Journal

4 Reasons Why I Journal

WritingI never considered writing a daily journal until a few years ago. At the time I wanted to see how much I could write per day on a consistent basis. After a month I was surprised by how many words I could churn out. It gave me a baseline for how much I could expect to write daily, weekly and monthly. I even realized I could write most of a rough draft in thirty days – here I come NanoWriMo.

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

But as I used a daily journal I discovered a few more reasons to continue. I’ve since read Julia Cameron’s book The Artist’s Way and found that she emphasizes using “Daily Pages” (essentially a journal) to write three pages in the morning. I don’t always write that much since I’d rather spend as much time as possible on projects but the notion and reasons discussed in the book are great for gaining creative traction.

1. I could use it to prime the pump. You want to get started writing but how? Sometimes you need a warm-up and writing about anything can be just the trick to clear the mind. Also, I found that I could set the scene in my mind with a few notes on what I expected to accomplish and how dialogue might flow. I might even return to the journal to further nail down additional scenes depending on what I accomplish.
2. I can track what I need to do during the day. Yesterday I wrote about how I work with goals but I find that putting them in my journal keeps them in my sites throughout the day. I use the Strikethrough button in Word to mark off goals achieved. I can also easily “re-heat” goals that roll over to the next day for whatever reason.
Journal3. I also use a journal to create a loose, fluid schedule of what I’m doing – everything. This way I know how I’m progressing through goals and other activities throughout the day. Now you might wish to use a calendar for this function but I find using the journal is one less thing to update than a calendar. Besides, I find a calendar is better for reminders about events and appointments in advance.
4. A journal can also be used for project development. It’s a great place to explore creative ideas. Once you’ve written these concepts they are easily transferred into other apps or files you use for development such as Scrivener, Evernote, your blog or anything else.

What can you use to journal? I mainly use Word and update it during the day but I only keep a monthly file and transfer developmental ideas to other files and apps. You could use Evernote as a purely developmental journal and tack in links or pictures. You could also use Instagram as a visual journal. While Scrivener would not directly serve this purpose, research containers could be used as a developmental journal as well.

Do you journal? If so, what do you use? I love to receive comments so feel free to leave one. Also, please follow this blog by email using the form on this page. I’m on Twitter @ph_solomon or click the Facebook icon on the sidebar to like my page there.

Please share your thoughts and ideas in the comments section. I’d also love to connect with you over social media so check my Contact page for that information. See the News page for announcements and remember to sign-up to receive news and posts by email. I’ve added a new sign-up tab on my FaceBook page to simplify the process. New followers can download The Black Bag via free coupon today! Also, the cover of my book, The Bow of Destiny, was revealed recently so take a look.

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Book Cover Green Top & Bottom Cover - Copy The Black Bag by P H Solomon

 

My 2015 Plans for Scrivener Pt. 2

Scrivener has been a key component to improving my productivity this year. I’ve recently written about various uses for Scrivener such as blog posts, newsletters and even template email messages. Additionally, I’ve shared about using Scrivener templates including some resources for these. In my last post I shared about managing templates. In Part 4 I released my Author Platform Management template. In my most recent edition of this series I indicated how I’ll use Scrivener more in the coming year. This post reveals how I’ll approach my increased usage. Next week, I’ll reveal a new template and I’m planning another how-to post the week after.

JournalAs I indicated earlier this week, I want to increase my Scrivener usage in two ways:

1. With my daily journal

2. Tracking my daily goals

Daily Journal

Journaling has become important to my daily writing process. It’s were I come up with blog ideas and solve all kinds of writing issues. But I’ve started collecting numerous Word files for each month.

Scrivener makes managing my journals much easier. I can use the binder to organize my journal in a central location. I’m handling my blogs and newsletter editions this way so why not my journal?

Soccer Ball Hitting NetGoals

I also set daily/weekly/monthly goals – usually in my journal. But why not use Scrivener for this as well? If I already have it open why not use it for this task?

My main question was how I wanted to approach organizing my journal and goals in Scrivener. I could make a new template or incorporate it into my current Author Platform Manager. Either way it’s extremely useful to consolidate this way.

However, as I thought about what I wanted to do, it didn’t make sense to create a new template. Much of what I do with my journal and goals are an extension of what I’m doing with my author platform. So I decided to incorporate these into my current template. If you have this template already, here’s what I did if you’re interested in doing the same thing. If you don’t have the template yet, here’s the updated one.

APM New Version

As you can see, I’ve just added primary folder for daily activities and sub-folders for the journals and goals. Now I just need to remember to kick the year off right and begin using these instead of Word.

The Black Bag by P H SolomonAre you using Scrivener more in the coming year? Please share your thoughts and ideas in the comments section. I’d also love to connect with you over social media so check my Contact page for that information. See the News page for announcements and remember to sign-up to receive news and posts by email. I’ve added a new sign-up tab on my FaceBook page to simplify the process. New followers can download The Black Bag via free coupon today! Also, the cover of my book, The Bow of Destiny, was revealed recently so take a look.

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Clip art licensed from Microsoft Office.

Also, in no way do I represent Scrivener or sell the product. All questions about the product, its sales, support and licensing for your own computing needs should be referred to the company.

Is It The End Of The Writing Line? Uh, No!

You’ve written a lot of lately and then just stopped. It’s like you got to the end of your thoughts. It’s the edge and you’re looking off into cloudy nothingness. So that’s it – the end.

Frustration stress and writers blockBut wait, there’s more. Your thoughts haven’t ended. Keep writing. Don’t stop! Like breathing, a writer needs to write. Like running, you need to condition yourself to writing and generating ideas of all kinds, both fiction and non-fiction.

When it comes to blogging, journaling helps. The frequency of writing starts the mind generating ideas and from ideas come blog posts. Likewise, when you start generating ideas they start forming with greater frequency – again the mind’s creative muscles are exercised and ideas flow like a river. I’ve found that journaling and blogging have benefited my fiction with more ideas and creatively resolving problems in my fiction.

Here are some tips about writing:

Writing1. It’s not enough just to say, “Write!” Be specific about what you will do. Intentionality leads somewhere. On the other hand, lack of intention leads nowhere.

2. To start with, journal in the morning. Do as much as you like or have time to do. The habit will get you writing like exercise.

3. What should you write? Well, in a journal like this, it doesn’t matter. Your meandering thoughts will begin to coalesce into specific ideas. Most anything you trip through can be used in some form of creative writing.

4. Take those ideas and transfer them to your blog, story, article or novel. Use those ideas. You’ve allowed your mind to get creative now harness all that energy for something. I frequently journal and find answers to puzzles in my plots, why I’m struggling with writing and ideas for blog posts of all kinds.

5. If you don’t have time to develop all the ideas make sure you get them into some form of development for use later. For blogs I make a content container and quickly type the idea and some notes so I can come back to it when I have more time. Regardless, I make sure my ideas do not fall through the proverbial cracks never to be seen again. I want to use them so I take that seed and make sure it’s gets planted for use now or later.

So when you think you’ve reached the end of your writing ideas you haven’t. Start writing in an open format with an intention and you will start generating ideas that start building into a habit of idea germination.

The Black Bag by P H SolomonHave you stopped writing at the end of ideas? How do you cultivate your creativity? Please share your thoughts and ideas in the comments section. I’d also love to connect with you over social media so check my Contact page for that information. See the News page for announcements and remember to sign-up to receive news and posts by email. I’ve added a new sign-up tab on my FaceBook page to simplify the process. New followers can download The Black Bag via free coupon today! Also, the cover of my book, The Bow of Destiny, was revealed recently so take a look.

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Clip art licensed from Microsoft Office