Monday, August 11, 2014

Improving Your Writing with a Journal

Happy Monday, good people of the blogosphere! I hope you all had a super fabulous weekend and are ready to kick the week off with a bang. Today, I'm gonna talk to you all about keeping a journal and discuss how it may help you in your writing life. So, grab those pens and notebooks and let's get going!

Journal
/ˈjərnl/
noun
1. A newspaper or magazine that deals with a particular subject or professional activity.
2. A daily record of news and events of a personal nature; a diary.

As you can imagine, I'm talking about the second definition of the word. But we'll take it a step further and add to that definition. Now, it'll read: A daily record of news, events, and emotions from a singular individual of a personal nature; a diary.

If you take five to ten minutes a day and write down your feelings or news topics that piqued your interest, you'll end up with an invaluable resource for your novels. I've talked about creating a feelings bible before, but this is something different.

Because you'll be writing in it every day, those emotions will be fresh. Feelings you had will still be on the tip of your fingers and ready to be slapped down on the page.

How does one journal feelings?

Think about a particular incident where you were taken aback by the reaction you had, or consider how something might have made you over-the-top happy. Write down what happened, then go on to describe your feelings about it in vivid detail.

Engage all five senses when you write these things down: Smell, Taste, Sight, Touch, Sound.

Go bananas. If you were angry, let it all out. Be real because you'll only be lying to yourself if you aren't.

What you'll find, after a month or so, is that you have a wonderful record of situational impact on a human being's emotional state. You'll know the situation, the players, and the results. Not only that, but you'll be able to recall things that interest you as a person.

You can also go sit in a cafe or coffee shop and journal other people. Yes, you'll have to guess about their feelings; but, chances are, you've been in a similar situation and can get pretty close to the physical fallout of a given situation. If you're an outgoing type (most authors aren't haha), go ask the person how they're feeling and write it all down. Take note of their facial expressions, posture, and vernacular.

Once you have this gem of a written record, put it somewhere you can get to it when you're stuck on a particularly emotional scene in a novel. If you already have a feelings bible, add some of the content from the journal.

I promise, it's never a waste of your time to get in touch with Human Nature (that's a link to another blog post series I did on the Jo Michaels blog that will give you some awesome insight into what makes us tick).

What do you think? Do you already have a feelings bible or journal? How has it helped?

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!

Jo

6 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Thanks, Jane! I try to keep the tips and tricks coming :)

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  2. This is a great exercise! I don't have a journal anymore, but I was thinking of restarting one.

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    Replies
    1. You won't be sorry if you do. It helps with so many things. Thanks for the kudos, Heather :)

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  3. I have some writing challenge that I want to do so yes I'll be journaling at some point :-) I also have some photography challenge as well. So I'm all for some fund journal writing

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    1. Journaling is a great way to let go of your creative self, Kat :) I can't wait to see what you come up with :) Thanks for the comment.

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