Some writers do not understand the power of regularly writing in a personal journal.
Journal writing is an excellent way of honing many writing skills that are essential to the writing process. It doesn’t matter much whether you write fiction, non-fiction, articles or blogs, regular writing practice is essential. If possible, I’d encourage all writers, especially beginner writers, to write every day, even if in the first few months or years journal writing is all you do.
I’ve kept a personal journal since July 1990. That means the 20th anniversary is coming up very soon; I must remember to celebrate it here on this blog. I write about anything that comes to mind about events and people in my life. I filled several hand written volumes at first but in recent years I have tended to use my computer. One day I might get around to printing it all out and binding the pages into booklets.
More recently I have also been keeping a writing journal. In this I have recorded the processes I have gone through in writing my stories, especially my recent novels. The journals include details of my ideas, sources of inspiration, research findings and the decisions I had to make along the way. In part you can read how I went about ‘Writing a Novel’ here.
When I was a classroom teacher I used Journal Writing as an integral part of encouraging children to write. The skills developed in my programme had some amazing results, not just with writing. I wrote about it in this article: The Power of Journal Writing – a Story of Hope.
This article relates the experience I had with one of my former students. I bring it to your attention now – especially for my many new readers who may have missed it at the time.