Writing · Writing Process

Keeping a Writer’s Journal.

writersjournalIn recent months, I have begun using a writer’s journal. I was never any good at writing in a diary to talk about the mundane, but I’m finding a writer’s journal different. I might slot in the odd piece of what’s happening in my life occasionally as it could prove helpful for future writing projects, however, I find that keeping a writer’s journal is best for the following reasons:-

It helps with the brainstorming process

Your writing journal may include your dreams, story ideas or blog posts. Whenever you come up with a new idea for a story, article, etc., write it down in your writing journal. It also helps in getting your feelings down on paper, preparing you for certain scenes or projects. Keeping all your ideas together in the one place, rather than scattered on pieces of paper everywhere (been there, done that), is also beneficial.

It helps you to concentrate on your goals

Recently, I had to step back and concentrate on my writing goals. Keeping a writer’s journal helped me with that as I was able to see which projects needed to be tackled first – starting small so that I would gradually work my way up to bigger projects. This then allowed me to concentrate upon my genres, possibly experimenting with other genres and my preferred options for publication.

It helps you to write every day

The old ‘rule’ of writing everyday enables us to form good writing habits. Getting into the routine of writing in a journal a few minutes a day helps us to put pen to paper. I write in my journal every morning over my morning cuppa as mornings are the best time for me to write. It usually only take me a few minutes and I’m done, ready to start my work for the day.

It keeps you away from the computer

Writing longhand is a great way to get you away from the keyboard and being distracted from the internet. It is a quick way of writing down your ideas and gives you the opportunity to write anywhere. Writing longhand also gives you the freedom to make mistakes without having to worry about how it looks, especially if you’re a perfectionist like me. 😉

Do you keep a writer’s journal? What have you been doing to keep up with your goals this year? Were you any good at keeping a diary?

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Life Lessons · This Writer's Life · Writing

Being a Writer: A Leap of Faith.

A Leap of Faith

Every once in a while, when my family and I visit Canberra, we go to Questacon – The National Science and Technology Centre. One of the exhibits is a slide where you are required to let go of a metal bar, allowing yourself to freefall down the slide. Every time I position myself for that drop, sitting on the edge and looking down what is ahead of me, fear tightens its grip. It’s a similar situation when change occurs in your life.

In October 2013, I completed several years of University study; a change was in the air. Then only a few short weeks ago, I received notification that I was unsuccessful in obtaining casual work at my previous employer. As I typed up a couple of emails, making my referees aware of this situation, there were tears in my eyes. Feeling foolish, I could not understand why that was happening. I had come to realise that that particular phase in my life had come to an end. It wasn’t until a few short days later that I compared it to a rejection letter – something I was going to have to get used to in the writing world. Yet, I also began to see the bigger picture. That letter also signified another push for change. Two significant parts of my life were now over and slowly giving me the gentle nudge I needed to begin my writing journey. The message was now clear; the dream of writing for a living – a dream I have had since I was ten years old – could now become a reality.

Letting go of the bar to go down the slide at Questacon is an exhilarating experience. Like being in the front carriage of a roller coaster, it’s a lot of fun. Change can be like that too, but we won’t know unless we allow ourselves to freefall and take a leap of faith.

Have you ever felt circumstances conspired to give you the push you needed for change? Do you allow fear to stop you from reaching your goals? How do you react to change?

Image by Debbie Johansson

Life Lessons · This Writer's Life · Writing

One of Life’s Little Detours.

Destinationroad smallerA few years ago, my family and I made the long drive to attend my husband’s graduation.  Everything was organised, the journey mapped out; I knew where I was going.  I was so focused upon the destination that when my husband suggested we make a slight detour, I became annoyed.  My husband wanted us to see a particular rainforest that he had visited once before on one of his University trips.  It would add more time to get where we needed to go.  Somewhat reluctantly I agreed, not knowing, when, if ever, we’d get the opportunity again.

The scenic detour took us up long, winding hills, where our surroundings were becoming densely wooded, colder and wetter.  The further up we drove, the more surreal the situation had become.  Below was a clear, sunny autumn in this part of Australia, and when we finally reached the top, it had suddenly become a wet winter’s day.  Stepping out of the car we quickly found ourselves cold, with moisture dripping off our hair and down our noses.  The further we walked into the bush, I really didn’t care – we had walked into a fantasy land.  I felt like a child once again, my imagination took hold and I was obsessed with taking numerous photos.  My husband knew I would like it and getting back into the car, I was reluctant to leave.

For a short time I had taken my eyes off the destination and enjoyed the journey.  Sure, it’s good to be focused on what we want to achieve in life, but sometimes we can become a victim of tunnel vision, that we miss what else life has to offer us along the way.  The journey can take us onto different paths and new situations, and by doing so, we learn and grow.  By taking the occasional detour, it can help make our destination better, stronger and much more rewarding.

Are you a victim of tunnel vision? What detours have you taken towards your goals?  Have they helped you in any way?

Image by Debbie Johansson.