Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Tips Tuesday: Journaling

What This Post Is, and What It Is Not

Keeping a journal or diary can be helpful in so many ways. There are tons of books about it - how to do it, why to do it, journal prompts, benefits, on and on and on. So if you really are interested in all of that, please, by all means Google or head to your local bookstore and pick up some of those books. This post is how keeping one can benefit you as a writer, (and hopefully help build up some of your creative muscles).

What 'Prompted' This Post

(Pun semi-intended). I do my best to help mentor a published author. Keep them on track with their writing, help them grow their author brand, on and on and on. Which means I spend a lot of time doing research. I read a lot of blogs, articles, books, etc on a variety of topics. One thing I've noticed is that a lot of them recommend keeping a journal. Even if it's just a few lines a day, keep a journal. Well, while that definitely seems like a great idea, it feels kind of mundane. As anyone who knows me will tell you, despite my absolute LOVE of routines and rituals, I really am not a fan of the mundane.

My Solution

Using various journal and creative writing prompts from sources you can find from a quick Google search, I assigned my writer to choose from a list of prompts twice a week. One day a week they have the option to take an introspective prompt and write it from their point of view or the point of view of a character they want to get to know better. A lot of the more in-depth character creation worksheets involve things like biggest fear, greatest ambition, etc. So, why not take it a step further? The second journal day of the week is a prompt for a short story, which does not need to be written in the first person, but can be if the writer chooses. It's a great way to flex the creative muscle without putting in the time it takes to write a full length novel, and gain new insight, as you pose an important question to one of your characters and listen to them dictate their response. You'd be amazed what you can learn from it.

All's Fair in Love and....Writing

I figured if I was going to make my writer do this, I might as well jump in as well, just not all the way in. I plan on posting once a week, on my Self Discovery Journal. The premise behind it is based on my own real life experience and struggles with Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) based on the different fragments of my personality, that although mostly integrated, are not totally or completely so (yet). But we're closer than we were a decade ago, and have many mental health professionals and specialists to thank for it.