Brainstorming Tools: The Journal

If you are like me, you keep a journal. Most writers do. I use mine for a lot of things. It records my thoughts. It lets me write drafts of stories, notes on various aspects of stories and characters. It’s an excellent place to practice writing. I also use it to do the background work for my stories. I also use it to generate ideas for this blog as well as future stories. In other words, I use it for brainstorming.
That’s right, your journal can also be a wonderful tool for brainstorming. The method of brainstorming depends on how you make your journal entries. A paper journal gives you have the full range of brainstorming methods. I write my journal on my computer. So I’m limited to free writing, timed writing and looping. If you keep a daily journal, you can use it to brainstorm.
As for the specific method of brainstorming, that’s up to you. Free writing is what you do every time you write in your journal. You can set a timer and do timed writing exercises. Or you can forget the timer and free write. You can do looping. Decide on a topic. Spend some time writing. Then read what you wrote, circle or highlight key points. Then take a key point and repeat the process of writing some sentences or phrases on that point. Then high light the key points for that. Then do the same thing again. That’s looping.
The beauty of using your journal to brainstorm is that you already have a place to do it. It’s wherever you write in your journal. You can do it whenever you open your journal to write. The journal is the perfect tool for this kind of writing.
That’s not to say you can’t do brainstorming if you don’t keep a journal, you can. All you need is a pen, pencil and paper or a computer and word processor. You can even use your phone and note app. But your journal can be a handy tool to do, and keep, your brainstorming in.
So the next time you are stuck for ideas, try to do a brainstorming session in your journal. It will give you both the production you might want to achieve for your journal entry. it can also hold the notes and ideas for further development. So don’t overlook this valuable resource when trying to figure out plots or other ideas for your stories. The brainstorming you do in your journal will add to your writing experience. It is one of the most versatile tools in your writer’s toolbox. Use it well, and your writing will be effortless. So the next time you need to come up with an idea, try using your journal to brainstorm. You may find it easy to generate good ideas.


I am not one who is comfortable talking about myself but here goes. I enjoy writing, family history, and reading. I decided to do this blog because I wanted to try something new. I decided to make it a weekly blog because I wasn't sure that I could keep up with a daily one, and monthly seemed like I was writing a magazine. I think I did ok with my choices. You'll notice that there are not a lot of graphics on my site. That's because there are graphics plastered everywhere on the Internet and those sites sometimes take forever to load. This blog is a place where you can kick back, relax and be ready to be amused. At least I hope I willbamuse you. This blog is on a variety of subjects from my ficitional cat agency, the FFL, which is monthly, to instructional blogs to editorials, which are my opinions only. I admit that I don't know everything and could be wrong -- I frequently am. Now, stop reading about me and read what I have to say!

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Posted in General Opinion, Writing Techniques

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© Lisa Hendrickson and Pebblepup's Writing Den, 2010-2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Lisa Hendrickson and Pebblepup's Writing Den with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
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