Do you keep a daily journal? (I’ve asked you that before. It may come up again!) Why is keeping a journal such a big deal? Simply put, if you’re not journaling, you’re missing out on these seven great writer creativity tools!
The writer in me is always interested in stirring up my creativity. Yours is, too, if you think about it. You want to write better, more effectively, more easily. Do you relate to any of these statements below?
- I’d like to write a book, but I don’t think I write well enough to do it.
- Writing has been on-again-off-again for me.
- I write some, but I don’t let anyone read it; I’m not that good.
- Being a writer would be great, but I don’t know if I have what it takes.
- I love to write, and there’s always room for improvement.
- Writing is so cool! How can I have even more fun with it?
This list is a pretty radical spread of thoughts and feelings about writing. The truth is, a daily journal should be a strong focus for each person represented. Let’s take off the cover to this toolbox and look at the ways your daily journal adds new dimensions to your creative writing.
3 Creative Writing Tips For Your Daily Journal
There are three key “rules” you need to understand about the writing tools being discussed here. This will make your daily writing a pleasant and beneficial experience.
First, we are talking about a daily journal here, not the just-whenever-the-mood-hits-me kind. Those have their place, but this is not that place!
Second, this is about being consistent over time. Writing every day for a week is great, but it will not fully activate the tools discussed here. Therefore, the results obtained will not be dynamic.
Third, the rules are all off! Grammar, punctuation, spelling, structure—all those annoying signboards along the writing road—they’re all gone. Journaling is a free time. Creativity is king. Editing has no power, place, or voice in your daily journal process.
7 Writer Creativity Tools Of The Daily Journal Process
The full list of tools and benefits associated with the daily journaling process would be staggering if you could even come up with it! Those listed here are highly effective, and are a great place to start:
- Maintain & increase your flow of written words.
- Manage & control your nagging internal editor.
- Explore different perspectives than your norm.
- Get in touch with your thoughts, beliefs, and emotions.
- Work out the blocks that try to stop you.
- Gain insight into characters, plots, places, etc., you want to develop for your story or book.
- Create a library of your writing & musings to use for future creative writing projects.
There you have the simple list. Next, let’s take a closer look at each of these writing tools to see how they work!
Writing Tool #1: Maintain & increase your flow of written words
I’m going out to clean the pasture spring;
I’ll only stop to rake the leaves away
(And wait to watch the water clear, I may):
I sha’n’t be gone long.—You come too.
~ From The Pasture, a poem by Robert Frost
It is simply true that if you don’t write often, your own spring—your flow of words—tends to dry up. Writing a daily journal helps to rake away the stuff that gets in the way. This creative writing exercise frees you up by ensuring a continual supply of freshly written thoughts and ideas.
Through journaling daily, you eliminate that feeling of totally starting over from scratch every time you sit down to write something. The flow is still there and easier to pick up when you write every day. Your focus is keener and easier to tap into as well.
Writing Tool #2: Manage & control your nagging internal editor
The writer in you knows very well what I mean. Many writers, especially ones new to the creative writing process, struggle endlessly trying to quiet that screaming internal voice.
Nothing you ever do is good enough or right enough, according to your internal editor. For whatever reason, he or she will never leave you alone until you learn to take control.
How do you silence that persistent, overbearing, derogatory nonstop corrector of every word, sentence, paragraph, or chapter you write? You practice shutting off that voice through your daily journal!
Journaling is about freedom to write whatever you want to as freely as you possibly can. You’ll see more about that in a minute. Keep reading!
Writing Tool #3: Explore different perspectives than your norm
Your daily journal is your license to writing freedom. Use it sometimes as a platform for experimenting with new thoughts, new ideas. Decide to write from a perspective other than what you usually use.
For example, if you are an easy-going, peaceful person, let yourself write from a different emotion or mindset. Use your journaling to tap into anger or frustration. Step out of your norm and experiment with something different.
This is a great tool for tapping into the character, emotions, and makeup of various people you must create or share about in your book or story. Step out of yourself and write from a different viewpoint.
Writing Tool #4: Get in touch with your thoughts, beliefs, and emotions
At first, you might think that is a silly statement. Of course, I’m in touch with myself! may be your quick retort. But, are you really? Maybe not!
It is easy to fall into a writing rut where you produce the same old stuff over and over again without expressing what’s truly going on inside your head or heart. I call that my auto-voice. It might as well be a recording. Even I don’t listen to it myself!
You know that you are in touch with your own thoughts, beliefs, and emotions when you feel the words as you write them. In your daily journal, they come rolling, rumbling, stumbling, or jogging up to the surface as you write.
You feel them. You relate to them. They evoke an emotional response from you as you free them to your journal. A huge benefit of this tool is that it makes you real. And that makes you interesting and believable. And all of that helps to improve your writing skills!
Writing Tool #5: Work out the blocks that try to stop you
This tool is closely related to the one before it. They both involve getting in touch with what you are thinking, believing, and feeling.
Are you aware to what a big degree those things inside you can impact you? They can actually determine whether or not you will write at all. How well you write gets tied up with them, too.
A daily journal in which you pay attention to what’s going on inside your own head and heart can take you a long way down the road toward improved writing skills. You are not separate from what you think, believe, and feel. Your life is an outward reflection of what is taking place inside.
The writer knows how to take hold of that truth and use it to advantage. If something is bothering you or worrying you or frustrating you so that you don’t want to write, deal with it! Figure out what it is—chances are great you already know what it is—and do what you have to in order to get past it.
Your daily journal is a tremendous asset in this way to keep you from falling victim to writer’s block. Staying in touch with yourself this way keeps you safely in the creativity zone where writing flows freely.
Writing Tool #6: Gain insight into characters, plots, etc., you want to develop for your book, blog, or story.
It is always fun to play with different characters of your own making and design. Your daily journal is the perfect place to develop them more fully.
Pretend that you are that character as you write sometimes. What is he/she feeling today? How’s the world treating them? Give them pretend circumstances and write them through it.
Through this fun process, you will learn what fits with each one, as well as what doesn’t. There is no right or wrong, just a discovery process of who each one is and how they think, believe, feel, and act.
Writing Tool #7: Create a library of your writing & musings to use for future creative writing projects
This tool is wonderful in its simplicity and automation. Put simply: save your daily journals in an easily accessed form and place. By doing so, your creative writing library is always open to you.
There are countless ways and times you will find rich writing treasure by searching back through your daily writing. You will find stories therein that need to be told or fabricated from some experience you had. Memories both big and small that you recorded as you lived in those moments are all there waiting for you.
My Daily Journal Writing Conclusion
Your daily journal over time will contain a record of your life’s events. Some of them will be very small, but you shared your thoughts and feelings about them. Others will be humongous and you preserved them by taking the time to write of them in real heartfelt words while they were still fresh.
Whether preserving joy or pain, loss or gain, peace or strain, your daily journal takes it all in. Sometimes it makes sense of everything, other times it makes total nonsense of it all. Whether serious or playful, one thing is certain: it is a wealth of creative writing ideas, exercises, and experiences.
Don’t miss out. If you’re not a daily journal person, decide right now to join me in this awesome writing practice. If you are writing every day, keep it up! What’s your favorite thing about journal writing?
Check out my blog post here if you want to learn more about How To Write A Journal!
Now is the time to get your book written and published! I’m ready to help you with my complete arsenal of writing services! Together we can make it happen! Come on! Let’s do it!