Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Are You Too Busy for a Journal?

One of the things that I tend to ignore when I'm really busy with a writing project is journalling. But I think I'm making a mistake. Even though working on my story every day keeps it flowing and keeps me in the right frame of mind for writing, I think there's a lot to be said for taking a keeping a journal too.

For me, my journal is my idea space. It's where I ramble, write notes, collect ideas and ask myself questions. Even though I may be busy working on my writing, taking a few minutes to journal can help me clarify my thoughts. It also gives me a place to reflect on my progress. I can keep track of what I've accomplished so I know it and recognize it, even though it might not mean so much to someone else.

Do you keep a journal even when you're working on an intense writing project?

If you're struggling to find time to write, maybe the MiG Writers can help. This week, we're sharing some of our tips for making time for writing.

11 comments:

  1. I wish I could keep a journal - instead I have random bits of paper fluff spilling out of purses, pockets, and desktops with notes like "girl, brown hair, sassy 'tude" or "bad stuff that could happen: dog fights, storm...."

    I have a friend that keeps visual journals and they are gorgeous. One day...

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  2. Jaye, I have random bits of paper too, but I now glue them into my journal so they have a home (and it helps me find them).

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  3. I think journalling is very important, but I also neglect it while writing. Does my MS count? How about blogging? : )

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  4. It's so funny that you bring this up. I do have a writing journal and I just revisited it this past weekend. For me, it helps to write about the process and ideas about my current project.

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  5. Great post. Yes...I journal, but not when I have a wip on the go. You're right. it's a great way to keep the flow going, doodling, writing down words, playing tween the work time, if you will. Thanks!

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  6. I call it my idea book, rather than journal. But yes, I fool around within it.

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  7. Journal writing SAVES me in redrafting a novel, when staring at the words already on the page would keep me tied down and cautious. It's just a journal, right? Nobody's going to see it. So I can try out some wild what-ifs, ask myself who the character's families were and why they came to town, what their most sacred hopes are, what they have been doing and thinking since the last time they were in a scene, what they want to say that they're not saying, what in particular they they would notice because of who they are, what could go even worse for them than it has already. . . it all helps energize the next draft.

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  8. I have idea scraps of paper that end up in my desk drawer, just so they're all in one place. I guess that's my way of journaling. My blog is also a journal of sorts because it helps me keep reading what I write (MG) and building my writing by asking lots of questions and getting input from others.

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  9. I used to write in my journal more. Now it's more like one big scratchpad. I think the transition happened when I started blogging, actually.

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  10. I am totally with Jaye at the top - random bits of paper everywhere! Thank goodness for ATM receipts - I am constantly writing on the back of them (of course not while I'm driving - why would you even think that? :))

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  11. Sue, I've been writing in my journal a lot as I work on a novel revision, mostly possibilities or ideas that occur to me.

    Karen, I write about the process and ideas too.

    For a while I did less journal writing and more blogging, but I think I need a balance. I'm realizing I need my journal more.

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