Keeping A Journal

Keeping A Journal

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Some writers find it tedious to “write all the time,” but writing a lot is what helps us improve our craft (along with reading a lot, which I’ll talk about in another article). Whenever you see something that sparks an idea, don’t just keep the idea in your head. Get it out, get it out, get it out!

Never ever keep an idea in your head. Even if you write and it totally sucks, just write it because then, at least it’s on paper (or a word document… whatever works for you). The important thing is that the idea is out. What’s on paper can always be tweaked or improved, but ideas can be forgotten and inspiration can fade.

I once heard advice that writers should keep journals. These journals don’t necessarily have to be about your day, although trying to write about your day for the memories it has later is a good idea too. Challenge yourself to try to remember your day and write it in novel form as much as you can, just for a fun challenge. In this writer’s journal, write anything that comes to mind.

Here are a few ideas to get you started.

Go for a walk outside. Smell the fresh air, listen to the sounds around you. Bring a notebook with you and find a place to sit outside. (Even if you live close to others, trust me, I used to live in an apartment and I still found a nice place to do this). Then take a moment and describe what you experience using each one of your five senses for a moment.

Listen to a song you like. Try writing about it without using the title or the lyrics to the song.

Think about your latest project, whether it’s a novel or a short story or just an idea, or even a race, world, or character. Make a list of anything and I literally mean anything that comes to your mind. You never know what might come up. Maybe all the ideas are bad or maybe they’re all good, but maybe, just maybe there’s a single idea in there that will help your story explode onto the page (in a good way).

Recall a favorite memory from childhood, especially one that’s brief and hard to remember. Write it out in novel form being as true and detailed as possible. Maybe you can use part of this in your books sometime, or maybe it’s just random inspiration.

Write a letter to a friend or family member and tell them what they mean to you.

Pick something you’re passionate about, truly passionate about that literally ignites a fire inside you. Write something teaching someone about that passion, whatever it is. Don’t you love how giddy that makes you feel?

Choose a holiday, whether it’s your favorite or just a random one. Imagine a scene from that holiday whether it’s about you, your family or friends, or random characters. Write out this perfect scene from this holiday.

Pick one of the stories you created whether it’s short or long. Try rewriting part of it to tell it backward or maybe write a summary of a novel (if it’s really long) and retell the summary backward.

Pick one of the stories you created, short or long, and this time write a story about you accidentally getting sucked into it. How would you interact with your characters, with the plot?

Pick one of the stories you created, short or long (yes I have a lot of these, haha) and imagine your characters getting brought back in time. Maybe they mess up the history of your story so you can rewrite events in a strange and funny way. Maybe witnessing the story unfolding affects them somehow.

Pick one of the stories you created, short or long, and imagine your characters all getting sucked into your world. How would they fit in with your life? How could you try to hide them from the people you know?

Pick a book you like to read and write a short story about either you getting sucked into it or someone else getting sucked into it and this person has to pretend to be the main character or they’ll die.

These are just a few journal ideas, but they are endless. Write whenever you’re inspired. The important thing is never to ignore your inspiration. This is true even if we aren’t talking about writing. Whatever your passions are, whatever you’re inspired to do, go do it. You never know what amazing things you will create until you try.

Write what you want to write, not what others tell you to write. Don’t let other people’s opinions ever hold you back and don’t let the idea of writing to please others ever make you change what you write or how you write.

Remember that you don’t have to get it right. All writers need improvement, so just get whatever you’re trying to say out on paper (or word document). That’s what’s important. Anything you write can be fixed later.

Write, write, write and don’t give up! Ever!

Do any of you have writing advice? If so, let me know and you can write an article on here and have it featured (in any topic, not just the writing advice one).

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Joanna White

I'm a Christian author with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Creative Writing for Entertainment. I love God and my family and am passionate about writing Christian Fantasy. I'm a total nerd; I love Star Wars and video games and many other TV Shows.

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