Why journaling will build those writing muscles
Before I delve into this, let me first say that keeping a journal is not obligatory. However, as I said in my previous blog, it is a great way of getting the gremlins out of your head to allow something new to take its place.
But it does more than this. Keeping a journal is a great way of practising your writing skills and becoming familiar with the Writing Process.
In the last post I talked about having two notebooks, this week my tips are more related to the first one – the one where anything goes.
Many writers recommend this daily routine of journaling; Ann Lamott in Bird by Bird talks about the journal and in Julia Cameron in The Artist’s Way calls her daily journal routine The Morning Pages.
It’s the phenomenon of the morning pages (or pure journaling) that I will talk about here.
Before embarking on the morning pages (or the evening pages if you prefer) there are a few important points:
– make a promise to yourself to write the morning pages, every day. You should write no less than three pages. This will help you build the writing habit by taking time out for yourself EVERY day. As you progress you will feel that the words come more easily – you are building writing muscles.
– write freely, unabashedly. What is not important here is – grammar, spelling, sentence structure, beautiful prose. what is important is that the juices flow, the ideas are allowed to pour onto the page (computer screen) and that you stick to your promise to not stop until three pages have been written.
– understand that these are NOT to be shown, to anyone. At this early stage in your writing career, it is important to discover what is going on in your subconscious. It is also important that you write unabashed, uncensored and in what is commonly known as stream of consciousness. Initially this will be difficult, but as days go by it should become gradually more fluid. But it demands vulnerability and openness. Showing it to someone else and risking any form of criticism at this stage, will be detrimental to the process, so DON’T.
– become an observer in your own daily life and practice writing about that. You will be surprised how interesting some things actually are. The purpose of this is to cure you of the notion that your life and experience is not interesting enough to write about. But, keep this about you.
– Eventually, journaling will get you out of your head and in touch with creativity. that’s when the second notebook, that I talked about in the previous post, is necessary. I will talk about that more in a later blog post.
What ideas do you have about keeping a journal? would you like to share them in the comments below?
With smart phones and tablets and laptops, it almost seems unnecessary to have a REAL journal. However, I find that something magical happens when I actually put pen to paper. Do you have a real journal, or are you planning to invest in one?
What is your motivation for becoming a writer, and do you think journaling will help you become more creative?
Of course, the idea of a writing group or coaching may appeal to you. Mail me to sign up for writing coaching.
It gives me a boost to see creativity unleashed in others who have cherished the idea of writing, yet until now have made it a reality.
As I said before, If I can do it, so can you.