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.

Continue reading “Making the Most of Journal Writing”

A Letter to My Journal

papersDear 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, but I don’t mind. You allowed me to discover things about myself that I never knew, and you opened a door to let in needed fresh air.

Mondays with martinWhen this acquaintance began, you always taught me more about myself. You are a window through which I look when I want to glimpse what is inside me. You are a place where I can be alone. When I am hurting, I can cry with you. When I have a problem, you are the friend I confide in and share how I feel. I only wish that I met you when I was younger. Oh, the memories, the emotions, the pains, and the dreams – there are so many things to say. There is no sense in worrying about the past. All I can do is start with today and make each one better than the last. You certainly made a lousy first impression, but I don’t know what I would do without you now.

 – David Martin

What do you want to tell Your writing pages?