Are you looking to ignite your creative writing? Are you looking to reignite it? Do you simply want to start your own creative writing journal?
Then step forth as we explore six key ways to get started as well as some examples of professional journals with great prompts.
Starting your own creative writing journal has never been easier thanks to these six handy tips for getting started.
1. People Watching
Taking a moment to sit and watch the world move around you is not only a great way to check in with yourself as in a self-reflection journal, but it is also an opportune moment for creative writers to use the world about them for story ideas.
In this way, the people walking by around you become fuel for the characters and ideas in your own creative journal, thereby easing your writer's block through the borrowing of details.
In the same exercise, try to listen as acutely as possible to the details in the sound around you. One of the most important elements in stories is attention to sensual detail. Many who write seem to pay special significance to the visual and often neglect the other senses, in this instance, sound.
By including more sensual detail, we as readers lose ourselves in a piece of writing more deeply, involving ourselves within its paper folds far further than we might otherwise have done. The page becomes not only a forum for poetry but also a psychic exercise in and of itself.
3. Taking a Walk
Even if you are not the kind of person who is usually fond of taking walks, it is scientifically proven that doing so can be a great way to deal with a minor bout of writer's block.
Trying different approaches like this is inherently good for your relationship with words as it constantly refreshes the mind and allows it to try new things. There are doubtlessly swathes of older writers who might dismiss such exercises as nonsense, though for every doubter there is a believer who finds inspiration in this way.
4. Field Tripping
Of course, sometimes a walk might not be enough time to gather the requisite information you need for your poem or story. You might instead prefer to go on something of a field trip for the gathering of information.
This is something writers like Cormac McCarthy do every time they write a new novel. Particularly for his mid-80s Western Epic Blood Meridian, McCarthy took several long trips to places where the action of the novel took place in and around the border between Texas and Mexico.
Of course, your own field trips need not be so extensive as an obsessive like McCarthy, but you can take your own any way you like.
5. Real Living
Instead of any of the above exercises, you might seek to find inspiration in stories that have already happened. Whether this be in the news, gossip, or the experiences of yourself and/or your friends, these are all ripe patches for the harvesting of a good story.
Anyone can copy a story from a newspaper. The best way to engage with life in this way is to really get yourself into the headspace of the characters involved, trying with your own research and emotional resonance to imagine how it might have felt for them.
6. Free Writing
One method for eschewing conscious inspiration altogether - and one that makes a great starter before you begin writing after a hiatus or writer's block - is that of free writing. Writers might choose to use this to enhance their art as a means of bypassing the conscious mind and its various doubts.
Begin by moving your pen on the page and don't allow it to stop moving until a set amount of time has passed. If you have nothing to say immediately, say so in words repeatedly until you do.
Creative Writing Prompt Journals
You might, however, prefer to use a pre-prepared book with its own set of prompts to help you along. Thus, we have helpfully included six of our favorites.
This travel-inspired journal is bound to ignite a fire beneath the bottom of anyone who is fond of both writing and traveling. Featuring 150 pages of travel-related quotes, ideas, prompts, and pictures, this is an engaging exercise in word flow that surely should not be missed for its spontaneous trips and exercises to inspire any writer out of a funk.
This glamorous and altogether fabulous combines both writing and art, something that many journals are loath to do. There is a real binary when it comes to journaling a lot of the time, so it is nice to see these two aspects of journaling so glamorously brought together.
Within its walls, there are blocked-out sections for doodling alongside more specific prompts to answer, all in 202 pages of everyday goodness.
Anyone among us who prefers to learn and engage with the world in a more visual way will surely rejoice when they become aware of just how visually inclined this journal is. The pages are bright, the designs bold, and there is attention-grabbing art dotted throughout.
If you are looking to engage with some ekphrastic writing - that is to draw inspiration from visual content in your work - then this is surely the journal for you.
Multiple times a day, this book will prompt you to reflect and write about yourself, your practice, and the things that inspire you several times a day.
A key issue that a lot of prospective writers fall into is to only write when they feel inspiration strikes and never return to their drafts until it's next convenient. This prompts them to miss out on the challenge of regularly writing for themselves as well as all the things that this can bring out without realizing it.
Incorporating morning, mid-day, and evening prompts, this journal is an all-day affair.
Making space for your contributions each and every day, these prompts are timeless and ones that you can keep returning back to, to get the absolute most out of them. If you are looking for a great investment that is just going to keep on giving, then look no further.
With a particular focus on helping you through any writer's block you might be experiencing, this journal will help and encourage you to think differently and in a less traditional way.
If nature is more your bag, then this is no doubt the journal for you. Eschewing normal forms of composition for these types of journals by prioritizing calendar organization, there is still plenty of space for the jotting down of ideas in one place while staying organized in this way.
So, if it is a healthy balance between inspiration from the natural world and a healthy dose of organization that you seek, then look no further!
So, there you have it! Hopefully, you are now feeling ready and able to get started putting together your very own creative writing journal!
FAQs Creative Writing Journal
HOW DO YOU START A WRITER'S JOURNAL?
Starting a writer's journal is no more difficult than just being as open with yourself and the world around you as possible. If you are really struggling for inspiration, then a good place to start is to go to a public space and people-watch. This simple exercise can help to provoke a whole number of different thoughts and feelings that are lurking just beneath the surface of your consciousness.
WHY DO CREATIVE WRITERS KEEP JOURNALS?
A writer's greatest tool is their thoughts and their observations. It is useful, then, for a writer to keep track of these thoughts and sensory observations as closely as possible in case they should need them for a specific moment in a poem or piece of prose.
WHAT GOES IN A WRITING JOURNAL?
Anything can go in a writing journal - this is why no writing journal should be the same, for each one will honor the different needs and interests of each individual user. However, a writer's journal is often the home of the various sensory observations and impressions that a writer is attempting to remember for later.