Different Kind of Journals I Have Already Tried
The kind of journal I have been the most consistent with is a gratitude journal but I have always kept some kind of record.
- Gratitude journal
- Five-year prompt journal
- Bullet journal
- Morning pages
- Reading journal
- Tarot journal
- Dream journal
Now I want to link my journaling more tightly in with my writing practice and novel writing. I have some ideas on how to get started.
In the last couple of weeks, I have explored different kinds of journals trying to get in touch with which one could inspire my writing.
Journals I Want to Try
- Journal through the senses
- Weather journal
- Landscapes and settings journal
- Character sketches and dialogue
- My first book journal
Alongside this, I have found that it is often easier for me to write on my book when I have the setting of the scene present in my mind.
Landscape and Settings Journal
This little yellow notebook is the one I keep as a log over all the different settings in the novel I am writing. Now I am also going to use it for writing down ideas for sceneries I stumble upon during the day. A special door I see in the city, the way a tree bends in the wind and historic buildings I could transform into being a part of the world-building of my novel.
This is one of the ways I will journal about the landscapes and places I see. Another way is to keep an album on my phone with the photos I take of places, details, and settings. From that album, I could make a photo journal accompanying my novel.
But I also want to try some of the others on the above list. I am considering the following.
Journal with the Senses
I think the reason why the gratitude journal works so well for me is the format. I list five things every day – each a few lines. I will try to do the same practicing using my senses in my writing. Listing the following –
- I heard
- I saw
- I smelled
- I touched
- I tasted
- I sensed
As with the gratitude journal I will try to be as specific as possible. I will also make sure that once a week I write out a paragraph from one of these lines written. Taking a line like – today the pink rose smelled of soap and then write a detailed text from this.
Mining the notebook
I am normally not that structured when it comes to journaling. Usually, I use a moleskin notebook. What is in it? I use my notebook for morning pages, as a planner, ideas, drafts, sketches. I seldom use it for my actual writing project only if I get an idea. My poems find their way into the notebook. I write quotes in it. I doodle and write snippets of thoughts.
It becomes an organic mingle of thoughts. Because the words scramble up next to a drawing of a coffee cup I remember the feeling I got from that place on that particular day. I will continue to keep this practice to empty my head and warm up before turning to my writing project.
A writer is an observer and sometimes I think this is so ingrained in a writer’s DNA that it is only naturally also to observe himself. I love this quote from Mary Oliver:
Pay attention, be astonished, tell about it. |Mary Oliver
Today I saw a hedgehog a big one – scared. But it put its long nose out from under the spikes looked up at me and walked steadily back into the woods. I was happy to put it in my Gratitude journal and perhaps I will stick my nose out and try to put the scenery into my writer’s journal because who knows what is hidden in the woods. Journaling will help me find out.