Friday, March 26, 2010


I think it’s important to keep a personal writing log. Beyond the public journaling you might do on your blog or website, it’s good to have something private where you can be a little more blunt and honest in expressing yourself.

I’ve been keeping a writing journal for several years. At first, I had quite a few entries within a short time span, but more recently, I tend only to add entries every couple of months. For me, I’m not as interested in a daily account as I am in periodically expressing my thoughts on where I’m at and where I’m going. I reread these entries to better understand where I’ve come from and to remind myself about my past objectives so that I can decide whether or not I’ve run off in the wrong direction or a better direction (in the case where things may have changed). I can also jot down ideas for future stories or note why I might delay certain projects.

Another benefit of journaling is that it allows for safe venting. Sometimes I see writers use discussion boards or blogs for sharing negative thoughts, and such expressions (especially if they’re aimed at specific people or markets) risk being unprofessional. I think there’s a false sense of security in discussion boards that editors and publishers won’t read posts, but as I’ve pointed out in a past article, anyone can set up Google alerts that will send an email whenever new web content is discovered that matches the alert keywords.

If you haven’t tried journaling before, I recommend starting one. It will help you to better understand who you are and who you want to be as a writer.

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