A Writer’s Journal is a place to keep your thoughts, and people watching excursions, so you can use it for your articles or stories.
Grab Your Computer, or Paper and Pen
First you need something to write on; so grab your computer, or pen and paper. Use whichever one you prefer. I like pen and paper because it’s easier to carry, and you don’t have to wait for it to power up. Sometimes by the time the computer is ready, I’ve forgotten what great idea I had. What should you write in your journal? Anything you want, but here are some ideas.
- Observations: Get out there and people watch. This helps with your character development. You don’t need to watch strangers either. Watch friends, family, or your pets. Watch for the non-verbal and verbal cues they give each other, or nervous habits.
- Lessons from other writers: Maybe you are reading a book and just read this great passage. What can you learn from that passage? Write in your journal why you thought it was a great passage. Write how you feel the author made it a great passage.
- Reactions to Events: How did it feel when your favorite pet died? Or when a character you hated became the lone survivor? Read the news and write a reaction to an article.
- Free Write: Write whatever you want. Write whatever comes to mind; it doesn’t even have to make sense.
- Article/Story ideas: You just had this great idea come to mind. While you have this idea on the brain, fish it out some. Develop your idea and maybe even do a rough outline.
- Dreams: You never know when a dream will serve as inspiration for a story. So when you wake up, quick jot down what you dreamed about, and one day it may turn into a bestseller.
How Often Should you Write
Don’t just write when the mood strikes. Write when you don’t want to write too. I first learned of a Writer’s Journal in a 7th Grade English course. My teacher had us write at least 3 entries in our journals each week. When you don’t know what to write, you can find any number of writing prompts on the web.
Why keep a Writers Journal
Your Writer’s Journal is a place to keep all your ideas and to work them out. A place to hone and perfect your craft. When you encounter Writers Block, you can go to your Journal and free write. You can also use your Journal as a tool to get you in the habit of writing even when you don’t feel like it.
You don’t have to keep a Writer’s Journal to be a writer; and just because you want to be a writer doesn’t mean you have to keep a Writer’s Journal. The Writer’s Journal is just a tool you can use to help your thought process, and to help you remember those great story ideas when they strike.