My journal is not a report of day-to-day activities. It could be, but it isn’t. no, my journal is free writing. That’s the writing exercise where you sit down and just write what comes into your head and put it down in the file. I don’t edit my journal, except for spelling and sometimes punctuation. Any editing that I do is for the parts that I lift out for other works. I love the copy paste feature.
During November, my journal is where I write my novels. Although I have a piece of writing software that lets me do the novels in a more flowing manner. I got it for last year’s NaNoWriMo and it worked well for me. So what I did then was to copy and paste each day’s writing into my journal instead of the other way around. It worked well, so I will likely keep doing that.
My journal is also a great place for ideas. I free write and come up with ideas, which I move to a page in my story development notebook. It is actually a Microsoft OneNote notebook. I did toy with the idea of making the journal a OneNote notebook, but that software, while you can export the files to be readable in Word, it is not as universal as Word. So I keep my journal files as MS Word documents. Others may find it easier to use something like OneNote. Still others prefer to keep their journals on paper. It’s a simple matter of personal preference. I use Word because it lets me copy things more easily than paper and pen. That’s not to say that I never used paper and pen – it’s hard to use Word when the power is out.
I brainstorm blog topics in my journal. Some people even use their blogs as a journal. I use mine to tell the world how I think about some things, how I write, and I even preview my fiction a little. I hope I am entertaining people with that last. Earlier this month, I published my first novel on Smashwords – it’s available now in most online bookstores. I originally wrote it in the pages of my journal.
My journal is as much of a hodgepodge of ideas as my blog. I just jot down what comes to mind and sometimes the entries look jumbled and that’s ok. Getting that stuff out of my head often helps me settle my mind on a decision or idea. I develop story ideas, scenes, and even ideas in my journal. I like to write and that is all there is to it.
Journaling is not for everyone. Not all people want to spend time writing everyday and that’s ok. We all have our likes and dislikes. I think variety is a good thing and my journal reflects that. I don’t intend to publish my journal, which is why I don’t edit it. It’s raw and wordy, and just the way I like it. I’ll bet your journal is just the way you like it too. Just stop each day and have a little fun – journaling is fun for me.