Guest post by Story Circle Member B. Lynn Goodwin
How can a journal help a writer? Journaling allows writers to vent, process, explore, discover, and rejoice. It offers a safe place to explore, express oneself, dig deeper, analyze, and discover truths.
Over the past ten years my journals have been
A place to spew
A place to delve and see where the pen takes me
A place to hone my thoughts
A place to sharpen my craft, and figure out what I really mean to say
A place to make discoveries
A place to find story ideas
A place to find resolution or the next step on my journey
A place to make lists and cross off what I accomplish
A place to look back on what was once important and gain perspective
A place to record my reflections
A place to hone my character’s voices
A place to explore my character’s secret thoughts and private lives
I write my journals in longhand. I like the smooth flow of a pen on paper. I like the progress of moving from left to right, line after line, traveling down one page and on to the next. The rhythm of longhand soothes me.
In addition to the fact that university studies have shown that writing saves lives, here are a few other reasons to journal:
I write to share
I write a pull out secrets locked place in my brain
I write to see what happens if I release my private truths
I write to move to a new level of comprehension or analysis
I write to tweak life and imagine happy endings
I write to tweak life and imagine worst-case scenarios
I write gratitude lists to feel better
Try some of my favorite sentence starts and see what happens:
Today I feel…
Today I believe…
Today I want…
Inside of me…
No one knows I worry about…
I can barely remember…
I love the smell of…
If I ever talk in my sleep…
Though it does not always seem like it, my journals have the power to get me out of my head and into action. They are a safe place to heal. Healing does not wipe out old problems or past actions. It washes over them, helping you cope, change your attitude, and move forward.
Heal your spirit and discover the spirits of your characters by writing in a journal.
B.Lynn Goodwin is the owner of Writer Advice, http://www.writeradvice.com and the author of You Want Me to Do What? Journaling for Caregivers, which contains encouragement, instructions, and over 200 sentence starts to help you journal any time, even if writer’s block rises up like a granite wall in front of you. She’s also the author of Talent (Eternal Press), which will be out November 1, 2015.