Do you journal? When I first started writing, everyone told me to keep a journal. So I bought a fancy journal with blank pages. Then I wondered what to put in this fancy journal. So I sat down one day with this journal in front of me for an hour. What did I write in it? NOTHING. NATA. ZERO STUFF went in that little book that day. After a while I figured out why. Writers had told me I had to write in it every day. So I felt like I was being forced to use it and when I failed to write in it, I felt like I would never be a writer. I had failed myself.
It wasn't until sometime later that I pulled that wondrous book out again. This time I filled the pages. What with? Extra words. Flowery words. Phrases that I overheard people speak. Kid language. This and that. That and this.
I do not keep a journal, though. There are no rules where I MUST write in it every day. I carry it with me when we take Christopher to the hospital.You'd be surprised how many conversations you can listen to while waiting on appointments. Not to be nosy. But for ideas. And those extra words and phrases.
Beth got me a beautiful journal for my birthday. It's the color of my website and blog. Exactly. The pages are filling up quickly. But only when I feel the need to. They are messy, unkempt. But they are filled with beautiful stuff. Stuff I KNOW I will use later. The color of a particular woman's skin. The kid at the hospital. He looks drawn and tense. Drawings of things for picture books. (No I cannot draw, I just think I can.) Writing exercises, ideas, things I want to look up, books I see I want to buy later. I write in my journal when I'm grouchy. You'd be surprised how many times you will refer back to that one. :)
Do you journal? Why? Because you feel you have to or because you really want to?