Saturday, August 28, 2010
Writing Tip: Keep A Journal
But the one thing I did have going for me was that I was an extensive journal writer. I was surprised to find out that this is actually a great skill to have as a fiction writer. In fact, it's so important that we even had a whole section on it in my creative writing class.
Journals help us remember the crucial things in our lives and teach us to put words to our feelings. Just like books, they often leave out the smaller day to day details and force us to focus on the larger events. Reading multiple passages can sometimes help us recognize recurring themes.
In addition to all these things, if you're a fiction writer it can help you keep track of the stories that are always running around in your head. If you have a notebook by your bed, you can record those midnight revelations that come when you're half asleep. Orson Scott Card even said that every night he journals what he's written that day so that he can skim it the next morning and pick up where he left off. He uses a journal to write the personal descriptions of his characters too.
So that's my tip today. Keep a journal. If you're a writer, do it for the craft. If you're not, do it for yourself. You (and your posterity) will be glad you did.