Friday, April 10, 2009


Here are some things that I've found helpful along the way in writing.

The very first book on journal writing I read during college for one of my classes.

Although its ideas center on spiritual writing, these are concepts which can be applied to any form of journal keeping. I think keeping a journal is the best way to begin writing. First, it's just for you. Therefore you needn't worry about spelling, punctuation or grammar. Your handwriting doesn't need to be legible. There are no rules. You can write whatever you like! Make a list. Doodle. Free write. (That just means putting the writing instrument to the paper and writing out whatever pops into mind without stopping for a set period of time. 10 minutes is a good starting point!)

A book I gave my daughter for Christmas is very helpful for more generalized writing. (She is going into Creative Writing at college this fall.)

This book offers short, one page essays on the writing task/life and then gives one or two short exercises for the reader to do each day to stimulate his or her own writing and experiment with different styles, etc. I liked this so much, I'm getting my own copy!

Some other books on journaling I've read and liked are:


This last book is my most recent aquisition and I'm only partly done with it. I like what I've seen so far, however! It too offers up ideas and exercises to get the ink (or graphite!) flowing.

Tips for beginning:

1) Get a journal that you like. Consider whether you want lines or a blank page. Think about what size fits best. Do you want a binding that allows the journal to lay flat, or does that matter to you?

2) Get a pen (or pencil, though I'd recommend ink!) you like. Is it comfortable in your grip? Does the ink flow smoothly? Do you like a thick line (medium point) or thin line (fine tip)?

3) Set aside an attainable amount of time every day for one week and stick to it. Can you commit to 10 or 15 minutes? Maybe half an hour? When will you do it? First thing in the morning? Mid-morning or mid-afternoon? Just before bed? Pick a time and stick with it for one week. After that switch it up if that time isn't working for you.

No comments: