|Image from: Entrepreneurs: Create A Journal For Business Success!|
I started to keep a journal in 1995 as a requirement of a writing course I was studying. I noted thoughts and feelings about the course lectures, of the readings and literary events I started to attend. My first journal was a small notebook, which soon increased to A4 size notebooks and now I've settled with A5 size journals. I keep a small one in my bag to capture anything of interest when I'm out and about.
I have taught 'Keeping a Journal' as a two hour lesson within a creative writing course, with some interesting outcomes; it is not everybody's cup of tea. One student, a mature married woman said she thought journaling was like having a conversation with yourself and she would rather talk to her husband. Another younger woman said she had been brought to tears when journaling; shedding negative issues was therapeutic for her.
I love that there are no rules with journal writing; all you need is a blank canvas, a pen and you're on your way. I have a variety of different ones, e.g. a piano journal to keep more of a log of my journey, with inspired thoughts.
Sometimes I write poetry, small reviews of books, films, and inspiring experiences. It's the process of writing, the physical feeling of the pen creating the words on the page, allowing the artist in me to bring forth language and string and blend words together to form sentences, paragraphs, pages, chapters, articles, books and so on.
|My Journals (30 here)|
If you write fiction, drama, or poetry, a journal can build your writing muscles and generate ideas. It can be a great way to explore and experiment with different ideas and approaches. It can add texture and sharpness to your writing. And whenever you get stuck or feel uninspired, you will be able to go to your creative writing journal for new material.
One technique I find especially useful as a warm-up, or as a cure for getting stuck, is freewriting. This is a sure fast method of kick-starting your creative writing juices. I have been pleasantly surprised at some of the outcomes of my freewriting sessions. In just 10 minutes poems, short pieces can surface from the entries once you have gone back over them. But that's just one of the spin-offs, the main benefit is that you exercise your writing in ways that aren't rigid. You write non-stop for say 5, 10 minutes whatever comes to mind. If nothing comes, you write "I can't think of anything to write," until something comes. It doesn't matter what you write as long as you don't stop and interfere with the writing process.
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