In the past few weeks I have run across a lot of people online and in blog entries about the need to establish or re-engage a journaling habit. I admit I have been feeling it too. I’ve been blogging some, but I haven’t really kept a journal in years. I admit I’ve been missing it lately. So I want to start my habit again, and post tips and prompts here to help others. I have several more journaling methods I can share as well as tips to establishing the habit.
One thing I hear often is, What do I write about? This one is a little hard to answer because I’ve never had a problem sitting down to a blank page and just writing about anything or even nothing. I think these people would benefit from prompts. You can surf the net for hours to glean writing prompts, there are plenty out there, or you can come up with your own rather easily. Let’s start out small. Take out a sheet of paper and along the left edge write out numbers one to seven. Now, jot down seven topics or ideas you would like to explore or work through. For example:
Now, you want to assign each topic to a day of the week. When it is Monday, you would write on topic one or two, whichever day you consider Monday to be. You can even set a goal of a minute of writing time or one sentence. If you don’t have a habit established, or find it hard to write, start out small until you get that habit established. Once things seem to come easier, then try expanding the challenge a little — such as moving up to two minutes or two sentences.
Timing your writing can help if you tend to write excessively. Some people give up journaling because they get so caught up in it they can spend two hours or more and end up neglecting other things. A good thing to do is to set a timer for thirty minutes and when time is up, quit. You can schedule two or three sessions a day so you can pick up where you left off. By limiting yourself it helps you prioritize and do more meaningful writing — get to the point, in other words. Those who write for hours tend to babble and don’t accomplish much.
So, for a writer, timing is your friend, though it is often a love-hate relationship 😉