Journaling: Helpful or Time Waster?

For several years now I’ve kept a personal daily journal in which I make note of day-to-day activities, mostly so I have something to refer too if the RCMP ask me for an alibi…

It’s mostly a series of paragraphs listing my daily events, but with little emotion or depth, and that’s why I decided to start a blog here. Don’t get me wrong, you won’t find any pearls of wisdom here, in all likelihood I will be the only person who reads this words.

If that’s the case, why am I bothering?

The answer to that is because I know myself rather well, I guess you could say I’m self-aware of what works and doesn’t work within my pea brain. I struggle to verbally communicate my feelings/thoughts/emotions with other people unless I’ve had a chance to mentally rehearse, and the written word gives me a chance to organize my thoughts.

So I guess you could say, that writing a bit here, helps me mentally switch gears to work on a story, call it my “pre-workout warm up”. I guess that’s enough “warming up”, and time to get to work!

Writing Rituals, or the lack thereof…

I just read a very interesting article (many thanks about writing rituals and how they can affect writers both amateur and professional, and that got me to thinking: “Do I have any?”

The article pointed out three main points: environment, time, and behavior. I think I see my problem…

Environment: I “try” to write at two different locations, home and work. At home, I set up my laptop at the kitchen table, and after I make a nest for my cat on the chair beside me, I can usually get a bit of writing done. But I can’t leave my laptop there, and the act of moving it really disrupts my mental processes. My RL job is shift work, so on nights I can usually type away, though my brain isn’t always at its best. I have gotten a lot of story ideas while on sleep deprived night shifts though.

Time: With my RL job being shift work, I never have the same schedule and I know my personality well enough, that I work best with routine, it brings me comfort and a sense of ease. Probably part of my ISTJ Myers Briggs profile.

Behavior: With the lack of a stable writing environment & time, it’s hard to build good writing behavior, though in one way I do have one “productive” behavior. Walking… When I’m out for a walk, I can go into “auto-pilot” and let my mind churn though the possibilities of a story. My short story writing grew out of crafting D&D roleplaying adventures decades ago, so my mind still thinks along those same lines: “If the Players do this, how do I respond?” I just translate this to what I see my protagonist doing based off of their personality.

It’s clear to me that I need to improve my “writing rituals”, though to be honest, I think I already knew. I need to make a spot in the new house for me to write and feel comfortable, it’s the “time” I foresee being the major stumbling block.

Lesson of the day: Access Copyright

Apparently if you are a Canadian creator (either printed word or visual), you can Affiliate with Access Copyright and receive a share of the Payback payment depending on how much you contributed to the repertoire of works licensed by Access Copyright.

To affiliate with Access Copyright, you must:

  • Be a writer, editor, translator or visual artist published in print format, such as in a book, magazine, newspaper or scholarly journal for which you retain reproduction rights;
  • Be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident and not reside in Quebec;
  • Be at least 18 years of age.