Back to Back Issues Page
Editor's Notes #55, Using A Writer's Journal
July 31, 2008
Hello,

We are all cups, constantly and quietly being filled.
The trick is, knowing how to tip ourselves over
and let the beautiful stuff out.

--Ray Bradbury


In this issue:

1. Your Writerly Journal
2. Tickled My Funnybone
3. Thanks For Your Input
4. Metaphorically Speaking

==========
1. Your Writerly Journal
Do you keep a writer's journal?

Many writers do.

I have several journals. Three focus on my writing. In a hard cover book with lines I record ideas I could write about, pleasing phrases that pop into my head, passages I love from my reading, and anything else about writing in general.

In a large spiral bound notebook I keep my writing exercises. This is where I practice little bits of writing just to keep myself sharp.

In another large spiral bound notebook I keep a business journal about the money end of my writing endeavors. I record what I've done, and also what I could do.

Writing things always helps me. In fact, I don't believe that I think particularly well unless I have a pen in my hand. I scribble notes incessantly on all sorts of odd bits of paper. Even if I never look at the paper again, the act of writing helps me to clarify my thoughts.

But I find that revisiting my writing journals from time to time improves my writing. I discover ideas that have become buried under the hurly burly of everyday life. I track my growth as a writer. I know whether or not my craft is earning me as much as it could be.

What about you? Do you journal as a writer? Do you have an experience or tip that would help someone else? You can share that tip at http://www.writershelper.com/writingtips.html#INV

===========

2. Tickled My Funnybone
One of the things that often ends up in my journal is writing that misses its mark in some way that leaves me giggling. Headlines often fall into this category. Here's one...

"Something Went Wrong in Jet Crash, Expert Says"

===========

3. Thanks For Your Input
Thank you for your comments on my proposal to make workshops available. They were certainly helpful.

I was also suddenly deluged by unsought information on how to make this all work. Best of all, I think I've found a way to keep the costs low enough to allow everyone to participate in some way.

All of this needs more research and will take time to set up, but I'll keep you posted as I move toward adding other services to Writer's Helper.

===========

4. Metaphorically Speaking
Figures of speech make your writing memorable. Possibly the most common is the metaphor.

A metaphor compares two things that we usually think of as unlike, but that have an important element in common. When we create a connection between these things we give the reader a hook on which to hang an idea.

Do you see the metaphor in the previous sentence? It's admittedly an old one -- hanging an idea on a hook -- but it still works.

Of course a fresher metaphor creates a stronger image. Look again at the Ray Bradbury quote that opened this newsletter.

If you have a writing journal, create a section to record metaphors, both those you discover in your reading and those you think of yourself.

===========

If you know a writer who would appreciate receiving Editor's Notes, forward this issue.

If someone has passed this on to you, you can get your own free subscription by signing up at http://www.writershelper.com/newsletter.html

Back to Back Issues Page