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What is Journaling?

By: Angelique Caffrey - Updated: 20 Sep 2012 | comments*Discuss
 
Journal; Journaling; Writing; Writer;

To make the most of your creative writing, you may find it helpful to keep a journal. Though some authors scoff at the notion of keeping what they term a simple "diary", the act of capturing your thoughts, experiences and dreams could absolutely turn your works from good to great. Truly, a journal is far from being "just" a personal memoir; it's a place to explore your most innovative musings and break through your writing barriers (real or imagined.)

Here, we'll explore some of the reasons that journaling can be your ticket to a more fulfilling, successful "career" as a creative writer.

Memories are Fleeting

Quickly - what did you have for lunch yesterday? Where did you go the Tuesday before last? If you're like most humans, you quickly forget most of your daily routines. Though many of these items may seem unimportant, the most mundane experiences can lead to the creation of stories. When you commit yourself to journaling, you'll undoubtedly begin to log experiences that could wind up inspiring you to write a creative masterpiece.

Ideas are Fickle

Have you ever had an outstanding idea for a great creative writing piece but convinced yourself you'd write it down later? When later came about, you probably forgot all or most of your brilliant thought. By keeping a journal and writing in it on a regular basis, you'll be able to stimulate your creativity through the act of jotting down revelations and observations… plus, you'll be less inclined to assume you will remember all those wonderful kernels that pop into your head.

Writers Write

Take any introductory writing course and you'll hear over and over again that talented writers have a tendency to write… and write often. If the best way for you to ensure that you'll write regularly is to keep a journal, then it's a critical step toward your improvement so you can write to the best of your ability.

Marking Progress

After keeping journals for a time, you will begin to see marked improvements in your writing style and creativity. You'll also begin to notice and remedy patterns that may be causing your writing to seem "stilted" or uninspired. By referring back to earlier journals, you can give yourself a needed boost of self-confidence as you realise just how far you've come.

Testing New Ideas

Because a journal is for your eyes only (unless you choose to share it with a friend or loved one), you can feel free to be as creative as possible. Therefore, if you're toying with new notions, situations, or characters, you can use your journal as a "canvas". Babble endlessly, try out bizarre theories, or pen cheesy poetry; no one will be the wiser.

Teasing Your Brain

Finally, don't hesitate to use a journal to force yourself to think creatively. If you've been in a writing slump, use your journal as a "teaching tool." Complete written exercises, compile lists of ideas, or just allow yourself to randomly write for minutes at a time in one continuous stream of thought. Even small exercises like these can pull you out of a rut.

Regardless how you choose to use journaling, rest assured that it can only help you as a creative writer. So go out there, purchase the notebook that suits you best and write away… right away.

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Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Journals can be very useful tools and many writers do make use of them, whether for details, story ideas, or just for personal thoughts and reflections. By all means blog, but you also need a p[lace for your personal thoughts. Do read back through your journal regularly - don't just write an entry and forget about it, at least if you're using it as a writing tool. Make the most of your journal. Little details from it can easily find their way into future stories and books, and something could act as the spur to a plot.
Caroline - 6-Jun-12 @ 7:11 PM
Journals can be very useful tools and many writers do make use of them, whether for details, story ideas, or just for personal thoughts and reflections. By all means blog, but you also need a p[lace for your personal thoughts. Do read back through your journal regularly - don't just write an entry and forget about it, at least if you're using it as a writing tool. Make the most of your journal. Little details from it can easily find their way into future stories and books, and something could act as the spur to a plot.
Caroline - 6-Jun-12 @ 7:11 PM
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