Skip to main content

Documenting Everything: Your Journal is Your Logbook


Sailors had it for years. Great explorers had it as well. If you go on an expedition to an ancient Aztec mound, more than likely the archaeologist will have one too - so, why shouldn't you own one?

No, I'm not speaking of the scurvy that plagued the sailors! No, I'm not speaking of the Loch Ness Monster or Bigfoot, whom explorers claimed to have seen in snowy Manitoba winters. Nor am I speaking of a lost city, which was never truly lost, but simply buried under mounds of earth and recently dug up by an archaeologist.

I'm speaking of journals. Journals? Yes! Keeping a journal can be just as much of an adventure as sailing the high seas, exploring unknown Canadian wilderness or digging in the dirt to find buried treasure.

Journals have been a source of reflection for centuries. My suggestion is to look at your writing career as if you're an explorer analyzing new-found land; an archaeologist digging up new artifacts and renaming them and so on...

How can you do this? Well, view your journal as a logbook and document your daily happenings. Here is a suggested format for keeping your captain's log.

Divide your journal entries into sections: Date, Weather, Mood, Events and Freewrite

1. Date: This is the obvious one (for some people). Write the month, day and the year. Also write which day of the week it is (i.e., December 17, 2001; Monday).

2. Weather: Make note of the temperature outside. Is it 100 degrees? Or perhaps it's only 20 degrees? Is it raining and 35 degrees? Snowing and 110 degrees? Raining cats and dogs? (Don't step in a poodle....)

3. Mood: What's going on in your head? Did you just get off the phone with your ex-lover who ruined your day and sank you into the depths of depression?

Write about it. Did you manage to pull off some wondrous passive-aggressive revenge against said ex-lover? Write about that too and how it made you feel.

4. Events: Here's where things get a bit complicated - for some. You have to do your homework. Watch television, read the newspaper and write a few lines about what's going on in your city, state, country or the world in general.

5. Freewrite: Here's your chance to shine. Since we're all writers, we should leave a section for freewriting.

Allow yourself some space to simply write aimlessly without direction. But, here's the challenge - try to limit yourself to a certain number of lines.
When you keep these entries for a week, two weeks or a longer period of time, it can be extremely beneficial.

Comparing and contrasting the Mondays or Tuesdays could be a surprising learning experience.

Many times I've written stories and wanted to "know" what 78 degrees felt like, so I went to my journal and found an entry, read my mood descriptions and weather descriptions and was easily informed from my own documentation.

Keep in mind, a good writer documents everything - whether it be on paper or just in the mind's filing cabinet. But, to keep things in order, try to keep your documentation on paper - or at least saved online. 

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Top 10 [FREE] Writing Courses on Youtube That Are Packed With Massive Value

This is a friendly reminder that the best things in life really are FREE, and that includes full spectrum writing courses on Youtube that teach you just about everything you will need to know about operating as a competent, reliable, and skilled copywriter. Sure, you could pay for courses and there's nothing wrong with that. But why not take advantage of a free opportunity? Here are  Top 20 [FREE] Writing Courses on Youtube That Are Packed With Massive Value. 1. Simple Learning's Copywriting Course In this course, writers will learn how to write write product descriptions, multiply sales, and how to influence your readers. Course contains very little fluff - only the most important principles are shared throughout the video.  2. Simplilearn's Full Course Content Marketing Tutorial For Beginners Every content writer and marketer wants that coveted #1 spot on Google. Heck, most want to get to the front page at the very least. This course is all about ranking high on Google an

Discover What Good Writing Is All About

Writing is a form of preserved talk, talk that has been pinned down on paper so the words can be heard again. The basic principles of good writing, apart, from grammatical correctness, might be presented as follows: 1) written sentences should sound like natural speech; 2) the words we use must be exact, fresh, full of strength and vitality. Picture making words are better than vague, general words; 3) fresh point of view will give flavor to the style; 4) humor will lighten it. Though, it is true that written sentences should sound like natural speech, they fully present an image of the natural speech. The reasons for this are fairly obvious: natural speech is a great deal more than words; it is also tone of voice, facial expression, gestures, and even the speaker’s appearance. The whole point of writing is to create something better than we really talk – something more interesting, more thoughtful, and more effective in every way, for “effectiveness is what matters,

How To Get People To Know That Your Book Is Out There

Ok, so you wrote that perfect novel, and rewrote it again and again until it's perfect.  Then you found either a Publisher or Agent to represent you.  Your book has been through the editing stage, cover art finalized, and a published Date assigned, now what?  Is the job done?  Have you did all you needed to do to make this book a success?  Nope, you have only begun.  Now you have to market that book, get  it into book stores, let people know it is available.  First off, you need to find out from your Publisher or Agent where you book will be available, who is doing reviews and any promoting they plan on doing.  Once you have the answers to these questions you now know where to start.  A review is the first step to getting your book known.  You can begin requesting reviews as soon as the Publisher has a final proof copy available.  Most review sites can be found in the Search Engines by simply typing the genre of your book. Examples includes romance and sci-fi, and book r