I start each day by writing in a journal. I write three pages a day – well, most days. I started writing three pages because of The Artist’s Way, a book by Julia Cameron (http://juliacameronlive.com/). She calls these “Morning Pages” but I’ve done them at all times of the day – and night – and middle of the night when I can’t sleep.
I’m lucky there’s no such thing as the Journal Police.
People often say, “How can you write three pages a day? I wouldn’t have time for that.” But I’d have to agree with Cameron: I wouldn’t have time if I didn’t.
I write fiction, nonfiction, children’s books, and poetry. My fiction and poetry appear in literary magazines and anthologies. Traditional publishers (Scholastic and soon Red Line) publish my children’s books. And my nonfiction appears in more than 70 consumer and trade markets across Canada and internationally. And I’ve won awards in all of them. On top of this I hold down a busy day-job, I’ve founded a professional association (PWAC-SK), and I’m a productive member of two writing groups and several associations.
On days when I don’t journal, I don’t accomplish half as much. Frankly, sometimes my journals contain three pages of worry. Or three pages of affirmations – even the same affirmation repeated 10 times just to make sure I get it. Sometimes I need that to get on with my writing day. Often I will try a few freewriting exercises and often I find ideas for a story, poem, or novel I’m writing, or the kernel of an idea for next time.
Over the past few years I’ve had many different kinds of journals: fancy cloth covered ones, pint-sized notebooks with pretty pictures on the cover, plain black ones, you name it.
These days writing three pages every day means I’ve been buying the cheapest, most ordinary coil notebooks I can find. The outside doesn’t matter; the act of writing is all that counts.
I love it that the word “journal” is now a verb.
Here are a few resources I like on journaling:
Writing Down the Bones – Natalie Goldberg:
Other books by Natalie Goldberg: http://nataliegoldberg.com/books/
And just for fun – After the Artist’s Way – a blog by Janice MacLeod: http://aftertheartistsway.blogspot.ca/p/about.html
Do you journal? What’s your favorite resource? Click on the word “Comment” above to leave a comment. Let’s share our idea banks.