Saturday, August 8, 2015

A Writer's Guide to Journals

In my last post, I told you all that journaling would help you improve as a writer, however, I did not specify what type of journaling would benefit your writing. So, in this post, I will do just that.
When journaling, it doesn't matter what you write. You could write stories, like a writing journal, you could write about your experiences, thoughts, and feelings, like a regular journal, you could mix them up and create a journal that includes both of them, you could write down conversations you hear, you could sketch something and then write about it. There is no limit to the way you could get creative with these. Make it yours.
I have many journals. At least three, two of which were mentioned above, and many more notebooks full of random writing to go along with them. My journals have no pattern, whatever I think of is what I write down. I write when I feel like it, not usually in every journal every day. I try to at least write something everyday, but that doesn't usually happen. My advice to you would be to make it so you love it. If one type of journal doesn't work for you, say forget it and move on to a different one. Writing isn't supposed to be a chore, if it is you need to go find something new.
The Regular Journal:
For this journal I use a bound journal. You can find them pretty much everywhere. There are tons of different kinds, I use lined, but that doesn't mean you have to. I try to write in this journal twice a week. I put the date and day on the top of the page (ex: Saturday, 08/08/2015) and then I move on to writing about what has happened lately, what is on my mind, and how people are. I try to write in this journal at least three times a week, but it usually ends up as twice a week. I'll eventually reread this journal when I'm older and have forgot most of it, but for now, I'll use it as writing practice.
A writer's journal (also known as a writer's notebook):
For this journal I use a regular lined notebook. You could decorate the cover with cut out magazine pieces, glitter, duck tape, or even sharpies. I have done all of those at one point or another but the one I'm using now is just plain. I try to write in this journal 5 days a week. I write blurbs of fiction and stories, but some other ideas are a continuation of a book or movie, the reason for a song, poetry, childhood tales, and the list of ideas goes on.
The art journal:
I am not an artist, so I don't have one of these, but I have friends who are and they generously explained to me how it works and what they liked and disliked. One suggestion was an old book, they sketched on the pages and wrote in the margins, and in between the lines. To me, it looked really cool, but some people would be appalled at the destruction of a good book. Another idea was to buy a sketchbook and write and draw on those pages. I think you could just use a regular notebook or journal, but I'm not an artist so I might be wrong. The people I talked to said that they wrote first, and then sketched what they wrote about, but it could be done the other way around. They said they wrote whenever they felt like it, and had no schedule that they tried to stay on. They said they painted, sketched, and wrote all over the pages of their journals. Sounds good to me.
Make your own:
Just because other people don't do it doesn't mean you can't. Maybe you want to do all three, go for it! You don't have to show anyone unless you want it to, this is for you, not anyone else. Put a crazy twist on one, make your own notebook, there are tons of ways you can personalize your journal.

Happy writing!

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