1. CrimsonWolf
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    CrimsonWolf Member

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    Writing Journal?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by CrimsonWolf, Jun 17, 2008.

    I've often been told it's a good idea to keep a writing journal to come up with new ideas, but i'm not really sure how to start. I tend to write my ideas down in a notebook anyway when I have them, and is that what a writing journal should be? Or is it something more than that, like reflecting on experiences and making notes about things you've noticed during the day you could use in a story?
     
  2. Marloy
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    Marloy Contributing Member

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    The way I view it, a writing journal can be whatever you want it to be and can have anything you want in it.

    I personally don't keep one but there are many varieties of ways that they can be used. As you said, writing down things in your day could be one way. I usually find what I want to write though things that I like or things that inspire me.

    I do, though, keep a diary (have for years), and at times when you look back at things that happen to you in the past and laugh or cry, etc. you can channel those things or emotions into a story.

    You could use it just to put ideas for stories in, even without writing a detailed summary, or even write a few words and look back on it when you are drained of ideas.

    But of course, do what works for you. I don't think there are laws to making the "right" writing journal. :D
     
  3. tehuti88
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    tehuti88 Contributing Member

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    It's whatever you want. When you first mentioned "writing journal" and began mentioning jotting down ideas, that was what I had in mind, but your additional idea of a journal to just reflect on things you've noticed, etc., is also a good one. My own idea of a writing journal would simply be a journal where I write about my writing--my feelings about a chapter or a character, my excitement or anxiety over something I have to write soon, my thoughts on finishing or starting a story, my hopes on attracting readers, things I've noticed that make me think of the story in some way, etc. And then there's a "writing progress" journal, which is basically what I do keep--I call it a writing log--where each day I take note of what project I've worked on and how much I've written, though I don't really go into further detail, so it's not really a "journal," just a summary.

    So those are just some ideas--I'm sure there are plenty more. A writing journal is whatever you want to do with it.
     
  4. InPieces
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    InPieces Senior Member

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    To be honest, everyone says that one should keep a writing journal, but for me, that wouldn't work. I know from experience that if I am working on a specific piece, and I come up with a completely different idea, I get caught up in the new idea, and ditch the old one. That is one of the main reasons why I can never seem to finish a longer piece (such as a 10k short story or even a novel). So, in conclusion, I don't allow myself to think of *new* ideas when working on a large piece, for fear that I'll become bored of the first piece, and get involved with the second.

    That's not to say that I don't jot down ideas every now and then, I just don't get involved with them or write details as I would if I wrote it in a journal.

    That's just me though, if writing a journal keeps you focused on writing, and doesn't interfere with the writing of other pieces, all power to you.

    ~ InPieces
     
  5. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    I don't keep a journal. I feel I'm better off actually writing for my projects than putting that energy into a journal. However, I do have a notepad file on my laptop's desktop that I jot down random ideas in when they occur to me.
     
  6. LibbyAnn
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    LibbyAnn Contributing Member

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    I don't keep a writing journal either...I have dozens of Word files on my computer with random story ideas though. Perhaps I should compile them into journal format someday, but that would require time, energy, and effort - all of which I don't have enough of nowadays!
     
  7. Alex_Hartman
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    Alex_Hartman Contributing Member

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    I have my own personal journal. But I sort of have a writing journal too. I used Microsoft One Note and organize everything I've decided to record. One note is like a Binder and inside of it are different tabs, inside of each tab are pages. It has everything in it. I have a tab for characters and a page for each of my characters, I have a tab for research that I did for my story, and things like that. Before I bought myself a computer, I wrote my story in a spiral notebook. If I came up with any ideas or needed to remind myself to change something, I wrote it on a sticky note. The only problem was that you could lose them.
    I still sort of use the sticky note thing, only it's just another tab in One Note.
     
  8. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    not true!... 'cause i don't... and i don't keep one myself, never have... like cog, i can't see wasting energy on such stuff, when i could be writing actual pieces of work...

    i used to keep a file of 'ideas' and bits 'n pieces of stuff that popped into my mind and didn't have a home in a current piece of work, but i grew out of that, realizing that there was so much i was working on all the time already, that if i lived and wrote for 200 more years, i couldn't use all those bits... and i also realized that if i ever needed one, it would pop right back outa my head, so i didn't need to keep it in any other kind of 'file'...
     
  9. Moira
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    Moira Member

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    My computer has crashed a few times in the passed. I decided after that that I needed to keep a journal for ideas instead of putting them all in word files. That, and an USB drive for my long stories. I'm about to start my new journal. I feel like it's pretty good to have one just in case.

    -Moira
     
  10. Rebekkamaria
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    Rebekkamaria Senior Member

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    I don't keep a writing journal. I do write down ideas when I'm somewhere else than in front of my computer, though.

    I've written many other journals, but I don't quite understand why I should keep a writing journal. :) If I want to write about writing, I write with my friends who also write.
     
  11. Sandy Banks
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    Sandy Banks Member

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    I keep a little note book. I use it to write descriptions of things. Descriptions of people, places, the passing of day into night, a description of a scene in a bustling town or what ever. I kind of force myself just to write something just to keep me active. I find that i rarely have all consuming ideas that take up all my time with writing. Therefore i use the notebook just to keep my writing muscles flexed until bigger and better ideas come along. Kind of like training in a gym before a marathon if you know what i mean.
     

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