copy – a journal can get you started. Writing will teach you everything you need to know about writing, but you must WRITE for that teaching to happen… writing isn’t a spectator sport.

Start writing about your life: describe your surroundings, the people in the mall, your family… write about what you love, and what angers you… write about what you understand, and what you don’t. (Your journal may include a lot of whining – that’s fine, let it come out, you’re getting rid of a lot of mental and emotional junk: it’s therapeutic.)
Journaling for established writers: creating your idea bank

If you’ve been writing for a few years, your journal acts as your idea bank. It’s best to maintain several journals: one for ideas, another for essays, as well as a journal for a long project like a book.

If you’re writing a novel, for example, your journal will keep you “in” the novel, even if you have to leave the project for a week or two.

Journaling is intensely personal, and for that reason, I don’t recommend that you blog your private journals.

My adventure in creating and maintaining a daily journal has been delayed till the beginning of August. I figured it would be easier to map progress if I started at the beginning of a month. I’ll update you all on how that goes!
See the rest of Booth’s blog entry on ‘Your daily journal: writing from your life’.

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