This is a journal about journaling. I’ve been doing all my exercises about the exercise itself.
You should journal to get used to expressing ideas on paper. Be conscience when writing in your journal to make things as clear as possible, but do not be too stressed, as always, because after all, no one is going to be reading your journal.
When I start a novel, story, whatever project, I will start a journal file as well just for that project where I write all my ideas for the project, and all my questions, and disappointments, and weak points, and such. I also have a special file for NaNoWriMo, where I write all my progress and thoughts about it. In your journal file, write ideas for the story, write your thoughts on the story, and everything else. Whatever. And yeah, this journal here is probably going to be like really boring, but I’ll post it on my blog anyway.
Your journal also gives you something to look back on and remember how you felt about certain situations. If you can express your feelings well, you will still understand your feelings later. Then in stories and stuff, when your character goes through similar experiences, you have a clue about what it feels like. You may not know how it feels to defeat an army, but you know how it feels to crush a beetle, and maybe that will help. Hmm?
Journaling, I asked my brother, Jonny, what one of the benefits of journaling are and he answered, “Eating a pancake in one bite.” I agree wholeheartedly!
(Goof! Sometimes he cracks me up. Some Jonny quotes, “Stop acting like me, it’s annoying.” “Do you know how we know the moon is made of cheese? Because the cow that jumped over the moon told us so.” Then once I was like, “Jonny! Be quiet and do your school!” and he hunches over his math book and with a sinister tone says, “Practice…your…excuses.” See! That’s why he’s so bad, he reminds himself to be bad!)
A writer is someone who wrote today. If you are not working on a project, this usually mean writing in a journal. Experiment with your journal. Describe your day with a many short sentences as possible. Then with as few long sentences as possible. Then with as many questions as possible. Then with as many exclamation marks as possible.
Write about everything. Write your musings and your thoughts and questions. Make this a habit, and after a few months, it’s fun to read your old entrees.
Above all, write steadily, not a bunch one day and a bunch the next month, rather five minutes each day will do nicely. Be consistent, and let your journal be what you want it to be.
A journal is also a cool place to record quotes. One thing I like about WordPress is the writing quotes you get with every post. Here’s some that I wrote down and kept.
Sometimes when I think how good my book can be, I can hardly breathe. Truman Capote
There are three rules for writing a novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are. W.Somerset Maugham
Every writer I know has trouble writing. Joseph Heller
The best time for planning a book is while you’re doing the dishes. Agatha Christy
I’m writing a book. I’ve got the page numbers done. Steven Wright
I have made this letter longer, because I have not had the time to make it shorter. Blaise Pascal
Anyway, keeping a journal is also a good place to record lessons that you’ve learned, and this is always helpful. Everyday you can write out what you have learned. You may have to dig around a little, but there’s always something. Write out helpful advice someone has given you, a good paragraph in a magazine, and so on.
Remember, having a journal should be fun, not work, don’t stress over having grade A grammar or punctuation.
Some more quotes, not from WordPress:
If my doctor told me I had only 6 minutes to live, I wouldn’t brood. I’d type a little faster. Isaac Asimov
Being an author is like being in charge of your own personal insane asylum. Graycie Harmon
Books are a uniquely portable magic. Steven King
I take the view, and always have, that if you cannot say what you are going to say in twenty minutes that you ought to go away and write a book about it. Lord Byron
You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me. C.S.Lewis
I find television very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book. Groucho Marx
I don’t necessarily start with the beginning of the book. I just start with the part of the story that’s most vivid in my imagination and work forward and backward from there. Beverly Cleary
I feel sorry for people who have to edit me. Which is why book writing is by far the most enjoyable. Really the only thing it’s based on is whether it’s good or not. No book editor, in my experience, is getting a manuscript and try to rewrite it. Chuch Losterman