I never had a diary. Ok, that’s a lie, I did, but I was awful at writing in one. I have a bad habit of walking around the stationary section of book stores and perusing through the shelves while my fingers dance over the velvet, or velour covers of various journals and notebooks. I would always think to myself “I should write. I have a lot of ideas and it will shut Sparky up about me and writing.” So I’d dish out the $12.95 for a little notebook that is bounded so tight that I can barely keep it open long enough to write “dear diary.” Without fail, the book will stay tightly bound because I will most likely lose interest after the fifth entry.
Even when I was younger I liked the idea of writing. I saw my friend’s journals or diaries laying open on their Barbie vanities and think that they must have so many important things going on in their lives to be able to fill all those pages. I always had good intentions; I’d write a page or two about how I hated my older brothers or how I thought a certain boy was cute, you know, all the things that plague 10 year old girls. However, without fail I’d get bored and the journal was sent to the bottom dresser drawer with all my previous failed journalling attempts. Little did I know that keeping a journal would help me get through the beginning stations of writing.
When my darling of a writing buddy Ana told me that blogging should a part of our venture into the world of writing I was scared out of my mind. There we were Ana and I with our husbands sitting around drinking Scotch, occasionally waking my kids up with our hoots of laughter and she drops this bomb on me. I didn’t have a problem with the idea of people reading my posts; as Sparky so nicely pointed out not many people would be reading our blog in the beginning. I think its because I’m not there staring at those reading our blog and analyzing their facial expressions and body language to see if they like what we wrote. Potential readers wasn’t my problem.
The problem that I foresaw, and eventually came to fruition, was the problem of what would I write. What could I possibly write that would interesting to read? When she told me that its suggested by the literary gods that a blog post should be about 500 words in length I almost fainted. (Of course, I should have known that wouldn’t be a problem. I’m sure you noticed that my posts tend to run on the longer side of 500…ok, ok, they’re usually pushing 1,000.)
The next day I woke in a panic. Write posts….twice a week….twice! Doesn’t she understand I have problems coming up with ideas for my novel? Now I need to write something on a different level, and post it, twice a week! I couldn’t control my breathing. I was panting. I was sweating. The walls were closing in on me. Then I heard a wail from one of my kids signaling me that it was time for breakfast.
While the kids were eating their oatmeal with bananas I sat down in front of the computer and stared at the computer. Without realizing it my fingers graced the keyboard and little words started appearing on the blank screen. All my fears, doubts, thoughts were flowing out of me without warning. Sometimes my sentences made sense, most of the time it was just little blurbs, phrases, thoughts. I felt calmer after doing this and the prospect of blogging didn’t seem so scary.
I journal every day, or I at least I try to. Even when I spend time on my novel I make sure I at least write something down that’s not novel related. It gives me a chance to just write nonsense. It doesn’t matter if spelling isn’t right, or if the comma is in the wrong place or if I stop in the middle of a sentence to start another one. Its for no one’s eyes but mine. The best part about it is that almost every one of my past posts came from a journal entry. A thought that just popped in my head while I was writing nothing and it turned into a full blog post that people have read and commented on. Amazing.
Do you keep a journal full of random thoughts and ideas? What helps you pull ideas together? And is your journal glittery green like mine?