The ‘stuff’ we write in Journals

Back in January 2014, I made a new years resolution to publish a book.

What is life without a dream?

As part of that journey I bought myself a lovely new Journal.

I also bought two other note pads. One for work related positive feedback, and another for personal positive feedback.

My entries in them have been sporadic, but at least I am making some effort to write my thoughts and feeling down. I do write some long posts when something in particular comes up, but mostly it is a collection of quotes or things I have picked up that resonate with my own journey.

Ok, and there is quite a bit of ‘stuff’ that relates to my self-confessed skill at procrastination 😉

I also draw little pictures, jot ideas, and make the occasional, diary-like entry.

So I wondered how many other people keep a journal, or a diary? How often do you use it? And what sort of things do you include?

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10 thoughts on “The ‘stuff’ we write in Journals

  1. I get ideas at the WORST times.

    While driving, while mowing the lawn, in the shower, on the treadmill… so I used to have pens and notepads stashed everywhere, as my makeshift idea catcher/journal.

    Then I upgraded my phone to one with talk-to-text. I grab it, blather away with my idea, and email it to myself, where it pops up on my computer already typed. It’s usually too wordy, because like I said, I blather, but it’s captured and saved. No, it doesn’t work too well in the shower, and I have to get off the mower or the engine noise makes talk-to-text impossible. But 95% of the time, I can get the ideas down, and THAT has caused much less stress.

    As for an actual journal, isn’t a journal just your place to stash your stuff while it’s in process? So the emails get copy-pasted and saved as a file in m story folder, usually with a general idea as to where they’d come on the overall story.

    That’s what works for me. You’d be surprised at how often your brain is working an idea and your body isn’t able to write it down – like when driving on the highway. So you can pull over and write (it’s only awkward the first few times) or you can “write” while driving using your phone!

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    1. I would just like to point out that the very best ideas always come at the very worst times 😉
      Mine are usually when I am trying to sleep, and I reach for my trusty phone or iPad and use the notes app. I now have bits of story chapters distributed about various electronic devices which I paste into Evernote (Yes I know I could just put them straight into Evernote but I don’t like the font), and then I pull them out of Evernote into scrivener, Phew! Your way sounds much easier – except the text the speech things never understand me – I am blaming the app, not my accent.
      PS. I like the thought of you stopping your car/mower/important conversations with loved ones, to frantically scribble down notes 😉

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  2. I have told myself that I am going to start writing a journal, and probably going to blog it on a weekly basis.
    I am going to do this to try and document my own journey in the writing process, because it will give me something to look back on. I think it will also give me a positive influence in that things actually happening and that I am progressing. I am also going to include things that inspire me, and things that make me smile. I am going to try very hard not to include anything negative that happens, mainly because I do not want to be reminded of those things.
    Hopefully I will be able to do this. We shall just have to see on that one.

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    1. I think a weekly update blog post is a great way to share your writing journey, and I like the idea of focusing on the positive, Angie.
      Some of the ‘stuff’ I have in my own journal would probably send my blog followers to sleep as it is not always related to writing, but I do like to share some of the quotes 🙂

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  3. I have been journaling almost every night for the past three years.
    It helps me to unload my worries so that I can get a good nights sleep and also so that I can think my problems through and try to find some insight or creative solution.

    Journaling is one of the best things I’ve ever done for my health.

    Maybe consider doing a personal vlog? Perhaps a voice recording?
    Since you have a writing goal, adding another writing task onto it sounds exhausting. Journaling is supposed to be helpful, not homework.

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    1. Those are great tips Celeste. I really don’t use it often enough. I think it is a good suggestion though, to not make it too onerous. The voice recording is an interesting one or even a video diary.

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  4. I’ve been writing since I was a kid, but I’m terrible at keeping a journal. I’ve tried a few times and after a few entries, I always drop the practice. Not sure what it is, but journaling just doesn’t agree with me.

    On the other hand, when I’m researching a new novel, I always buy a new notebook that I devote to scribbling thoughts in just about that particular project.

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    1. Yes, I think I am the same, and dip into Journal writing, and then stop for a while, then do a bit more. I do like to re-read it though, so perhaps I try to stick with it.
      I always use separate note pads for story ideas, and since the arrival of iPads and phones with note apps I use them.

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  5. My oldest journal/diary goes back to 98, in my preteens. But I also keep a journal now, but I’m not consistent when it comes to writing in it. Either way, I enjoy having one and reading it. But I have an “idea” book, where all my ideas are written before making sense of them.

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    1. The idea book seems like a great way to keep your notes in one place. I mostly use my iPad, but there is something nice about the act of writing stuff down with a pen and paper. Before electric devices I used to jot things down on bits of paper (this is very mess!), and collected them together into story ideas for books, which I keep in a folder. I scanned some onto my computer, but really should get round to scanning the rest 🙂

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