Scribbles Blog Hop

This week I am participating in Scibbles Hop and along with fellow writers and bloggers, will share the role my journal plays in my own writing practice.  Below is a list of other Scribbles Hoppers.  I hope you have a chance to visit them all and read about how their journals add to their writing experience.

A journal is also a tool for self-discovery, an aid to concentration, a mirror for the soul, a place to generate and capture ideas, a safety valve for the emotions, a training ground for the writer, and a good friend and confidant.  (Ron Klug)

To some people a journal is some of the above, to others it is all this and more.  But I think everyone would say their journal is REFLECTIVE.  That’s the key for me.  It’s the personal element of putting pen to paper, the slower pace of forming sentences that forces words to gel in a way it might not when hands are flying across the keyboard. 

I scribble lots of unrelated things in my journal, from a quote that inspires me, to a tip I heard about plotting.  I’ll also write portions of a whole such as a paragraph for an important moment or an exchange of dialogue.    While I rarely write large pieces by hand, I will plot out a scene in my journal before I write it on my laptop.  I will jot down the sequence of events in point form, any foreshadowing I want to include, even a line of dialogue that I have in my head.  By the time I set fingers to keys, this first step keeps the scene flowing, making the writing more fluid and the writer more focused.  Whether I have to refer back to the page or not, the scene is clear in my head, along with all the hits I need to make.  Before I started doing this, I often remembered something afterwards that I missed in the heat of the writing moment, even a subtle interchange that was important but then it’s hard to go back and interrupt what’s already written.

Below is a photo of a page from my journal of a scene that had to be just right, an example of how I plot the scene before I write it.  (Spoilers for those of you following my critique posts.) 

I couldn’t resist sharing another writer’s journal.  With special permission from my six year old daughter, I have included a page from her writing journal.  This journal is sparkly pink with a big “A” for “awesome” because her initial was sold out.  I think she’s pretty awesome, and so is her writing.  This photo is from her WIP “Kitty and Natalie.”


Leave a comment and tell me how your journal helps you.  And don’t forget to check out the other Scribbles Hop Bloggers and their insights into the use of writing journals:

Danielle La Paglia

Anne Michaud 

Victoria D Griesdoorn 

Ren Warom 

J.A. Campbell 

Tammy Crosby 

Maria Kelly 

Chrissey Harrison 

Natalie Westgate 

Tony Noland 

Larry Kollar

19 Responses to Scribbles Blog Hop

  1. Marianne – you’re handwriting is so neat and readable compare to mine (and doctors)!!! Aw, and your daughter’s journal is so cute:) So writing is in the family, I see…

    Happy Scribbles Blog Hop, dear ?

  2. Oh I sooooo stoked to see your daughters journal! That is simply precious. 🙂 And you’re right, it’s such a personal thing to us our journals. Like living things. 🙂

  3. You have such lovely handwriting! That’s cool that I can actually read the words from here LOL! Your daughter’s journal is impressive – that apple didn’t fall far from the tree.

    • Partly my handwriting, partly my husband’s obsession with getting better and better cameras 🙂 What you say about my daughter…I hope so – she’s getting an earlier start at it than I did, for sure.

  4. It’s really clear that your journal, and journalling, is an absolutely critical phase in most of your writing, and really helps you with the feel and planning of a new piece.

    To date this aspect of journalling has escaped me; I find the slower pace of recording my ideas, and the inability to move chunks of text around frustrating, but maybe I should try it as a discipline, and see if it bears fruit…

    I was also struck by the apparent style similarities between your daughter’s handwriting and yours… Was your handwriting like hers when you were six?

    • Different things work for different people so if a journal isn’t for you, don’t force it. I too can’t write long pieces by hand but find random thoughts, ideas and inspiration come out easier on paper than on screen. As for handwriting, mine will literally change by the day. They’re all pretty neat, I would say, but the style of my script will change vastly from one day to the next, with my mood maybe. The pages all look like someone different wrote them. Odd, I know. So far I haven’t noticed this with my daughter. Thanks for visiting, TJ.

  5. Oh, I love your planning style of journaling. I wish I had my mind as made up. I cross things out and rewrite over them so much my pages are an absolute mess. I love your daughter’s journal. You’re such a good mentor for her and it looks like she’s on her way to being an awesome author in her own right. 🙂

    • I knew she’d steal the attention!! 🙂 I’m glad to let her shine – I’m so proud of her love of writing. I can’t wait to find out if she buys the pet…..

  6. I started doing therapeutic journaling a long time ago. Very helpful in getting my thoughts straight. When I started to write fiction seriously, I made a point to keep the two kind of writing separate. It’s been a great discipline for me.

  7. Awww, the daughter’s journal entry was as cute as my Mason shot! I do hope he starts writing stories too. I’ll make sure he has the physical tools.

    I think I was six when I started using paragraphs. I realized that all the other books I was reading had them, and thus they had to be important. I wish I knew about flash fiction when I was a kid, I think just about any kid can concentrate long enough to write a flash!

  8. I’ve had that so often, where I forget to include an idea and then it’s very awkward to go back and add it to a scene later.

    Loving your daughter’s notebook! Also, as a Natalie, I’m all for going to buy pets 😀 I did go to get a kitten one day and ended up bringing two back hehe I still have them now as cats 🙂

  9. Pingback: Evolution of a Journal « Danielle La Paglia

  10. “It’s the personal element of putting pen to paper, the slower pace of forming sentences that forces words to gel in a way it might not when hands are flying across the keyboard.” <— This sums it up for me right here.

    And I love that you shared your daughter's journal, too. What an amazing thing to share with your child

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