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5 Tips For Better Journaling

5 Tips For Better Journaling

Many writers claim to be writers even before they do what they are supposed to do, i.e. 'to write'.

Journaling is combination of art & science, which can benefit you not just mentally and spiritually, but also it brushes up your craft of writing. It is that rough sketch of an artist, which is later painted and tainted for becoming the final masterpiece. Journaling is like that camera lens, which captures the deepest, but important beauty of your life and shows you the real picture on page.

'A Moveable Feast', a memoir by Ernest Hemingway has his experiences of writing in cafes. He would carry a journal with him everywhere he went and jotted down all that he observed and felt. His thoughts, his observations, his pen and his journal were intimately connected at all times. Once you start writing about what you observe around you and what kind of feelings they evoke in you, you automatically become a real writer from the aspiring-to-be one.

As you start penning down your thoughts on paper, you will create a style and prose of your own. Many think that using complicated words is a prerequisite of a good writer, but on the other hand, using complex words is directly proportionate to reduced attention span of reader.

What differentiates one writer from the other is the unique style of writing and not the usage of complex words or phrases. As you start writing a page or 2 every day, you will develop your writer's voice over time. In the beginning, it may not be as professional and free-flowing as you want it to be, but over time it will help you carve out a style of your own. And as this practice becomes second nature to you, in a few years you will move into the storytelling orbit. You will also be able to overcome writer's block and compellingly present your stories.

Journaling doesn't help just in removing writer's block and unleashing anyone's creative potential to the fullest, but it also helps in establishing writing routine and makes one question many things about writing, and such deep explorations are much needed.

Now you must be wondering how one should get started on the journaling journey. Are there any tips or formula one needs to follow? We all know that most of the time writing is about following the heart. But every once in a while, hand holding the heart kind of helps in reaching your destination.

So here are 5 great tips to get you started on the wonderful journey of journaling:

  1. Discover what works best for you: Many writers like to note down ideas in the moment, which means you need to keep a small notebook handy or figure out a good way to take notes on your phone (though writing it down works best). Some of us are morning people while some are night owls, and writing during our favourite time of the day works well for us. Though mornings work particularly well for capturing dreams - a fantastic source of inspiration. But the important point here is to make journaling a habit.

2. Don't worry about what others might think: The very fact that journaling is done for the owner's eyes, one doesn't need to worry about other's reaction and that is what makes it more real and honest source of information about oneself. It is that mirror, which never lies. The picture which it makes you see may have some blemishes and flaws in form of past mistakes, but having the courage to accept and then to move on towards another path of growth and self-correction is the essence of journaling. It is that non-judgemental friend, who would not pop his eyes out on grammar errors and sentence formations. So just experience the freedom of being absolutely free.

3. Develop keen observation skills: Try to engage all your senses and be alive to details. It could be the bittersweet taste of your cappuccino, the sweet singing of birds during dawn, the stimulating sound of crickets in the wee hours of the night or the conversation of the kids playing in the block. You never know what’s going to serve as a great inspiration for your writing. If an incident or some sight catches your interest or imagination, write it down as clearly and lucidly as you can.

4. Consider going digital: For some folks, it has to be pen and paper (something that is strongly advocated by most experts). For others, journaling apps can be a great way to keep a record of your ideas. There are a huge number of journaling apps out there that can come to your rescue if you fall into this category.

5. Explore the mode of expression: When it comes to penning down thoughts and ideas, limiting oneself can be detrimental. The more you express by way of words, pictures, graphs, drawings, illustrations, the better is the exercise and growth of the imagination muscle. You can also add quotes or interesting excerpts from books or articles you have read.

The whole idea of journaling is about becoming aware of yourself and your surroundings. Inspiration for writing is always in our sight but we fail to remember them even if we do notice them. Journaling helps us keep a record of these events and incidents which when written down can work in 2 ways - improve our writing skills and/or become ideas for creative writing.

So guys, keep journaling, and have fun along the way and transform yourself into an amazing writer!


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