Thinking Time

journals2So how are you doing with keeping a journal? We’re back to writing down our private thoughts for today’s creative writing prompt.

You are still writing in your personal journal, aren’t you? Because you know it is supposed to be good for your mental health, right? And frankly, we need all the help we can get in that department in these strange times.

Of course, you don’t have to write in your journal every day, but that’s the goal. Even a couple of paragraphs each day will help to hone your wordsmithing skills. But if that isn’t practical, don’t beat yourself up if you miss occasionally. Just try to keep going whenever you can.

The ‘list’ technique may prove helpful for inspiration if you are wondering what to write, particularly since so many of us aren’t going anywhere or seeing anyone, making our days flat and uneventful.

Lists are also a good starting point for prompting memories for memoir.

So, try listing some of your top ten favourite things, and then elaborate. You might say, “I remember…”, or “I’m looking forward to…”

Here are some suggestions to start you off:

  • garden flowers
  • holiday destinations
  • films
  • cars
  • pets
  • children’s toys
  • songs
  • writers
  • musical instruments
  • wild birds

Remember, this is your personal journal and is for your eyes only, so find a way to keep it private. Try hiding it, writing in code, locking it in a box only you have the key to, or store it on the Cloud with a secure password.

Over the years, I have tried all these ways to keep my journals secret, but I still prefer to just hide them away from prying eyes! I’m also keen on junk journals – I make my own little books to write in, using coloured papers and card, and I stick pictures, photographs and bits and pieces in, which for me is all part of the creative process. But you can write in any notebook or computer file, whatever suits you best.

If you are new to junk journals, just ask our friend Google to explain – there are lots of how-to videos on-line. But beware – it can be an absorbing pastime that might eat into your writing time. In my case, I do all that cutting and sticking in what I call my ‘thinking time’, because writing isn’t only about getting words down on paper, you have to think about the process, too.

Now, what did I do with my glue stick and scissors?

You can read back on my previous posts about journal keeping here (April 2nd 2020) and here (December 30th 2020).

New  here? For the past year I have been posting a prompt to trigger new creative writing every Wednesday at 5pm, Dublin time. Sometimes I suggest stories, flash fiction, memoir, poetry, sometimes creative non-fiction, whatever. There’s more about what my cunning plan is/was here.