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 syndicated newspaper trivia column,

“Casper Eberhard came up with the notion to put erasers on pencils. He did this in 1765 in Germany. However, the Germans didn’t think much of the idea. They and other Europeans said it would make kids careless, and they held this attitude for many generations. Pencils with erasers caught on in the United States long before any Europeans accepted them.”

Great inventions take a long time to catch on, sometimes, just like the pencil eraser. Don’t give up on the journal. It works, and do not forget Casper Eberhard


 – David Martin

Is journal writing part of your New Year’s writing goals?