One thing about me as a writer you don’t know is that I don’t publish everything I write. I do publish a lot: this blog, my other blog, and my books, as well as my social media posts and my email newsletter (I never email more than once a week because ain’t nobody got time for that, so you can safely opt into it at the very bottom of the page or by filling out the popup that comes every time you log into this site without worry of being spammed)
Sometimes you don`t feel like sharing every scrap and bit you write on a blog where all the world can see it. Though that is not why they created it, a Writing Journal can help you to experiment with new ideas and preserve scraps of thought. When you have the bare bones ideas of some fantastic story, or want to describe the corn fold you are driving by, you can always turn to this little gem.
There are a few books dedicated to more formal and regimented writing. The Happy Book is already printed out with page starters and inspiration to lead you on a journey of discovering what makes you happy. It combines the styles of a writing journal and an informal sketchbook, though I`m not sure it technically counts.
I found a great post at Jane Friedman`s digital writing blog about creative writing prompt books, if you want an even more regimented and course like approach to a writing journal. I`m really excited about The Practice of Poetry, which promises to make a good course for an undisciplined poet like myself! There are also recommendations for narratives and other creative writing styles.
A quick search on the internet provides at least a million sites dedicated to writing journal prompts, presumably meant for skittish school aged writers. Don`t let that throw you off, though. Sometimes the most creative work comes when you have to work within the confines of an assignment. I know I do much more writing because I set myself weekly goals and I have to get x number of words done in x number of days based on my publishing schedule.
Journaling How To
I journal because, for me, having a writing journal gets me even more writing done and it works as a great stress reliever for me personally. After all, a writing journal has no rules or deadlines or any audience besides you- it gives you complete freedom.
So how can you get started? Take any notebook you have- spiral bound, an empty sketchbook, even a writing app on your phone- and put down a sentence. You can just write down exactly what you are thinking at the time. You can write rants, or record other people’s interesting conversations, or some song lyrics you like, really anything at all.
And then do it again tomorrow, and the day after, and more.
It’s not the same as writing on social media- no one will see what you’re writing so you can’t get any internet trolls, or shock your grandma by what your wrote, or have any grammar nazis come after you. You can write whatever you want, and whatever you write will be kept special, just for you.