Every Writer Needs to Keep a Journal

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Notebooks, journals, those random bits of paper that you find at the back of your desk drawer. All of them a great places to jot down notes, make that quick list or essentials or just write down that really motivating quote that you just read.

Me, personally, I keep three. One to jot down scenes and random ideas. Another for planning and yet another for quotes. We won’t go into the odd bits of printer paper
shoved into said journals from work when inspiration struck at the oddest times.
My love for notebooks and journals knows no bounds. Mainly because they can be used for a great many things.

 

1. Great Place To Keep Notes.

The first and obvious is they’re great for keeping notes.

Need to remember to grab that thing at the store, or need a list of something that your kids want for birthdays or Christmas. Just grab a notebook. Don’t have to be a fancy one, just a small $0.50 one would do the trick. Keep it in your wallet or back pocket.

Simple.

Smart.

Everything at your fingertips.

Or you could just use that notepad app on your phone..that’s fine too. Unless you’re like me who constantly loses, breaks, or forgets her phone and doesn’t have those notes readily available on said device.

I’ve found notebooks/journals to be slightly more reliable.

2. Good for writing out ideas

Need to jot down that one line that you know you’re going to be forgetting later, I’ve got a notebook that has whole chapters in it from stories written three years ago right along with my blog posts and those crazy writer tags.

Why?

Because I’ve told myself this lie countless time while I’m laying in bed, ready to sleep after a long day, and come up with some epic scene. By morning I’ve forgotten most of it and am banging my head on the wall trying to remember even a portion what was said or done.

I’ve learned my lesson of course; as my co-workers could attest to. Now I’ve been known to stop mid work day to write down that crazy scene, or outline that next part of my book. My friend rolls her eyes at me but she knows it’s done for a reason.

With it I’ve managed to remember names, places and some of my favorite lines. Even managed to rewrite several scenes from different stories. It’s also kinda fun to go back and look through your old notes and see how far you’ve come as a writer.

Gives you a bit of a moral boost just to see how far you’ve come.

3. Journaling is essential for not only motivation, but for mental health

Keeping a journal has also been known to help boost ones moral.

When you keep consistent notes on what days bothered you and why, you tend to have a better understanding on what things you should probably avoid. Or things you need to prepare for that you know is going to trigger some sort of non-stellar mood. (Yes, I totally used that word. Who cares.)

Mood Journals, as their sometimes called, allows you to write out your feelings. Especially those that you don’t feel like expressing to the world. Their private and you need them to stay private, but it’s not good to bottle things up. A journal is a way to get them out without telling it to the world if you’re are not ready for that.

 

4. They make amazing planners.

I’m sure by now, you’ve heard of bullet journals. Where you keep a journal as a planner and you can create and change your own lay outs. Making it easy to add and remove things at will.

Yep, I’ve got one of those.

It’s been great this year for my goal of being more productive. It’s help. To an extent. I find that when I actually take the time to write down my tasks in bullet form the night before I’m more liable to complete those tasks the next day. When I don’t bother…well.

You get the picture.

You can do various different spreads from word count goals to weekly blog posts layouts. Even financial and TBR spreads. There really is no limit to what you can place inside these little planner/journals. Allowing you to keep everything in one, easy to reach spot.

Bullet journals are also good for adding in those little things. I have quotes, photos and movie tickets. Small little momentos from the past year, not to mention a handful of receipts that I might need one day.

People have Memory pages dedicated to specific events or even months, some have mood calendars. Like I said, a litter of versatile ideas with no end in sight.

 

5.  Fun to look back at all your crazy ideas and note worthy days.

I’ve kept journals for as long as I could remember. Long before my for sure writing days. All the way back to my middle school days when I would write down my angst ridden poems.

I still have them. Their sitting in a box somewhere and whenever I move I glance over them, cringing at my 11 year old self and smiling at the same time.

Journals are good for that. They allow you glance back in time, rather it been last week or 20 years ago. Little time capsules that you can stow away and look back on whenever you wish .Especially if you keep photos and little diary like entries in them. Next year, I’m going to try to do more of that. Take more photos and paste them into my bullet journal.

Something to add onto what I’ve already cataloged and will hopefully have for a long time. It’s my firm reason to believe that everyone needs to keep a journal.

Writers especially. We tend to be scattered brained at times, jumping from one thought to the next, never really sure where those little roads might lead and what might be forgotten in the long run.

Even if it’s a small $0.50 notebook and a pencil. Grab it. Keep it in your purse, pocket, whichever and jot down all those random little things in your life. Ideas, to-do lists, those moments that impress upon you the most.

After a while you’ll be glad you did.

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