Monday, January 21, 2013

How Do You Journal? GTA Journaling Techniques

Are you trying to be a writer? Are you a writer? Do you want to be a writer? Well guess what you have to write. Blogging, stories, novels, poems are all publicly facing works out there for criticism, critiques, and comments from the public eye. To keep your sanity I am firm believer in journaling. I have journaled on and off for years but never took to it regularly until recently.

As I am writing my entires and looking back on old ones I realized something that I was doing wrong when I journaled. I was writing for the present me not the future me or future person. There were too many assumed references, inside jokes about a moment in time, non-descript locations that you are clearly familiar with now but who knows where you are and what will happen between now and 20 years from now when you dust off the old time machine tome.

When you journal, if you are writing you may already do this and if not it's a good practice to start, is to be as descriptive as you can. Don't call out a general location, write down the name of the park. It may not exist in the future. Put down the store's name, the things that they sold, the memories on why you went there instead of the other place down the street. Use names of people, describe them, especially if they are co-wokers that you my never see or hear from again. The details is what makes the art of journaling fun and will add more value than you can appreciate now in the future.

Don't assume you will know or remember the names, faces, locations between now and then. If your journal is intended to be read by you or others later then write it in a way that will be meaningful to them, not you now. This is journaling. Capturing the details. Those details may seem overkill and mundane now but think about in the future when you are old and dust off the journal to remember times past... do you want to struggle to get the details back that you haven't thought about in 20 years or have enough details there on the paper that the memories explode from the back room brain file cabinet on their own.

Time to turn the page.

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