I keep a journal just for my writing. I write down writing ideas, plot ideas, different plot and chapter outlines, story ideas, character ideas, what I think about different stories I’m writing and whatever else I feel like putting in there in regards to the stories I’m writing.
I have drawn pictures and pasted pages in there. I have written lyrics to different songs in there that could relate to what I am writing. I have lists of albums that help me write. I have pictures and quotes and books that I liked that might be similar to what I am trying to write. I have whatever I consider to be inspirational for writing in there.
The reason why I have a journal just for writing is so I have somewhere to write ideas, quotes, thoughts and inspirations down for stories and keep them all together. It helps me see what I had thought about what the story might be and where it was headed before going down a different path. I can see what works and what didn’t work in regards to story, plot, ideas and characters.
The best part is that a journal can be kept however the writer wants it to be. And there are different ways to keep a journal. There are bullet journals, art journals and basic writing journals. They can be whatever you want them to be – a space for planning and outlining a story; a place for inspiration; somewhere to reflect on what you’re writing; or even a combination of the above. And best of all there are no rules on how to keep one.
A journal can even help if you feel stuck with writing your story and you want to write something – anything! – to help you get the story going.
I find it refreshing to see what I have written previously about the stories I’m writing and what I thought the story was going to be and seeing what I thought might work which turned out not to work out at all. I can see what I thought characters and their arcs were going to be like before discovering the story was going into a completely different direction I thought it was going to be going in.
I had come up with the idea of having a writing journal after having to keep an art journal for my art classes that I had for school. I figured if it worked to keep ideas and experiments for artwork, then it could work for writing as well (my art journals are more full and colourful than what my writing journal is but that could change when I need to start a new writing journal).
I hadn’t realised there were different ways to do writing journals and that other people kept them for similar reasons to me. I did a Google search and was amazed about the different types of journals and how other people kept their journals.
I highly recommend creating and using a writing journal, especially if you are a visual person.
N.B. I would have included more pictures but ran out of room. All pictures included are from google images.