If you are a writer, you may be like me in that you wish that you had a journaling habit. I cannot tell you how many times I have tried to make myself journal every day, but that habit never seems to stick. Yet, it appears that I’ll be teaching good writing habits in college this fall, and I plan to require that my fresh-faced freshmen keep a journal. Before I do that, however, I have decided that I need to practice what I preach.
I have decided to launch a Journal Challenge. Please join me. I’ll share a bit from my journal every day, and I’ll also share some writing prompts and some tips that I have found for creating an art journal from your writing.
Last night, it rained almost all night long, and every time that I began drifting off, a slash of lighting and a pounding of thunder woke me up. I kept thinking that I needed to register my observations about my night, but I had shut down my computer for the night.
A few days ago, I purchased a cheap composition book at Walmart, and I intended for that to become my new journal — cheap, not precious, just right for recording fleeting thoughts–but it was still packed in its sack, several rooms away from my bed.
Finally, I crawled from beneath my warm covers and went searching for that composition book, and I scrawled a few lines. After that, I slept for the rest of the night.
I repeat: My journal is not precious, I paid 97 cents for it at Walmart. [I considered buying a leather journal–but why? Leather journals stifle me. I don’t want to mess them up with my “mistakes.” I need a cheap but sufficient place to merely record my new ideas as they come to me. I need a place where I can erase and scratch through. I need a place to just let it be. I plan to keep a composition book with me all the time–at least for the next 28 days.]
The words that I wrote in my sleep-deprived stupor last night are not precious either. Just a thought, but they might be the seeds for something else–Here they are:
Thunder pounding in the sky,
Gripping, Griping, Groan,
Raindrops rap my windowpane,
I hear the shutters moan.
On another night or day, I might have written something else about the rain. In fact, last fall, I wrote about the rain in my garden:
An important thing about keeping a journal is that it allows us to record our emotions specific to a unique moment. When we read across all our entries, we begin to get a full glimpse of ourselves, and if we are fortunate, we also uncover and preserve our own ideas for future writing.
Join the Challenge: Let’s Journal Every Day for at Least 28 Days, and Let’s Just See If Keeping A Journal Will Help Us Along Our Writing Journeys–Wherever They Might Lead.