Many thanks to Linzé Brandon for her guest post on creative journaling for a writer. For her blog please go to http://linzebrandon.blogspot.co.uk/.
Creative Journaling for a Writer
by Linzé Brandon
Most writers I know, keep a journal of some kind. I have three journals – two of them online (www.penzu.com) and another which I write by hand. There is a fourth, but it is a journal that I am keeping as a character in a series of erotic romance short stories I am busy with. Since this journal is pure fiction, I will leave that to the side for now.
You might rightly ask why three journals?
The first is a personal journal, I am sure you have one of those as well. You know that place where you vent your frustrations from the world and people around that you don’t want to share with people, since you don’t want to hurt their feelings. The place where you pen you personal dreams, fantasies and secrets. The one you don’t plan on sharing…ever. Since that is self-explanatory, I am not going say anything else on that.
The remaining two are my “writing journals”. The first is online and very handy when I have an idea in the middle of a meeting, or standing in a queue at the grocery store, or any place where using a pen and paper can be difficult. Since I always have a small notebook and a pen on hand, the Penzu smartphone app for the online site is helpful when sitting down and writing a few ideas is not possible.
This leaves the last one on my list – the handwritten journal. This is more of a self motivating slash information storing slash book ideas journal. It is also one of my favourite journaling experiences since I write it by hand with a fountain pen or a dipped pen.
While it might be old fashioned in this modern computer and smartphone driven world we live in, I find the experience of getting my journal out, unscrewing the lid on the ink, and picking a quill to write with, a relaxing experience in itself.
The experience is further enhanced by choosing a theme for decorating my journal each year. In 2013 I had butterflies all over the pages of my journal. This year words and sayings of all kinds add the colour around my handwritten words.
For 2015 year I am contemplating a few dragons to fire up my writing world!
While this might have you saying, ok, but why bother? Why not just write or make notes as part of a project?
I will let you in on a little secret: I need a more creative outlet than only writing books. Yes, writing fiction is a pleasure in itself, an outlet for my imagination and all the stories crammed into my head that are insistent on being written or they would never leave me alone.
I am also an out-of-the-closet artist. Painting and cross stitch projects are my passions too. With a full time job, and books to be written these more artistic endeavours take a back seat most of the time. So I compromised. And my handwritten writing journal is the way to satisfy, at least partially, all these creative outlets at the same time.
I add stickers, photographs, and printed and resized infographics to the journal. These are reminders of things to make me a better writer, storyteller and blogger. Constant reminders that I see almost everyday. Since adding this to my journal, the knowledge imparted is part of the enjoyable experience of keeping a journal.
I draw or sketch upon occasion, but only when the entry of the day has inspired me to do so.
As a pantser, or organic writer, I often find that the process of writing by hand forces me slow down and think about the words. As a rule I sit down and let the story I have in my head pour of me at the speed of white light.
A handwritten journal, that I use to keep track of new things I have learned, or reminders not to write in passive voice, and avoiding adverbs, has embedded these things deeper into my subconscious than would have been the case otherwise.
I do not claim that this is the answer for every writer, not even every pantser, but in my world, finding creative outlets within a schedule that barely allows for time to do anything more than work, write, eat and sleep, is a bonus any time.
Do I write everyday? The answer is both yes and no. Yes, I write words everyday, email, blog posts, entries into whichever journal is on hand, but no, not everyday is spent writing fiction.
Not all writers enjoy other creative hobbies, but for me finding ways to be creative will always include more than writing my next fantasy or sci-fi story.
Look out for more articles and ideas on Creative Journaling for Everyone on my blog in October.
Teaching herself to read before she went to school, it was the start of her life long love affair with books. Trained as an engineer, Linzé has worked as an export consultant and is presently a project manager at a company that designs and manufactures products for the military industry. Although she still loves to read, she also enjoys counted stitch embroidery, archery, fly fishing, painting abstracts, her husband’s medal winning photographs and watching Manchester United play.
She is one of the moderators of the Google+ group, Writer’s Rabbit Hole, and leads the Pretoria Writers Group, consisting of ten members, seven of which are published authors in various genres.
Linzé Brandon lives in Pretoria, South Africa, with her engineer husband and German Shepherds who are convinced that the world revolves only around them.
Follow Linzé online:
Blog (Butterfly on a Broomstick) http://www.linzebrandon.blogspot.com
FB author page http://www.facebook.com/LinzeBrandonAuthor
Don’t Call Me Sweetheart – https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/383111
Their +1 – http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/360607
Bubble trouble – https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/364605
Pixie Dust, Boots and Reindeer https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/391625
The Third Gender Series (Sci-fi Romance)
reGENESIS – https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/430285
Hunger – http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/213647
Perfect – https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/269278
The Nations of Peace Series (Fantasy Romance)
Géra’s Gift – The Grandmasters – https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/238397
Keeper of the Dragon Sword – The Dragon Masters https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/301923
The Cutting Horizon – https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/430313