Writing in your journal every day may seem arduous. Perhaps you may think you have nothing to write there. But to write every day and fish for those ideas is one way to tap your untapped brain resources and apply them to a writer’s page – every single day.
There was a book called “The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind.” I thought for sure that book would be too didactic, too academic and way too “genius level” for me to be able to read it. But I did, and I’m glad for that. It turned out to be at only an above average reading level, not a genius one. And it gave me some ideas about writing.
For one thing, in that book, the anthropologist author, who had a bent toward psychiatry, claimed that early humans probably heard voices before they learned how to talk. He thought that people as recent as the ancient Greeks and Romans still heard voices as they went about their business of war and civilization. Now, I’m not claiming you should hear voices, but it is the sort of claim that shows that all people must have an imagination of some sort.
You don’t have to hear voices in your head – I’m not suggesting that. The last thing I want you to do is to end up on psychiatric medications. Those are cripplers. But you can find your own “inner voice” that will tell you what to write in a daily journal, if you simply pick up your pen or pencil, take an empty journal, and begin to write down your thoughts. This should be the same as your daily exercise and dietary programs.
You can write on the bus on a long commute to your job. You can write in your car on the same type of long commute. You can set aside an hour of your time every day to write in your journal, quietly after dinner to avoid desert and those extra calories. Your “desert” can instead be you writing in your journal.
In a ten year period of time, I managed to fill up some thirty or more hardbound empty journaling books, each with about 200 pages, simply by writing about my life in them at odd moments. I wrote, I wrote, and I wrote some more, about anything and everything. It was good practice and kept my word knowledge, my writing capabilities, and my grammatical and syntax abilities alive and well during “dry” periods of no real writing work in my life. I’ve been a freelance writer, copyeditor and ghost writer since before 1980, and doing this simple practice really “oiled the machinery” of my writing. Now that I write articles and website copy on a regular basis, I don’t seem to need it anymore. But I’m thinking of taking up journaling again in the near future. I live to write.
Go for it. Buy one of those thick, padded books. They have blank pages. Buy two or three if they’re on sale or you have the money. Date each and every one of your entries – you might want to refer back to them later as material to write something from. And make an entry into the journal each and every day of your life. When you finish off one journal, move on to the next one, keeping the filled journal in a box or somewhere safe.
I finally had to dump all of my journals, as we were moving and they were “only taking up room.” I severely regret that now, as I had kept track of my life that way. Fortunately, I have enough in my head from which to glean and garner my life history, should I ever happen to get around to writing it. But I had poured my entire soul out into those journals, even though they were mostly only a daily log of my activities.
As Kurt Vonnegut, said, however, the writing itself is what matters, even if you throw it all away. Write into your journals, and get started on writing that novel. You may feel disgust, like you never will get published. But I wrote my first novel, and I got published. It may be a small start for you, but it will happen. You will have to keep at it. Daily, on a day by day basis, is best. Write for every single day of your life. You won’t be sorry.