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Writing is wonderful when it’s all going well, the words are flowing and you’re totally ‘in it’. It’s the best feeling. When it’s not going so well? Gah, it’s incredibly frustrating. We’ve all seen (and been) the memes of a writer staring at their laptop screen wanting, hoping, wishing for inspiration to hit. A way to lessen the chances of writer’s block and hone our writing skills is to develop a habit of journalling.
WHAT IS JOURNALLING?
Journalling is the practice of regularly writing down our thoughts and feelings. It can be done in a physical notebook, a digital journal, mixed with art, or even on your phone. How you approach journalling will be personal to you; you may choose to ‘free write’ as a way to express your emotions and explore your experiences. You may prefer to use journalling prompts to kickstart your creativity. Or, you might prefer to focus on a topic or your daily experiences and delve into those in some detail.Journal Your Way To Better Writing: How Journalling Improves Your Craft Click To Tweet
JOURNALLING IS REALLY GOOD FOR US – IT DEVELOPS THE HABIT OF WRITING
Writing is a habit, and like any habit, it needs to be practised regularly, preferably daily. Journalling is a brilliant way to develop and build our writing muscles. Helping us to create a routine along the way. Another aspect of writing that’s not spoken about nearly enough is how much self-discipline is needed. There’s an art to stoking our motivation when it wanes, daily journalling helps with that.
Journalling provides a chance for us to stop and take stock, tune in and meet ourselves where we are. When we write down our thoughts and feelings, we’re taking the time to feel, to identify and to explore them. This exploration can help us gain insight into our own emotions, which is incredibly useful to a writer who needs an understanding of those when building and nurturing characters. Not only that, but writing down what’s clogging up our headspace, makes room for us to think more clearly, and it increases our mental capacity.
MAKES ROOM FOR INSPIRATION TO HIT
Journalling can help us to join dots and it makes space for those ever-so-delightful sparks of inspiration. Writing freely, without judgement and, most importantly, with self-compassion, allows our mind to clear, wander, wonder, and bring forth exciting new ideas. This can lead to new stories, characters, and plot twists.
PROVIDES A SAFE SPACE TO EXPERIMENT
It can be quite difficult to write freely, especially if it’s on a project which will be published for others to consume. Journalling provides a safe space for us to experiment with our writing and ideas without worrying about anyone else’s opinions. Affording the opportunity to try out new writing techniques, and different writing styles, and to play around with your voice and tenses.
GIVES YOU A SENSE OF PROGRESS
All writers will have read back over their older work and cringed. It’s a given. It’s also a sign that we’ve grown, expanded and evolved in our craft. Journalling helps us to track that progress. It serves as a documented timeline, helping us to identify areas where we’ve improved or need to improve. It makes us better writers.
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