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    Journal Today for Great Stories of Tomorrow

    Did you know that many good authors get their ideas from reading over what they wrote in a journal years before?

    Do you keep a journal? Even if you only write in it when something "big" happens, a journal is a very valuable tool for any writer. Keeping track of the events in your life is important for many reasons, but it can especially be helpful in creating scenes in your fiction.

    For example, if you happen to consistently earn Cs in one of your school subjects and then you suddenly make an A, write your feelings about that in your journal. Describe the ups and downs, and everything you did to achieve this goal. You may not see where this could be helpful right away, but you might later have a character that doesn't like school but then makes a good grade and decides it isn't so bad after all. You will have written how good it felt to you, so you can accurately describe how your character feels.

    Perhaps you went exploring in the woods with your friends and got lost. Record each and every detail in your journal. Were you scared, excited, or did you decide to turn it into a learning experience? You could take these events, spice them up and put them in a story.

    The most wonderful thing about journaling is the freedom you have. No one ever has to read what you write, and you can describe each recorded event in vivid detail, which will be what can help your story scenes later. Describing the way something felt, like perhaps getting stitches for the first time ever, will benefit you later, because five years down the road you'll remember it hurt, of course, but by using descriptions from your journal, readers will think it just happened.


    When to Journal

    There are some who write about each and every day of their lives. Others write weekly. And still others only keep track of important events, such as first loves, awards, new pets, etc. There is no right way to journal, no specific time you have to do so, but by getting into the habit of writing each and every day, you will find you are recording information you might never have thought to.

    What Should I Write About?

    Write about anything and everything. Don't leave anything out just because it might be boring or insignificant. Nothing is too simple or too much for your journal. It is your personal writing space, your freedom to explore yourself and your thoughts. What may not seem important to others might be important to you, so write about it. It's all yours.

    I've Never Written In a Journal

    That's okay. It's never too late to start. Let me rephrase that - the longer you wait to start, the more you miss out on recording and using later in your work. There's no special equipment needed to begin, so grab your notebook and pen, or start a file on your computer, and begin today. Write about everything that happened yesterday - how you felt when you woke up, if it was a good or bad day, if you made new friends, or even if nothing seemed to happen at all. If you were bored all day, write about that, describing in detail why everything was so boring (it was raining outside; there was no school; all your friends weren't home; whatever). Use your freedom and just write.

    Give Me More Reasons to Journal

    Besides being able to use scenes from your own life in your fiction, journaling serves several other purposes. It can free your mind enough for your serious writing. If you begin your day writing in a journal, you may find yourself warmed up for more afterwards.

    Journaling is great for sharing your life story with your future children and grandchildren. How many times have your own parents told you stories that fascinated you? Wouldn't it be great if they were able to tell you their stories in more detail? If you keep your own journal, one day you will be able to do just that. Plus, people like to know the histories of their family. This way, you make it easy for them to know about you. And, finally, you have all the material you need should you ever decide to write your own life story. No more trying to guess when such and such happened - you will have it all written out already, waiting for you to piece it together, clean it up, and send it out.

    Journaling is fun, and it helps. Your writing will only improve by keeping one so get started right away.

    Copyright © 2001 Angela Giles Klocke and Scott D. Warren

    Scott is Angela's teenage son. He has won several various writing awards. He maintains a straight-A average and when not doing schoolwork, he can be found with either a book or his AlphaSmart. Scott constantly dreams up new stories and shares them with his family as well as seeks publication. He has been published in Rainy Day Corner as well as a newspaper in Florida, The Williston Pioneer.

    Angela has been writing since she was a child herself. Her passion for helping other young writers is what has led her to co-authoring this column with her own young writer, Scott. One of Angela's earliest works, a poem, was finally published when she was 18, though it was written at age 11.

    The Authentic Self: Journaling Your Joys, Griefs and Everything in Between by Shery Russ



    WEEKLY WRITES: 52 Weeks of Writing Bliss! Kick start your imagination, ignite your creativity, and begin your journey towards becoming an outstanding writer.

    Grab a copy of WEEKLY WRITES: 52 Weeks of Writing Bliss! from Amazon.com and receive 2 free e-books to encourage and nurture the writer in you. You'll also receive Write Memories, a journaling workbook available for free only to WEEKLY WRITES book owners. And finally, as a WEEKLY WRITES book owner, you'll have free access to e-mail courses such as JOYFUL WRITES: Celebrate Your Life through Writing

    For excerpts, reviews and what you need to do to receive the 2 free e-books, Write Memories and sign up for free e-mail courses, just head on to the Weekly Writes Book Official Site. (Clicking on the link will open a new window.)

    FOR JOURNALERS

    The Journaling Life: 21 Types of Journals You Can Create to Express Yourself and Record Pieces of Your Life

    The Authentic Self: Journaling Your Joys, Griefs and Everything in Between

    Journaling Kit - Four Journaling Books to help you put your life and memories on paper

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