The magic of writing a journal

I’ve no doubt that writing a journal is a very cathartic process. I’ve done it for the past few years when I’ve needed to get things flying relentlessly around in my head out of my brain; only to find they were replaced with more thoughts and phrases instead. Committing them to paper sort of works. I was going through a very traumatic time in my life. Eventually I put the journals through a paper shredder. I didn’t want to go back over the thoughts and I certainly didn’t want anyone else to read them.

In fact, if I think about it now, the act of complete destruction initiated a turning-point in my life and I moved on.

The problem I’ve been working on since, is trying to fire up my inspiration to write a manuscript for a second novel; no matter what I do I get stuck in a rut and lapse back into reality – rather like writing the catharsis journal. Yesterday I realised my problem is that I stopped writing a daily journal; I’ve tried all different types of journals since Destruction Day from files on my laptop to, writing apps on my iPad. But nothing regularly, every day. Silly me!

Writing a journal doesn’t just have to be catharsis, or reviewing life, the universe and everything. Just the act of just writing something, anything… whatever is in my head for just three pages can straighten out my brain and create some kind of logic.

So I have started again and this time I haven’t even gone to the expense of buying a special notebook. I’m just using a notebook I was using for keeping notes. If I can keep it up for a month or so, I will find/buy a special journal notebook to separate it from keeping notes. The act of handwriting and using my nice fountain pen and making a point of just three pages instead of the rambling thoughts is motivating and helps my brain to be more logical.

My Three Pages and Stop journal.

I read somewhere, I think it was in Stephen King’s On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft, that if you stop mid-sentence it helps you continue writing the next day. I must try that.

About Caroline Scott Collins

Writer and artist
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