1. Possum
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    Possum Member

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    Daily Journals?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Possum, Feb 19, 2016.

    Does anyone else keep a daily journal? What do you write about? I've recently started keeping one, but I'm unsure if it should be primarily focused on documenting things that happen to me, random thoughts, or something else entirely. I know there's no right or wrong way to do it, I'm just curious how you go about it.
     
  2. nastyjman
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    nastyjman Contributing Member

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    I have a story journal. Before I work on my manuscript, I give myself about five or ten minutes just to free-write what's on my mind. I either write about my mood that day, about the scene I have to work on, the sandwich I ate, etc. Most of the entries are related to the story I'm working on, but there are entries where I just babble. It is random, but it's an effective way for me to push my editor-mind away and coax my writer-mind to enter.

    Here's a sample of an entry for my current WIP:

    ----

    11/21/2015 OKay okay okay,. bright and early this morningn. it is about 11:15 right now and i m just having me coffee and shit. anyway. i dont know what to write. therea re a lot of thinghs that can be changed,. i dont want to change them just yet. i want to plow through. but fuck. there's no big reveal or anything. i think i need to return to that moment where the shit. argh. how does this happen? aries gets absorbed. and once he's absorbed, they wipe out theo's memories.

    REGARDING WHY THEY NEED ARIES TO BE ABSORBED!!! so they really need aries in tehre. that is the motive in this scene. they need aries ebcause if they wipe out theo's memories, they can never get ezra out anymore and theo's body will be will remain as a vegtable. i need to add that in the thing. that's it.

    It is the final decision, the final sacrifice that aries needs to do. and he knows this. this is the end for him. and do we get to witness it? yes. yes we do. shit. that is tough and crap! we have to play out the whole scene, try to force theo to get ezra out of the hole. that is the motive of this chapter. that is it. yey yeyu yey!!!

    ----

    Notice that it's a grammatical garbage heap, but such is the case with free-writing.
     
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  3. AASmith
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    AASmith Contributing Member

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    Not since I was little. I think about keeping one, but a private one on work or one in an actual book. Its fun to go back a read stuff I wrote when I was 10. And it will be cool for my kids to read. But i am so focused on my projects that i dont make the time.
     
  4. Penfist
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    Penfist Member

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    Yes, I keep a private daily journal. It helps me deal with PTSD.
     
  5. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    We had to keep a daily journal over the course of a semester in a creative writing class I took in college. The good thing about it was that it forced to write. You could write about anything just as long as you wrote something. It's a good way of making sure you practice writing everyday. The downside is that I don't like being forced to write because then I end up writing crap. That's why I abandoned it after the class was over. Maybe one day I'll start doing this again.
     
  6. Penfist
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    Penfist Member

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    My thought is that, no matter what it seems like in the moment, you'll value the journal ten or more years down the road. It's weird how recordings from the past gain value in the present. They have to pass into the future. When they do, and you take a fresh look, you realize that you are no longer that entity.
     
  7. Possum
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    Possum Member

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    That's why I started the journal in the first place, I know I'll be glad to have it down the road. If anything, I'll probably wish I'd started it sooner.
     
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  8. Tea@3
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    Tea@3 Contributing Member

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    I have since June 1994. But not obsessively. I don't FORCE myself to do it daily. It's just to get stuff off my chest that's bothering me, whenever that comes up. When I'm feeling mostly okay I write in it less. When something's bothering me I may sit and write two hours nonstop. So, it's intermittent. But the option is always there, waiting, in case I need it.

    I do not keep story journals. This is one for life stuff.

    I will add this...

    Journals are a great device for developing your writing voice, which many writers don't know even for themselves what theirs sounds like. Journaling takes pressure off you and frees you up to 'let it fly' which I believe allows your true voice to come out. Then when you read back over stuff you wrote five years ago, it can offer insight, self-knowledge. It also builds confidence by giving practice on things like spelling, sentence structure, turn of phrase, etc.
     
  9. Possum
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    That's similar to what I've been doing. I want to write more when something is bothering me, or when I'm trying to figure something out. Writing down my problems and their potential solutions makes them seem more manageable. The only thing is that my journal will probably end up sounding a bit negative, filled with nothing but my past problems. That's alright though, sense the journal isn't meant to be a complete history or something. :) And remembering past problems could help me solve current ones.
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2016
  10. Tea@3
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    Tea@3 Contributing Member

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    @Possum Exactly. Because with some things there's nobody you can talk to freely about it. My journal is like having a convo with myself. I ask questions, propose potential solutions, run through lists of options, conclude and declare big epiphanies, sometimes dramatically & with force. A convo with another person won't really allow you to explore things the same way because they tend to take things in another direction way off topic. When others meander it frustrates you; with the journal, if you meander it's because you needed to.

    The journal allows exploration you simply can't do with another person. But the reverse is true too, so both are valuable at different times. :)

    Regarding the journals sounding negative, yeah probably that and schitzo and neurotic and other things too. lol But I plan to burn mine so family won't find them after I'm gone. ;)
     
  11. IsabellaS
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    IsabellaS Member

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    I'm coming up on my one year journaling anniversary (yep, I just called it that)! I don't force myself to write daily anymore though, instead, I write when there's something on my mind. Sometimes I'll write when I'm upset, or happy, or obsessed with a certain song. Occasionally, I'll write about my writing, or whatever pops into my head.

    Journaling is great, I wish I had started (or rather continued, as I did try quite a few times as a kid) earlier. It's a great way to vent, and it really makes you think.

    Something I've noticed after I started journaling, is that I just generally write more. Before last year, I had this one idea for a trilogy. Today, I'm working on five different novels/series and a short story.
     
  12. Sack-a-Doo!
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    Sack-a-Doo! Contributing Member Contributor

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    I've tried several times throughout my life to keep a journal and I've rarely made it past a few weeks.

    Frankly, I find my life boring and always have despite what others have said when I do let something slip.

    Besides, when I do use anything from my life in a story, because I don't write it down, it's foggy enough that I can bend it to my will. ;)
     
  13. Krishan
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    Krishan Active Member

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    I keep a journal that varies wildly between a straightforward record of things I have done and a much looser diary of my thoughts and ideas. I've kept it for a number of years, and I find it incredibly useful for my writing - apart from anything else it's useful and encouraging to see how my voice has changed over the years.
     
  14. Sileas
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    Wow. I've done.... well, I don't call it a journal. I just call it a notebook.

    /runs to check

    I'm now on my 20th notebook. These are big buggers, 200 sheets or more, and college ruled, not the wide ones, and I don't go every other line. I've been doing it since I was a teenager--I think the exact date was Oct 29, 1985. I had a massive crush on an athlete, and used that person for an informative speech in speech class in high school, and for some reason immediately regretted it as soon as I got back to my desk, even though it wasn't poorly received. I went out to a store with my mom that evening, and on instinct bought a notebook, took it home, and wrote 6 pages. And I've just kept doing it. I used to have a goal of 1 page every day, but that's long since fallen by the wayside. I can sometimes do a whole week on one page. :( It's more of just a diary than anything profound like a "journal", but for what it's worth... it's there. :)
     
  15. L. J.
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    L. J. New Member

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    Yes, I've kept a journal since I was very young. It's function changes depending on the day. Sometimes it's a record of events, sometimes it's a place to pour out emotions I don't want to inflict on anyone else. I have almost 40 full journals. There were a few years that I filled one book every 3 months. There are a few books that span one year.

    The main thing is that whatever I write, I write for me. Who's going to read it later isn't at all on my mind.
     
  16. mg357
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    mg357 Active Member

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    I have a daily journal on a password protected flash drive and I use the Military phonetic alphabet as a form of secret code . And I write a little bit of every I especially write when I am angry or pissed off about something that way I get those feelings out of my system.
     
  17. PeterBr
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    PeterBr Member

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    I keep a daily todo's and habit tracking inspired by bullet journal. Have been doing it for a couple years now and keep refining a method that works well for me. I highly recommend it... these are nice notebooks to use for the purpose: http://amzn.to/1SxQbpt
     
  18. Wild Knight
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    Wild Knight Active Member

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    I have a lot of notebooks of journals by now. I can't exactly count how many of them I have. I go through 200-page college-ruled notebooks in three or four months, and I typically write in them every day, but I don't force it.
    Mostly, they are story journals, though, because nothing that exciting tends to happen in my life.
     

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