One of the questions I get asked pretty frequently is if they should maintain some type of writing journal? This is one of the those questions that receives a bit of controversy. Some folks say you should always keep a journal and on the other hand, there are those who absolutely refuse. What the heck is the big deal anyway? Let me tell you my personal view on this subject of some interest.
Journals, as we all know, are personal records of our private thoughts and feelings that we write down and keep. These passages mark details in our life that we consider significant, and may at times draw a laugh from us, as we read what our thoughts were at that moment in our lives. A writing journal on the other hand is none of that shit. This particular brand of journal will have fragmented statements, pieces of a story that will make no fucking sense to the average reader what-so-ever. I refer to a writing journal as a fire starter kit. These little tidbits will ignite the idea, that will launch you into a great story that no doubt will entertain millions. Wouldn’t that be great?
This is precisely why I think a writing journal should be kept at hand, as often as possible. When we are writing, sometimes we just do not know how to describe something at that moment, or try to transition two great scenes. You will be reading a book, listening to an audio book and BAM, you figure it out. Or, you read a fantastic passage that shows you just how to get out of that rut your wrote yourself in. I can understand how you might think I am supporting plagiarism. Well, gentle reader, I am not in fact saying that at all. What I am telling you, is use the style in which you read, or listened to (if you enjoy audio books
) and work it into your story. Better writers than I have done this for decades. This is one of the major reasons why writers read, to gain knowledge about writing and the language of storytelling.
Stephen King will tell you that journals are great for listing bad ideas. He may have a point. I do not agree with him entirely. I humbly suggest that a writing journal is a wonderful medium to deposit all kinds of ideas. Even very bad ones. I will also submit that even those bad ideas can yield fruit. Writers must write every damn day. You heard me. Every day. A journal could be a great way to jot down some quick ideas, practicing a description, or even just write a single sentence that carries a significant amount of intensity. The point is, how many times have you had a something buzz in your head only to lose it by the end of the day. That journal with archive that awesomeness nicely. I hope this helps you with your writing journey. Don’t be afraid to subscribe to my blog or join me on any of my social media sites. I look forward to seeing you.