Introduction

Writing in a journal is a discipline that has helped me on this writing journey.

I have been writing in a journal as long as I can remember. Hardbacks, spirals, Moleskines, and my latest obsession, Tul disc bound notebooks. They line my shelves by order of dates. When God compelled me to share words in a public way, I already had journals of words lined up. Unedited words, but still a lifetime of stories tucked away.

Tul notebooks are great for dividing your journals into sections. With dividers, I can “catch” everything in one place. Rather than having several Moleskin journals, this year I use only one. I add more paper as needed.

As I move forward in my writing life, journaling is one discipline I continue to use.

The nuts and bolts of keeping a journal will be different for each of us.

Early mornings work for me. I pour my coffee, head to my favorite spot, and turn to a clean page.

I ponder, I mull, I reflect on things in my life; how and where God is intersecting my life, what He may be teaching me, and my response to His stirrings in my heart.

Words come. I capture them with a pen. I save them for later. Some stories are private. Therefore, I must choose which stories are for others. With a little polishing and sound editing, things I want to share come to life.

There is the minutia of everyday life, to do lists, big dreams, and thoughts I am not ready to speak aloud. These are the things that find their way onto the pages of my journal.

My journals are a picture of my life.

Why keep a journal?

For me, journaling is a way to process my days. I reflect on past things and dream about future ideas. Journaling is also a discipline. Let’s face it, fellow writer friends, training ourselves to capture words is a large part of the writing life. When we don’t take the time, often the words are lost, and the story is forgotten.

Lack of discipline is where we can fail as writers. We find ourselves waiting for the right time, rather than making time.

“How to write: Butt in chair. Start each day anywhere. Let yourself do it badly. Just take one passage at a time. Get butt back in chair.” Anne Lamott

When we spend time with a good pen and journal, our bottoms are in a chair. One word, then the next, another word or two more, and you have just established a writing life.

You will have a legacy of memories to pass on.

My granddaughters are fascinated with their Nanna’s journals, which tickles my heart to no end. I often find them journaling at their own desks. Like their Nanna, they have learned to record and process their lives through journaling.

One day they will have the legacy of my memories on paper. My granddaughters will see the prayers I have prayed over them. They will remember our conversations and shared time as they thumb through the pages.

The book you always wanted to write may already be within the pages of your journals!

When I self-published a devotional, the bones and outline were already written down. I transferred the words from my journals, added skin, and published a book!

Writing in a journal can transform your writing life if you allow it.

There is something to putting an actual pen to actual paper that spurs one’s creativity. There is freedom in connecting pen to paper. I find it less intimidating than the blinking curser. Words are shaken loose, and my soul becomes carefree as I scratch words across the pages.

I challenge you to give it a try if you are not already doing so.

With pen and paper,

Tammy

Writing in a journal is a discipline that helps us capture words on our writing journey.Click to Tweet Training ourselves to capture words is a large part of the writing life. When we don't take the time, often the words are lost, and the story is forgotten.Click to Tweet Journals are a picture of our lives.Click to Tweet

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