My first tip in this series is one I mentioned during the Write with Me Wednesday series I ran during last summer. It’s one I’ve found most helpful, and it is to simply keep a journal. Not a daily journal like children and teens are prone to keep filled with ranting of daily happenings. However, if that sort of journal suits you, by all means, use it! Here are a few suggestions for a journal:
This journal is exactly as the name implies: notes kept by a reader. Some things to jot in a reader’s journal are the title and author of the book being read, a summary of the book, thoughts regarding the book or parts of the book (characters, plot, etc.), and memorable quotes. If you are an avid reader, this is probably the easiest journal to keep.
Daily Journal using Prompts
I am currently keeping this type of journal. There’s a prompt for each day, and the responses can vary from one sentence to a complete paragraph or two. With all the variety of writing in which I engage, this type of journal works best for me. I highly recommend it if you have a busy lifestyle.
I use prompts featured on the website Get It Scrapped. The website details setting up a five-year journal; however, I’m keeping mine for one year. The website provides pdf pages of daily prompts to use for journaling.
If you watch several television shows and/or movies, consider using these for journal topics. For television, use a section for each show and journal your thoughts regarding each episode. Write about what you liked or what you would change. Follow the same format for movies.
This type of journal would work wonderfully for someone employed at a place where one comes into daily contact with several individuals (retail, restaurant business, school, and medical field to name a few). When something interesting happens, jot the story in a journal. This will improve writing skills, commit events to memory, and aid when one simply needs to vent.
You’ve decided to keep a journal and you’ve selected a theme, now what? A journal can be kept manually or electronically. Most stores have a variety of books to use as journals, but you can also use a spiral notebook or a binder with loose-leaf paper. If you prefer to keep an electronic journal, Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Pages, Keynote, Notes, and Google Docs provide options.
The most important thing to remember with a journal is that it doesn’t have to be perfect; it simply needs to be written. No one needs to read your journal (unless you want). It’s an interesting way to improve writing skills.
Join me next Wednesday as I guide you through the beginning steps of writing a short story.
Until the next post . . . keep smiling!