#Journaling for Peace of Mind and #Writing Success

redux

Melanie V. Logan

There are moments in my life when I have so much clutter in my brain that it’s hard to think straight. Then there are other times a recent event reminds me of a fond memory, and I want to capture it. That’s when the mighty paper and pen come in handy.

Journaling has a variety of benefits:

  • Helps clear the mind
  • Serves as a visual reminder of things accomplished/lessons learned
  • Strengthens the brain
  • Keepsake for family members after we’re long gone

In Ruth Folit’s article Why Good Writers Keep Journals, journaling helps writers find their voice.  It opens a world through introspection and insight to people and things around them.  This peek into life can be beneficial for creating realistic characters and storylines.

The piece below from Writer’s Relief expounds on the above concepts in more detail, and provides a guide for effective journaling.

#

Many of us keep…

View original post 537 more words

Advertisements

#Journaling for Peace of Mind and #Writing Success

There are moments in my life when I have so much clutter in my brain that it’s hard to think straight. Then there are other times a recent event reminds me of a fond memory, and I want to capture it. That’s when the mighty paper and pen come in handy.

Journaling has a variety of benefits:

  • Helps clear the mind
  • Serves as a visual reminder of things accomplished/lessons learned
  • Strengthens the brain
  • Keepsake for family members after we’re long gone

In Ruth Folit’s article Why Good Writers Keep Journals, journaling helps writers find their voice.  It opens a world through introspection and insight to people and things around them.  This peek into life can be beneficial for creating realistic characters and storylines.

The piece below from Writer’s Relief expounds on the above concepts in more detail, and provides a guide for effective journaling.

#

Many of us keep journals to reduce stress or to record life’s events for posterity, and writers especially should make use of this creative outlet. Journaling can be a great tool for writers—the journal becomes a repository for fresh ideas and a safe place to write. Whether it’s a spiral notebook or a leather-bound book with a beautiful cover, a writer’s journal should be a source of inspiration.

There is an endless variety of journals to choose from. Select something that inspires you, that makes you eager to crack your journal open and turn to a fresh page. A beautiful diary with fun pockets or an elegant cover will make writing a pleasure. Invest in a fun or really fancy pen to use just for your journaling. Then, you are always ready to write!

Keep your journal handy for jotting down those whimsical ideas or brilliant first sentences that pop into your head at the oddest moments. If your journal is large or bulky, keep a spiral-bound pocket-sized notebook around. You can then transfer your ideas to the larger journal.

Write regularly and on a schedule. Get into the habit of writing each day, and you’ll be perfecting your craft at the same time.

A journal is meant for no one’s eyes but your own, so let those ideas flow unfettered. A little stream of consciousness is good for the soul, and no one will be looking over your shoulder, judging you on punctuation issues or your choice of simile. Sometimes when we let ourselves go and just write, we gain priceless personal insights—and these insights can help us to be better writers.

Later on, you can use your journal entries to write a memoir of your life before you became a famous writer!

If the ideas aren’t flowing, try some writing prompts and power your way through writer’s block. Sometimes the very act of writing will clear the path for new ideas and recharge your sagging muse. A Poet’s Companion by Kim Addonizio and Dorianne Laux includes writing prompts applicable to either prose or poetry at the end of many chapters.

Some writers add newspaper clippings, sketches, or magazine articles to their journals—anything that inspires them. Others keep pictures or make lists. That’s the beauty of a journal—there are no rules, and this freedom is the catalyst that can unleash your creativity.

We can also go paper-free and buy journaling software, keeping a record of our thoughts and ideas on our personal computers. These programs have the standard word-processing capabilities, and most allow the user to add graphics, sound bites, and charts. If you’re thinking of buying, try the 30-day free trial period available with most of the software. If a trial period is not available, make the most of user-review sites like www.epinions.com. A few to check out:

Alpha Journal (www.alpharealms.com/journal/index.htm)

Digital Diary (www.ajebe.com)

The Journal (www.davidrm.com)

This article has been reprinted with the permission of Writer’s Relief, a highly recommended author’s submission service. We assist writers with preparing their submissions and researching the best markets. We have a service for every budget, as well as a free e-publication for writers, Submit Write Now! Visit our site today to learn more.</span?

The Benefits of #Handwriting vs. #Typing: Why the Pen May Be Mightier Than the Keyboard

For awhile now, I’ve been using a combination of keyboard and handwriting.  Most recently, I purchased a Microsoft Surface Pro to make it more convenient when I want to switch back and forth between the two.

When I’m ready to handwrite, I use apps like OneNote or Myscript Nebo.  The beauty of both is the ability to convert the handwriting to text.  The former is the primary one I use because of how well I can organize my thoughts and writings into notebooks, sections, and pages.  I can also share the pages via email or the entire notebook via invitation.

Another perk of OneNote is the clipping tool (downloaded separately and installed as a browser extension).  If I find something on the web I want to save, all I have to do is click the icon in the browser bar and viola!  It’s saved to the location I choose.

Myscript Nebo is a great tool as well.  However, the sharing option is limited, and I can’t clip and save like OneNote.  A positive for this app is the bar that shows your writing as text and auto-corrects.  So even when my handwriting isn’t the most legible, Myscript figures it out.

Which do you prefer, handwriting or typing?  What devices and tools do you use?

Melanie V. Logan

As I’ve mentioned in past posts, I LOVE infographics.  They offer a quick snippet of information in a visually pleasant manner.  So imagine my awe and delight when I ran across the one below.

Personally, I have noticed more fluidity of ideas when using my tablet and stylus to write compared to my laptop.

View original post 14 more words

Resources for #Writers…And Other Helpful Stuff

One of the things I love about the writing community is info sharing.  No matter where a writer may be in the journal, there are resources for everyone from beginner to advanced.

Below are a few of my previous posts about writing resources, and Nancy J’s helpful tip for Authors Publish Magazine.

AuthorToolboxBlogHub – monthly event on the topic of resources and learning for authors
5 Online Resources Every Writer Should Consider – think-outside-of-the-box list of resources to help the writing juices kick in
Vocabulary and Readability – vocabulary lists, emotion definitions, and readability checkers to assist in writing process

Life Time Writer, with Nancy

Nancy, youtube, memoir, announcement (3)

One of my favorite resources. Simply subscribe with your email address. I always do a quick scan of the resources I receive. It is a valuable tool for finding connections to submit your writing.

Writing Resource for Writers

View original post

My Worst #Writing Bad Habits: Using Find/Replace to Scrub the First #Draft – Tips from K.M. Pohlkamp

Some of the most overused words in my writing are was, have been, or trying to find a better way to say smile or grin. A thesaurus is helpful in some aspects. But it only replaces the word with another. What I like about the example given, is it prompts a mental picture for the reader and evokes feeling and a connection.

K.M. Pohlkamp - Author Website

The first draft is finished. Great! Um… now what?

I am often asked about my “writing process” and the more I write the more procedural it becomes – it is the engineer in me.

Getting the first draft on paper/electrons is a monumental task. And if nanowrimo and write sprints have taught me anything, it’s that snails could crawl over the keyboard faster than I write. So when the words are flowing, the last thing I want to do is disrupt my train of thought by editing.  But when the words flow, my bad writing habits tend to sneak in. That’s OK, a first draft is just getting the story down so it can be molded.

But it needs molding.

So after completing a first draft, the next step in my personal writing process is a systematic scrub for my worst writing habits. I have a list of my issues and…

View original post 526 more words

Things I Learned From Finishing the First #Draft: Pearls of Wisdom from the Quippish Quill

Wonderful insight! I never thought of writing being like a relationship. The metaphor is perfect!

Quippish Quill

After 6 embarrassing years and a graveyard of unfinished WIPs, I finally finished my first draft today! Yes, that’s right. It actually took me the better half of a decade to finish a measly first draft that barely clocks in at 40k words. I blame my perfectionism and Netflix. To commemorate this rare occasion, I thought I’d write down the hard-fought lessons I learned.

Disclaimer: These are lessons I learned that worked for me. They obviously won’t work for everyone. I don’t claim to have universal writing advice that will apply to every writer out there. With that disclaimer out of the way, let’s get to it!

firstDraft

Passion Will Only Get You So Far

Writing a book is a lot like being in a relationship. In the beginning, everything is perfect. You’re crazy in love and blind to your partner’s flaws and you’re both busy barfing rainbows at each…

View original post 743 more words

What #Literary Agents Do (And Don’t Do) For #Writers

Querying a good literary agent is the first step in getting your novel or book project into the hands of a publisher. What is a literary agent? A literary agent is the middleman between you and potential publishers—they are your best hope for getting your book published. But what does a literary agent actually do for a writer? And what don’t they do?

What literary agents do:

1. A literary agent’s top job is to find an editor who likes your book enough to buy it. Reputable literary agents have a wide network of contacts and relationships with acquisition editors at publishing houses. They know what the editors are looking for, and they’re experts at sending your submissions to the right people. Because editors know that submissions by literary agents have already made it through a stringent screening process, agented submissions usually go to the top of the pile.

Literary agents will NOT purchase the rights to your book and then turn around and try to sell your book to publishers. Nor can they promise to sell your book.

2. Literary agents pitch your book project to publishers and try to get you the best deal. It is in their best interest to negotiate lucrative contracts with publishers, as literary agents work on commission (usually 15 percent). They also manage your business affairs with the publisher once the deal goes through—contract disputes, royalty statements, collecting money—leaving you on good terms with the editor and freeing up your time to write.

Literary agents are NOT always attorneys, but they do specialize in book contracts and are well-versed in authors’ rights.

3. A good literary agent will often edit or critique a manuscript and offer valuable suggestions to increase its marketability. BUT you should never query an agent unless you have a completed, professionally formatted, and carefully proofread novel or memoir in hand. (Only how-to and self-help books can be pitched without having been finished first.)

Literary agents do NOT offer line-by-line edits or make rewrites. It’s up to the writer to incorporate the agent’s suggested changes. Agents are not interested in helping you master the art of writing. Their focus is on the business of writing, as in “How can this book sell the most copies?” Read more about how to hire the right editor for your writing.

4. Literary agents are authors’ advocates. They don’t make money unless you make money, so their goal is to get you the best deal. Most reputable agents will make a commission of 15 percent for domestic sales. They offer encouragement and support and help keep you on track with deadlines and rewrites. They can also help shape your career by suggesting new ideas, finding wider audiences, and keeping you abreast of changes and trends in the publishing industry.

Literary agents are NOT tax consultants, publicists, personal bankers, or writing coaches. They often offer moral support, but they are not interested in being your therapist. They will not handle your advertising and marketing. And they’re certainly not interested in being your personal answering service.

It’s up to the writer to take advantage of all the services a good literary agent can offer. As an author’s ally, a good literary agent can make a writer’s life more successful and rewarding.

This article has been reprinted with the permission of Writer’s Relief, an author’s submission 
service that has been helping creative writers make submissions since 1994.  Their work is 
highly recommended in the writing community, and there are TONS of freebies, publishing 
leads, and writers resources on their website. Check it out!