For any skill that we use in life, practice is needed to bring it to higher and higher levels of expertise. Of course, this is true of writing. Although many people say they’ve always wanted to write a book, few can just sit down at the computer and do so. It takes lots of writing to get to the point that you feel confident. A journal is your place to write, to pour out your heart, or to practice writing skills you don’t use in everyday writing. Here are some of the benefits of journaling.
1. Use journaling to store great ideas. Many times an idea will pass through your mind and you promise yourself that you’ll remember it and try it out one day. The following day or the following week, you’re scratching your head trying to remember that idea. You can’t even conjure up a hint as a reminder of that brilliant thought. Keeping a daily journal or, better yet, carrying a journal with you is a great way to ensure you don’t lose an idea. When an idea pops into your head, write a note to yourself in your journal. You’ll never lose an idea again.
2. Another use for a journal is to empty your head. Sometimes our minds tend to buzz with too many worries, too many ideas, too much anger, too much sadness, etc. When this occurs, a benefit of journaling is to flush out all that negativity onto the pages of your journal and allow yourself the freedom of a quiet mind for other creative pursuits.
3. Writers find the comfort of the pages of their journals. A journal is the perfect spot to try out new writing techniques. Perhaps you’ve learned something at a writer’s conference or workshop and you want to try it out for yourself before you try it out on a formal audience. Put it in your journal. Also, if you write prose, you could use your journal to try out some poetry. If you’re a poet and don’t write prose, you could use your journal to try out writing prose. A journal is a safe place to try something that makes you feel uncomfortable at first.
4. A journal is a great spot to store your lists, too. We’re not talking about shopping lists here, but lists of creative ideas, outlines for your next book, plans for organizing an event, etc. You’ll find it’s a great place to store information that you’ll need later.
If you get in the habit of using your journal on a daily basis, you’ll soon find that it is one of your most valuable resources as a writer. And, you’ll always know where to look for that great idea you thought of two weeks ago or to tap into that emotion that was so strong last week. Using your journal will help you organize your writing and your freelance business.
How do you use your journal?