A page of my journal is like a cake of portable soup. A little may be diffused into a considerable portion.James Boswell
I continued with my journaling last semester. When you find something that works its hard to give it up, and I'm not saying that all writers should journal I just find it to be an invaluable tool. First, it gets all the stuff out that I'm worrying about that has nothing to do with creative writing, kind of a dumping ground for my brain. Next, it gives me a focus for the day. If I just sit and write in my journal than everything else seems doable. And lastly, the journal entries are really fun to read months and years after you wrote them. These little bits of personal history tell me a lot about where my head was not only as a writer.
At the writer's conference Jeffery Deaver gave a very funny talk using his past journal entries. I think some of them were embellished, creative license he is after all a writer, but because he is a very successful writer it was fun to listen to his entries when he wasn't so famous. It was all in there self-doubt, self-deprecation, humor, stories about the ways he procrastinated.
I recently found my own journal from 1993 that gave me some interesting story and poetry starters. But it also gave me detailed memories of a time 16 years ago I would have never remembered.
Today, if you have no idea how you would start journaling take one of Bernadette Mayer's ideas and just begin. This is a great list I found online when I was researching her poem, Midwinter Day.Now get back to work!
The Writing Nag