Seven Inspiring Journal Ideas

journal ideas
Creative Commons License photo credit: Auzigog

Every expert in the world thinks you should keep a journal. Physical trainers suggest keeping an exercise journal, and nutritionists recommend keeping track of your meals. Oprah insists on a gratitude journal, and business consultants promote journaling throughout one’s career.

How much journal writing can one person do?

Of course, journals are, first and foremost, the forté of writers. Journal writing provides a sacred space where thoughts, ideas, stories, and poems can be recorded. We turn to our journals for inspiration and when we’re inspired.

Some journals are topical while others are a hodgepodge. You might use several different journals, each for different projects or topics, or you might use one journal for everything. There’s no right or wrong way, and there are no limits to the journal ideas you can use to inform and inspire your creative writing projects. Read More

Tools for Capturing Your Ideas in Writing

tools for capturing ideas in writing

Tools and tips for capturing ideas in writing.

Have you ever been overwhelmed with writing ideas, and you didn’t know what to do with all of them? Have you ever had a brilliant idea at a bad time, like when you’re driving? How do you capture and keep track of your ideas?

There are many ways to capture and organize your ideas in writing. While it may seem obvious that if you have a good idea, you should write it down so you don’t forget about it, all those ideas can pile up. You may find yourself searching through notes, trying to find an idea you had that you want to use. You might kick yourself for failing to write down the details of an idea that you’ve now forgotten.

Fortunately, there are plenty of tools for capturing ideas in writing. All you have to do is find the tools that work for you and develop a system that you can comfortably use for organizing and tracking your writing ideas. Read More

Three Poetry Writing Exercises

three poetry writing exercises

Stretch your writing muscles with these poetry writing exercises.

If you’re going to exercise, it’s a good idea to warm up first. That way, you’ll get your body geared up to do the heavy lifting, the hard running, and the strenuous workout.

Writing’s no different.

Poetry writing exercises are ideal when you’re feeling uninspired or lazy, or maybe your poetry is getting stale and you need to take it in a fresh direction. Perhaps you’re getting ready to embark on a big, long writing project and want to warm up first.

Today’s poetry writing exercises are good starters and don’t require you to know anything about poetry or have any experience writing poems. In fact some of these exercises don’t require any poetry writing whatsoever. Read More

Daily Writing Leads to Better Writing

daily writing

Daily writing will lead to better writing.

Today’s post is an excerpt from 10 Core Practices for Better Writing. This is from “Chapter Two: Writing.” Enjoy!

“I only write when I am inspired. Fortunately I am inspired at 9 o’clock every morning.”
– William Faulkner

Ideally, you’ll write every day. Read More

Writing Tips: Eliminate Redundancies

improve your writing

Eliminate redundancies to improve your writing.

Writers are human, and sometimes we make mistakes. You’re probably aware of the most common mistakes in writing: comma splices, run-on sentences, mixing up homophones, and a variety of other broken grammar, spelling, and punctuation rules.

In my editing and coaching work, I’ve noticed another common mistake: redundancy. Sometimes, we use repetition effectively, but most of the time, by saying the same thing twice, we’re littering our writing with unnecessary verbiage. If we remove the excess, we can improve our writing by making it more concise. Read More

Writing Resources: Perrine’s Sound and Sense

Writing resources for more compelling language.

This is one of my favorite writing resources of all time. It is subtitled “An Introduction to Poetry,” but it’s full of concepts that can benefit any form of writing.

Whether you write fiction, articles, essays, or blog posts, Perrine’s Sound and Sense will enhance the way you perceive and use language to communicate an idea, a scene, or information.

After all, language is a writer’s medium. How do we choose words and string them together? What makes one sentence so vivid while another is practically impossible to visualize? How can we play with the meaning of words in a way that is meaningful? How do we craft prose that is musical? Read More

How to Develop Your Best Novel Writing Ideas

novel writing ideas

How many novel writing ideas do you need?

Writing a novel is no small task. In fact, it’s a momentous task. Some writers spend years just eking out a first draft, followed by years of revisions. And that’s before they even think about the grueling publishing process.

In other words, you’re going to spend a lot of time with your novel. So you better love it. No, wait — loving it is not enough. You have to be in love with it. You have to be obsessed with it.

And obsessions cannot be forced. It’s normal to lose interest when you’re on your tenth revision, but if you’re losing interest in your plot or characters while writing your first or second draft, the problem may not be you or your novel. The problem may be that you tried to commit to something you didn’t love. That’s never a good idea. Read More

Journal Writing Ideas: Fusing Art with Words

journal writing ideas with artistic flair

Journal writing is an art unto itself.

Journal writing is most definitely an art, but how often do we actively use art in our journals?

We writers are passionate about our journals and notebooks, those sacred spaces where some of our best ideas manifest.

So it makes sense to rig our journals so they inspire us as much as possible. And what’s more inspiring than art?

Let’s look at some ways we can fuse art with journal writing in order to cultivate inspiration and creativity. Read More

15 Tasty Creative Writing Prompts

creative writing prompts

Creative writing prompts that are good enough to eat.

We all want our writing to be compelling, even mesmerizing. One effective way to captivate readers is to engage their senses.

When you trigger a reader’s sense of sight, smell, sound, touch, or taste, you illicit a physiological response to your writing, and the reader will connect with it on a deeper, sensory level.

Food is a great way to stimulate readers’ senses because food has the rare ability to affect any or all of the senses. We see food, smell it, touch it, and taste it. We even hear it. Just think about french fries sizzling in a greasy skillet. Mmm. Read More

8 Common Creative Writing Mistakes

writing mistakes

Are you making any of these common writing mistakes?

We all make mistakes in our writing. The most common mistake is the typo — a missing word, an extra punctuation mark, a misspelling, or some other minor error that is an oversight rather than a reflection of the writer’s skills (or lack thereof).

A more serious kind of mistake is a deep flaw in the writing. It’s not a missing word; it’s a missing scene. It’s not an extra punctuation mark; it’s an overabundance of punctuation marks. And these mistakes aren’t limited to the mechanics of writing: plot holes, poor logic, and a prevalence of bad word choices are all markers of common writing mistakes that are often found in various forms and genres of creative writing. Read More