For some reason I’ve always kept journals, diaries, notepads, etc. I don’t think it came from wanting to be a writer particularly, I think it stemmed from my love for pretty stationary, but keeping a notebook is absolutely fundamental to being a writer.
In my view there are two types of journal.
- is the observational journal. This is where you write down anything you see/hear that is somewhat inspiring and could prompt you to write. You must stick purely to observations though, so as to not clutter it with thoughts. That can come later. It’s incredibly useful just to have a book of raw material to turn to when you’re stuck.
- is the ideas journal. This is where you jot down the ideas that simply float into your head from nowhere – and they do come at the strangest of time’s don’t they! Alongside these ideas I tend to brainstorm on the next page where they could potentially head. Generally, this gives me a variety of concepts and openings. I also find it useful to colour code ideas that may link together in this type of journal.
I admit sometimes keeping journals can be challenging. If it’s something you try and commit to every day then it can be both difficult to find the time and challenging to make each entry meaningful.
At the moment, what with life being so hectic, I admit to copping out a little bit. I tend to use the Notes app on my iPhone to write a lot of stuff down on the go. I always try and transfer this across to a notebook at a later date (because let’s face it, we can’t trust technology not to die on us) and when I do I always use pretty stationary. This may sound silly, but for me – a great lover of pretty things and colour co-ordination – a neat notebook and pen make me want to write. I want to use them. Therefore, I make time to fill it with thoughts and ideas.
Apologies to the men out there; I’m sure they do some manly stationary too that you could enjoy using!
Over and out –