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We usually understand a journal to be a place for writing about ourselves, but journals can be used for plenty of other purposes, many of which are useful to writers.
I’ve had my share of adventures in journal writing. As a teen, I kept a diary. Later, I had a poetry journal. I tried dream journaling, art journaling, and sometimes I keep a gratitude journal.
I believe journal writing is a huge boon to writers, especially when we’re not working on a specific project or when we’re looking for our next big project.
Today, I’d like to share a few of my favorite journal writing tools and resources.
A Place to Create
It’s been said a million times: If you want to be a writer, you have to write. I would add that if you want to be creative, you have to create. Sitting around and waiting for a big, blockbuster idea won’t do you any good. You’ve got to practice. And keeping a journal is a great way to practice writing and foster creativity every single day.
What I love best about my journal is that there are no rules. It’s my own creative space. I use it for freewriting, sketching, and writing down my thoughts. I don’t write in my journal every day, but before I started blogging and writing professionally, I was pretty diligent about using my journal for routine writing practice.
I’ve been poking around the web in search of some of the best tools and resources for journaling with an emphasis on creativity and writing. Here’s what I found:
Moleskines are one of the most popular notebook brands for writers and artists, and they are my personal favorite. They come in various sizes ranging from pocket-sized to 8 x 10 (inches) and with various paper, including blank, ruled, dotted, and grid. They even have an art collection with thicker paper. Each notebook features a pocket in the back, a placeholder ribbon, and a strap that keeps the journal closed. When opened, this notebook lies flat, which is ideal for a comfortable writing experience. Moleskines were popular with Vincent van Gogh, Pablo Picasso, and Ernest Hemingway, so they’ve got solid endorsements.
The Artist’s Way
This classic book for writers and artists is well known for giving us “morning pages.” It has inspired writers and artists to create on a daily basis. The Artist’s Way has become a staple among all kinds of creatives from filmmakers to crafters. You’re sure to find something to help you establish a writing routine, improve your writing skills, or overcome writer’s block in this book, which includes a twelve-week program packed with activities and exercises that you can do.
Pilot G2 Pens
I have tried many pens over the years, and while I steer away from fancy and expensive pens, I can be picky about what I write with. My current favorite is the Pilot G2 (black, ultra fine). It’s got a comfortable grip, smooth flow, rich color, and fine stroke, ideal for smaller lettering. For a similar pen with a heavier weight and thicker stroke, I love this pen’s cousin, the Pilot G2 Pro.
Wreck This Journal
Wreck This Journal unleashes your inner artist and allows you to be creative without fear of failure because the journal is designed to be wrecked. It’s a great way to get your creativity out of the box. As you work your way through the journal, you’ll cut, tear, and thrash the book. You start letting go of constraints and inhibitions, allowing yourself to make mistakes and create poorly crafted prose, giving your creativity the courage it needs to take risks.
A Few More Goodies
- I love this: 1000 Journals traveled from hand to hand throughout the world.
- Did you know that journal making is a popular hobby, and YouTube is jam-packed with how-to videos. If you love stationery, notebooks, creativity, and books, this might be the hobby for you, especially if you can’t find the perfect notebook for your needs (just make your own!).
- Before Moleskine, this was my favorite journal: The Watson-Guptill Sketchbook.
People use journals for a variety of purposes: for self-improvement, personal reflection, heritage preservation, creativity, tracking professional progress, and writing practice. Do you keep a journal or use a notebook? How has journal writing helped you? Got any journaling tips or resources to add to this list? Leave a comment, and keep journaling!