Posts made in December, 2014

Making the Most of Journal Writing

Writers, Join Me! Let’s Explore Journal Writing. Our guide for this expedition will be our journal. We will write a journey of self-discovery. We will go down different roads and to new, exciting places. We will find insights that we did not know existed, allow write to build stronger minds, so we can heal, and the pages will help us find answers to questions that we avoided. Here are a few guidelines we will follow: Poetry may count, but good prose is what we emphasize. Art work counts if we explain it. Quotes by others will count, if we react to their messages. Practicing good grammar and standard English weigh heavily. Words matter. Originality, quantity, and pride in the writing will become routine. Ten weekly pages of concerned, honest, writing is our goal. Let Go Writers who feel good about themselves enjoy the experience and the power of self-expression. Let’s try to sit down in front of the computer or when we pick up a pad and pen in a positive frame of mind. Let’s not be afraid to express ourselves. We are not writing for a grade. We are writing to learn and become enlightened. We do not fear the writing process. We embrace it. Let’s make writing fun and rewarding. Battling Old Ideas “Learning the mechanics of grammar automatically makes one a good writer” is an old myth. There is no more truth to this than the idea that I can build a house because I know what a hammer and a nail are. “Good writers use long sentences and show off their extensive vocabulary every time they write” is another myth. Many good writers are masters of simplicity. Writing is not always difficult, and consistent writers place ink on paper when they are at the top of their bio-rhythmic cycle, not when they are tired and hungry. The secret to enjoyable writing is to always have a topic one cares about. “Only a few can write well” is a lie of large proportion. People write well if they take the time and acquire the discipline to formulate their thoughts and string them together into efficient sentences. “Good writing only comes when inspired” is a falsehood. Writing well is accomplished by anyone who cares, uses patience, practices, receives encouragement, and is willing to rewrite and revise. Journals allow writers to develop. Emphasize content and self-expression rather than political correctness. We will have complete freedom in choosing our topics throughout the year, because we will write much better with an ownership of the discussion problem or write because we feel committed to the specific issue. Struggle. Celebrate. Challenge. Enjoy. Create!!!!! According to L M. Boyd, who wrote a...

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A Letter to My Journal

A Letter to My Journal

Dear Bubba, This name I give to you, like a father gives to his son, is one of raw and sincere simplicity. It has a country connotation, one that I respect. The truth is best stated simply, the way farmers and cowboys talk to each other. Complexity muddies the water. This daily journal will be unadorned and unaffected. These blank pages invite the accuracy of vision, as the topics appear in front of me. I write for only you and me. This New Year’s resolution for 2015 promises to be creative. When this concept first shook me awake, I loathed the idea. Writing something every day sounded a lot like work, unpleasant work. You were a thorn in my side and a pain in my neck. When I decided you wanted to grow to be 365 pages or more in one year, I cringed. At first, you scared the heck out of me. How was I ever going to feed you enough ideas so you would gain that much weight in twelve months? At the beginning, just completing a four page essay exhausted me. I didn’t like you one single bit. For a while, I ignored you, hoping you would go away, but the more I neglected you, the more demanding you became. You began to roar for food like a starving lion. Still, I refused to feed you. After a while, I realized that if you weren’t fed, you wouldn’t grow. I looked at you, as you lay there on the shelf, a skinny spectacle. You were so thin that your three binding rings showed through like skinny ribs with a few paltry scraps of flesh attached. Four weeks later, you were a little better, and some color returned to your face, but you were anemic. In four more weeks, you were a little bigger, and I knew I could neglect you no longer. You didn’t go away as I hoped. In front of me, you loomed like a sickly, pale apparition too tough to die. We had a pact, and I must carry out my end of the bargain. I started feeding you a couple of pages a day and soon realized that this wasn’t going to be enough to guarantee your health, so I increased your rations to five pages a day. I started to feel more like a concerned parent. You weren’t getting a prime rib dinner at each meal, but at least you were not starving anymore. Secretly, there is something I must tell you. I’m growing fond of you. I’ve taken a liking to you, I guess. Perhaps, this change in my attitude toward writing has come a little late in my life,...

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