24 June

Journal Before You Write - A Possible STOP Not Writing Fix...

Every writer, like every human being, is unique, with difference comfort zones and different challenges. But what many writers have in common is a time in their life where the story ideas wouldn't pop, or the words wouldn't flow.

As I often say, "Life gets in the way of writing on life."

If this is the case for you, that your life demands are stealing your creativity as a wordsmith, 

  • don't force
  • don't fight
  • write...in a journal, first, before your writing session begins...

A journal is an adult way of saying diary. Why some people are scared of the word, diary, has me scratching my head as a giggle like a school girl, playing with my Barbies... but seriously, who the heck cares what you call it. It's you, pouring your thoughts and worries and celebrations out on paper. It's basically an autobiography of your daily life, which might come in handy when you live in a flamingo-pink stucco ranch house with 28 cats, overlooking old Palm Springs, and the townsfolk whisper about you — that wacky recluse writer — at the Thursday night Palm Canyon Drive flea market. (oops, did I type my future out loud...?)

  • Wait, don't X out this post like you've read this before.
  • Stop rolling your eyes at me. I'm immune to such disdainful displays.
  • And no, I'm not a touchy-feely chick. I'm far from it. Ask anyone not wearing pearls. You'll notice the article picture contains no artistic cup of coffee or soothing background. I'm rather proud of myself for not pandering to your caffeine addiction or your need to feel safe.
  • Keep reading, It's not like you're busy writing or anything. You've got time...

Journaling is writing, peeps. It's words you conjured in your brain, and laid down on a blank page, in a prescribed order to convey an idea. Sounds like writing to me. Whodathunk?

If you conceptualize your daily concerns, and by writing them down you sweep them out of the way, or better yet, propose a timeline of how and when to solve/eliminate them, your brain frees up to create and to craft on your WIP.

Annnd...nope, don't make it official looking. Don't go out and buy a $50 notebook or a $1,000 Mont Blanc pen. You raise those kinds of stakes, and you'll end up too frightened to put that precious ink to those velum pages! I personally don't care if you journal on the coffee cup napkins lying around at Starbucks or on the squares of toilet paper in public washrooms that are in no way capable of doing the job for which they were intended (another rant for another day...).

Just vomit out all those cares and woes, first, to,

  • Get the brain revving.
  • Get those words flowing.
  • Get all your creative pistons pumping in unison to ignite that Writer Flow...
  • And then, without a thought, without a pause, switch to your WIP, and draft out words on any scene which springs to mind (you can knit these snippets together, later, aka the quilter method of writing, over plotter and pantser).

If that works for you to get over not writing, who the heck cares what you call it or what materials you use! You're writing!

The Key: Never delineate between any forms of writing. All writing exercises add to your overall idea/story arc/sentence formation maturation. 

If it works the first day, do it the second, and keep doing it for as long as needed to get you from journaling to WIP writing. Maybe for you, it will be a lifelong process. Maybe for others, it'll be temporary help, like training wheels are to a kid with their first bicycle. Truly, it won't matter. If Hunter S. Thompson ate frozen peas for breakfast before writing, I doubt anyone can judge what becomes your writer process.

Note: Journaling for you may have a different timeline. For myself, it's not a daily thing, and it usually comes after my writing session, as a sort of emotional decompress tool when needed, or when life's personal demands weigh heavier, or when I have to expound on a personal success without boring my friends to death.

Often your personal needs must be settled before your artistic wants can ignite. I know for myself that if there's a personal conflict, I have to eliminate that sucker, or diarize a time to settle the issue, before I can move onto my art.

HOMEWORK: if you are still not writing, try this exercise today. Write down all your cares, worries, life demands, and their possible timeline solutions, and see if that vomit-on-page act helps you lighten your load to again create your literary art.

Always be open to all forms of writing and all forms of help. You are you. You are The One and Only. Your way will be wholly unique, and it will take participation in a certain set of mental exercises and mindset realizations and much practice over time to get you to the prolific writer you want to be. 

Remember: there is no Online Listicle Blog Post Quick Fix. Seriously. Stop wasting your time reading that one dimensional click-bait white noise. You wouldn't be here, reading this, if it had ever worked, right? Now, go journal about how mouthy and opinionated I am. It'll make me so proud! ;-)

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