Documenting Everything: Your Journal is Your Logbook
Sailors had it for years. Great explorers had it as well. If you go on an expedition to an ancient Aztec mound, more than likely the archaeologist will have one too - so, why shouldn't you own one?
No, I'm not speaking of the scurvy that plagued the sailors! No, I'm not speaking of the Loch Ness Monster or Bigfoot, whom explorers claimed to have seen in snowy Manitoba winters. Nor am I speaking of a lost city, which was never truly lost, but simply buried under mounds of earth and recently dug up by an archaeologist.
I'm speaking of journals. Journals? Yes! Keeping a journal can be just as much of an adventure as sailing the high seas, exploring unknown Canadian wilderness or digging in the dirt to find buried treasure.
Journals have been a source of reflection for centuries. My suggestion is to look at your writing career as if you're an explorer analyzing new-found land; an archaeologist digging up new artifacts and renaming them and so on...
How can you do this? Well, view your journal as a logbook and document your daily happenings. Here is a suggested format for keeping your captain's log.
Divide your journal entries into sections: Date, Weather, Mood, Events and Freewrite
1. Date: This is the obvious one (for some people). Write the month, day and the year. Also write which day of the week it is (i.e., December 17, 2001; Monday).
2. Weather: Make note of the temperature outside. Is it 100 degrees? Or perhaps it's only 20 degrees? Is it raining and 35 degrees? Snowing and 110 degrees? Raining cats and dogs? (Don't step in a poodle....)
3. Mood: What's going on in your head? Did you just get off the phone with your ex-lover who ruined your day and sank you into the depths of depression? Write about it. Did you manage to pull off some wondrous passive-aggressive revenge against said ex-lover? Write about that too and how it made you feel.
4. Events: Here's where things get a bit complicated - for some. You have to do your homework. Watch television, read the newspaper and write a few lines about what's going on in your city, state, country or the world in general.
5. Freewrite: Here's your chance to shine. Since we're all writers, we should leave a section for freewriting. Allow yourself some space to simply write aimlessly without direction. But, here's the challenge - try to limit yourself to a certain number of lines.
When you keep these entries for a week, two weeks or a longer period of time, it can be extremely beneficial. Comparing and contrasting the Mondays or Tuesdays could be a surprising learning experience.
Many times I've written stories and wanted to "know" what 78 degrees felt like, so I went to my journal and found an entry, read my mood descriptions and weather descriptions and was easily informed from my own documentation.
Keep in mind, a good writer documents everything - whether it be on paper or just in the mind's filing cabinet. But, to keep things in order, try to keep your documentation on paper - or at least saved to disk.
About The Author
Stephen Jordan, a medical editor, has five years experience within the educational publishing industry. Stephen was a freelance editor with such educational foundations as Princeton Review, The College Board, New York University, and Columbia University. Away from the office, Stephen promotes his creative writing with his home-freelance business OutStretch Publications and his artwork. Stephen holds two Bachelor of Arts degrees in writing and literature from Alderson-Broaddus College of Philippi, West Virginia.
New Authors Publishing Options
All your publishing options are as follows:
5 Effective Web Writing Tips
Writing for the web is very different from writing for the print medium. Writing for the web requires some special abilities. Mastering these abilities is crucial to establish yourself as a well known author or content writer in this challenging medium.
Break in with Fillers: The Best Market for New Writers
Interested in breaking into writing or breaking into a new area? You can't go past writing fillers. Fillers are one of the most overlooked opportunities in the freelance writing world and offer one of the best opportunities for new writers.
To Outline Or Not To Outline
Ah, the age-old writer's debate--to outline or not to outline?
Write Strategy: Think, Believe, Attack
Think of writing like karate...it's about DISCIPLINE.
How to Create Incredible Characters Easily
Creating incredible characters can be easy if you know of a few simple rules:
10 Secrets For Everyday Writing Success
During my 25-year career in a variety of professionalpositions in both the private and public sectors I have written literally thousands of letters and memos andhundreds of reports. If I had to boil-down everythingI've learned about practical day-to-day writing for bothpersonal and business purposes into 10 key points, thiswould be my "top 10 list".
How To Write for the Web
The Scanning Reader
Can Your Theme Be Proved In Your Story?
Creative Writing Tips ?
Ferreting Out Work
FERRETING OUT WORK
A Beginners Guide to Writing a Novel
No one is born a novel writer. But do you believe that we all have the capability to be writers? Impossible as it may seem but the answer is yes! If we have the passion for it and if we strive to make it happen, novelwriting can be as easy as writing ABC. Writing is actually not a very complicated thing. It is just like drawing, painting, and even cooking. It is an art! Your imagination is all that it takes to get it started. What makes it hard is not writing itself but how people make it harder than it really is.
Creative Writing Tips - Have You Established Your Main Character At The Start?
In the beginning of your story you have to grab your readers' interest and sustain it till the end. Our hook is our character. Readers keep on reading to find out more about the character. To see what he'll do in the story; how he'll solve his problems. What his goals are and whether he'll achieve them.
Freelance or Staff
There is no doubt that a staff writer enjoys advantages not availed by the freelancer. However, there are benefits available to the freelancer that a staff writer can never expect.
Freelancing Doesnt Mean Writing For Free. Does it?
Writer's forums are bustling with debate over whether or not a writer should send something out for free. Some people feel that writing for free weakens the market for other writers, while some people feel that writing is an art that should be shared freely.
Realize Your Book Dream In 2005!
If you haven't realized the success you wanted last year, here's a way to reap the harvest with 86% improvement!
Common Writing Mistakes - Are These Holding You Back From Writing Success?
During the years that I've been teaching writing and participating in writers' critique sessions, I've seen some real talent. There are writers who produce such sparkling prose that you know publication is only a matter of time.
Uncommon Advice for Beginning Novelists
1) Convince yourself you want to do something else. If you don't succeed, proceed to number 2.
Discover the Writer Hiding Inside You
Has the thought run across you mind that you might want to write a column or two? Maybe you thought about writing your own material for your company newsletter. Maybe someone asked you to share your expertise with others by writing a how-to paper. Then the voice of fear spoke up and you decide maybe not this time. "I'm not ready to make that step. I could never write something meaningful. I'm no writer." You say. Well you are dead wrong if you think that way. There is a writer in everyone.
Use Real-Life Templates For Writing Success
At some point along the way, most of us have used what arecommonly called "fill-in-the-blank" writing templates. Wemight have used them to write a letter, format an essay, orset-up a resume or CV.
Celebrating Writing and Life
Every morning I excitedly get out of bed. Just a few minutes of goals and visions for the day swirl in my head. No lingering for me, no alarm, no wishful notes too. Just me in my night gown with no hat.
|© Athifea Distribution LLC - 2013|