Tag Archives: journaling

7 Ways To Use A Writing Journal

Most of the writers I know have a bit of a journal obsession. Like our love of books, our desire to bring a new one home with us doesn’t actually mean we don’t have a stack of journals waiting for us already, their pages blank and ready to be filled. It doesn’t always make any logical sense. In fact, all those blank pages taunt us. They serve as a reminder of all the words we’ve yet to write, and we may not even be able to imagine how we’ll fill them.

Certainly, the possibilities are endless, but below you’ll find a list of just a few ways to use your writing journals.

Writer’s Notebook

A “writer’s notebook” may sound a bit generic, but I couldn’t decide what else to call this. This notebook contains a little bit of everything: story ideas, brainstorming, free writing, outlines. To organize all of that, I suggest employing some sort of color coding/tab system or purchasing a notebook with dividers. Once you decide to run with a story, you can start a project-specific notebook where you write down all of your research, background information, character notes, and more for that particular project.

Pocket Notebook

This is a smaller version of a writer’s notebook. The point of a pocket notebook is that it be carried with you at all times, somewhere easily accessible. As you go about your day, you’ll likely hear conversations and witness human interactions. You’ll be in the grocery store or at an intersection and, suddenly, inspiration will strike—a scene, a premise, a passage of dialogue, a few lines of poetry.

You’ll tell yourself, “don’t be that pretentious fuck who pulls out their moleskin in the middle of the frozen food aisle to write a poem.” You’ll tell yourself, “I’ll remember it this time.” But you won’t. You never do. That’s not how this whole creativity thing works. So forget about what everyone else thinks or whether it’s any good or whether it will amount to anything in the end and write it all down.

Literary Paraphernalia: 15 Must-Have Writing Journals

I don’t write a whole lot by hand these days, but that doesn’t stop me from impulsively buying journals whenever one catches my eye. (Thank you Amazon, for that one-click purchase method.) Most of the writers I know share this habit. Maybe it’s the nostalgia of writing by hand, even when we know those blank pages will remain that way for a long time; that the journals themselves may be forgotten for years, only to turn up later, dusty but no worse for wear.

But lately, I’ve been using notebooks more often. Journals work best for creating lists or first drafts of poems in fits of inspiration—they can easily be tucked away in purses and bags. The act of writing things by hand helps you hold onto your thoughts longer.

When I came across the bucket list journal (a.k.a. the beauty right below), which has the added feature of maps on several of the pages, I knew what this week’s Literary Paraphernalia column would feature: writing journals. There are plenty of writers who believe that in order to write well you have to get out there and make your own stories—travel the world, experience life, and write it all down. The more I write, the more I know this to be true. Writers have to soak up life; journals are just the sponge.

P.S. Don’t even get me started on the Vintage Quote Keeper. It’s an adorable and convenient way to store quotes that have impacted you.

Bucket List Journal

Hand Printed Not All Who Wonder Are Lost Leather Journal

Daring Adventure Journal