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Writing

THE JOY OF JOURNALS

Do you want to write, but don't know where to begin? Is your busy day so full that you don't think you even have time to write?

The answer might be to start a journal. Journal writing is very popular these days. It offers everyone (writers and non-writers alike) the chance to reflect upon life in a creative way. Journals are especially great for aspiring writers. They offer a way to work on your writing; they force you to write everyday; they can even aid you in coming up with ideas for articles, short stories, or whatever it is you write.

Two types of journals usually work for writers. The first is free-write journaling. You use your journal to writing impression of the world around you and about your spiritual life, to write your thoughts and opinions, and to chronicle your life. It's similar to a diary.

A second method is idea journaling. You use your journal as a storehouse for impressions and ideas. You would carry this journal around with you, writing down any ideas you have about such things as God and His world, people, circumstances, events and subjects. You can develop ideas for publishable pieces from this journal.

If you don't spend time with a journal, how can you start?

Purchase a journal. Find a journal to suit your tastes and needs. You can sue a legal pad, a ring binder with loose-leaf paper, a spiral bound notebook, a blank book, or a writer's journal. You can even journal on a computer disk.
Determine the purpose of your journal. Will you keep a diary journal or an idea journal? Would you like to do both types of journaling?
Determine the best time to write in your journal. There are a lot of options for this. You can write for thirty minutes in the morning or an hour at night. You might be able to write for thirty minutes on your lunch break. Do what feels most comfortable for you.
Be observant. Keep your eyes and ears open, especially if you're keeping an idea journal. Ideas and impressions can occur anywhere at anytime.
Look at your life - including your spiritual life - critically. Don't just record what happens during your day ("I went to the store"), but write about what those happenings mean. How do you feel? How does something affect you spiritually or emotionally? What has meaning to you?