If you enjoy journaling and are also a writer/author, the relationship between the two can get stronger if you put them together. Embracing a journal and writing entries regularly can help develop your skills as a creative writer.
Suddenly Jamie, a blogger, gave 10 reasons as to why journaling helps writing. Here are just a few that I believe are relevant to writing your novel:
- Helps develop writing habits.
- Helps find your unique voice.
- Clears your mind.
- Flushes out the crap.
- Alleviates the pressure to be “good.”
First, you need to find your own journaling style. If you’re a new writer and want to incorporate your journaling with your writing, there are many different ways to use your journal as a powerful writing tool. You shouldn’t feel pressure from your journaling to write more, think of it as a tool or technique that encourages your writing to happen, instead of falling into the abyss of writer’s block. One style of journaling is like John Steinback’s journals. He chooses to journal about his writing process and keeps himself updated about his writing outside of his current manuscript. Another method is to mirror something like ‘A Q&A a day’, also called “Big-Picture it,” you answer questions in which you revisit the questions after time has lapsed and in revisiting something may pop out in which you can use in your writing. If you enjoy poetry and Twitter, another interesting journaling technique is to use the character-limited social service to write a short sentence about anything. When choosing this route, you could write one tweet a week and compile 52 different poems! A similar tactic is using keywords to write in short hand. Lastly, snapshots are a fun way to journal about one moment in the day.
Now, if you’re comfortable with your journaling style but still want to try and weave it together with your writing, Mari L. McCarthy may be able to help. Journaling is not writing, so don’t substitute! Journaling can serve as a warm-up exercise prior to writing professionally. Writing in a journal can jumpstart thinking and test all kinds of limits for your creative writing. Your journal can be your personal therapist – to flush out the unwanted writing you may accidentally include in your novel.
The art of journaling can be a simple cure to writer’s block or can easily be used to keep your writing brain going between projects. Maybe taking a trip down to the local hobby store and picking up a journal is in your future…it counts as “work,” right?