Me: sometimes I journal before bed, which can be helpful but sometimes I get inspired and –
Mom: you know I could have told you that it wouldn’t be helpful to fall asleep.
Anywho, I started journaling last year. AND I LOVE IT.
First off, I have two journals (though I have a lot more notebooks than that). One is like a “dear diary” journal (why is it “dear diary” anyway? Is the diary sentient? If it is, that sounds either like a children’s book or a horror story). The other is a “writing journal”
I’m going to focus on the writing journal since that’s more relevant here (I’m not a self care blog in case you haven’t noticed).
There’s only so much time in the week, and I only have time to work on one writing project (either drafting a novel or editing a novel, and I stick with one for a few months till I need to let it sit for a while). So I really begin to feel like I need to use my creative juices differently somehow, and journaling is a great way to do it.
I journal before bed, so I have the time, and it can be relaxing (also not relaxing as I have found. You have been warned. You may accidentally let the plot bunnies out and you know how that goes down. Because PLOT BUNNIES NEVER SLEEP).
Writers need practice. But as much as you need to write finished novels and short stories, they only can exercise so much creativity. There are other things that need to be practiced, different styles you need to try, and story ideas that you might want to experiment with without committing to finishing them.
These are some things I have written in my journal:
- random, unfinished stories
- new story ideas
- narrative memories
- pretty sentences
Things I might never write in a novel or short story. Ideas I may not otherwise have time to experiment with. It’s a good way to let out some tension when you’re brain dead from editing or frustrated with a draft.