November 23, 2023
Are you looking for a way to get more focused and better able to pursue your writing goals? One method to consider is using a writer journal. Journaling is a long-recognized practice for anyone who wants to be more mindful about organizing their time and reaching their goals. Here’s how to get started with journaling.
A journal is what we used to call a diary. It’s a place to record what happens to you each day and reflect on it. We usually think of a diary as a simple record of events. A journal goes deeper. It doesn’t just record what happens, it also goes into detail about your feelings.
Journal writing has been proven to have many benefits, including stress reduction and an improved ability to focus. As an author, using a writer journal can help you reduce the pressures you place on yourself.
How many times a day do you slow down and focus on your emotions? Writing a journal encourages you to do just that, and that has many benefits for your mental health. The act of reflecting on your day and preparing for the next day is a routine that many successful people have. It can benefit you in your daily life and as a writer.
While it’s fine to use an electronic journal, you may find that it’s preferable to write your journal by hand.
Handwriting may come across as old-fashioned in our digital age, but many people still use it to increase learning and boost their creativity. Some famous authors still use handwriting for their first or second drafts.
Handwriting has been proven by many academic studies to boost learning and retention. Many schools encourage students to use handwritten notes instead of digital notes during classes for this reason. Handwriting has been shown to boost cognitive function and help students overcome learning difficulties like dyslexia.
If you experience the sickening sense that you have nothing to say or write, you can break it by writing in your journal. Doing so is proof that you can write, and you do have something to say, even if it’s just to yourself. Unlocking your keyboard or your pen and putting something down will get those creative juices flowing. It doesn’t matter if what you write is related to your book or to anything else you’re working on. Just get it all out and break through that block.
When you’re attempting to reach a large goal like writing a book, you experience many moments of doubt and negative self-talk. You may even give up halfway because you believe you’re not good enough or dedicated enough to finish the project.
Using a writing journal can help you diminish those negative thoughts. Record them in your journal with words that show you don’t believe them, for instance, “I’m having the feeling that I won’t finish this because I’ve abandoned other big projects in the past.”
Follow up with a calm, logical response that shows you don’t really believe that and that these thoughts are separate from you. For instance, follow up that line with something like, “I know that’s not realistic, it’s just a thought or emotion I’m having today. I have completed other projects, and I will finish this.”
A journal helps you organize those random thoughts, ideas, and moments of inspiration that occur throughout the day. If you’re doing something unrelated to writing, and you have a sudden inspiration for a piece of writing or a plot point—something that happens frequently to writers—use your writing journal to jot down that idea.
Once you note them down, you can spend a little time figuring out how to incorporate them into your book. Don’t rely on your memory or a series of random, scattered notes. Keep a journal that you can use to collect and synthesize your ideas.
What do you want from journaling? Do you see it as a way to increase mindfulness in your daily life, or do you view it as strictly a writer journal to focus on your writing? Both forms of journaling will convey many benefits, so use the approach that works best for you.
Don’t add to the stress and pressure you’re already under by adding journal writing to your to-do list. When you start out, you may not write every day, and that’s fine. Many people who advise keeping a journal say you must write in it every morning—and some say you should do it every evening, too.
Don’t feel compelled to do that. You can write any time of the day you feel like writing. If you don’t have a lot of time, start by taking five minutes out of the day. As the benefits of journaling start to accrue, you’ll find that you look forward to using your journal.
One of the best ways to increase mindfulness and enhance your serenity is to list the reasons you’re grateful. That can be tough when you feel worn out by events in your life. Your writer journal is a haven where you can escape those stresses. Use it to reflect on the positive side of your life. Mindfulness experts suggest listing three things you are grateful for every day.
Free writing is a good way to tap into your creativity and get your day off to a productive start. To do it, sit down and write first thing in the morning, as soon as you get up, and before you even feel like you’re fully awake. That stream of consciousness contains many creative jewels. Some experts promote this technique to tackle a complex task that you’ve been avoiding. To get the most from it, aim to write three full letter-sized pages of text.
A writer journal is your own creation, so do it your way. Here are some ideas to spice up your journal writing and make the journal part of your life.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this article on using a journal. Once you finish your book, contact Publishing Xpress to learn how to print it with our help.
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