Like any muscle, your brain needs to be regularly worked out in order to perform at its best. If you’re a writer it’s important to keep exercising your creative and intellectual centre, even when you’re not getting down to complete a specific project. Keeping a writer’s notebook is an important part of keeping your brain in shape and can also provide you with a handy list of ideas and prompts for future writing ventures!
The trick here is to make the journal a part of your daily life so that it doesn’t feel like an extra step in the writing process. Easier said than done? Not with these easy tips!
If you do a quick web search for “writing prompts,” you will find that you could spend days just reading through the possibilities, making the “finding a prompt” process even more time-consuming than the writing part! Instead of waiting until you’re stumped before jumping headfirst into prompt options, begin writing down interesting ideas or sentence starters now. When you do find yourself coming up against a tough case of writer’s block, you’ll be ready with some creative options for getting the juices flowing again!
Take Advantage of the Mornings
A morning diary is a great way to get your brain thinking creatively right away. Whether you write down your dreams or stream-of-consciousness stories or simply begin with answering a prompt, starting your day with some choice wordplay will warm up your mind, preparing you to make note of interesting story or character possibilities as you go.
Pay Attention to the Minutiae
Don’t think it’s very exciting to write about how you tie your shoelaces or brush your teeth? Think again. Start jotting down the small details of your day, focusing on creating as rich a description as possible, and before you know it you’ll be armed with a wide selection of interesting phrases to build your character descriptions or plot points.
Pick a Format That Works
If you stick pretty close to your writing desk all day, having a large journal ready and open could be an easy way to make notes as ideas pop up. If you’re more nomadic, however, you may find that a small, reporter-style notebook is more complementary to your lifestyle and needs. Most people, however, find that a combination of these extremes is the most helpful! Having more than one journal around means you’ll always have your ideas (and an easy outlet for writing down future ones) at hand.