Staying Confident

    The beginning of the year is a bit like staring at a blank page. Your not quite sure what’s going to happen or where you’re are going to be at the end of those 365 days. Sure you can plan it out step for step and hope for the best. Much like writers do when they outline a story, but at the end of it all life throws surprises at you.

At every corner there’s another twist or bend in the road and sometimes you find yourself back tracking to figure out just where you went wrong. There’s nothing wrong with this. There’s that phrase that goes around when life throws you a curve ball that says, “one step forward and two steps back.”

Or something like that.

The good part about it is you’ve still gained an inch or two. Doesn’t mean you have to cry redo. There’s still that tiny step forward that you managed to take each and every time and the point is you keep going. You’re going to make mistakes. Bad things are going to happen. You can cry about them, maybe even ponder them for a bit, but don’t settle on them.

Don’t let those bad things or horrible mistakes define you. Think on them when they happen. Learn from them and then go on. Keep reaching for whatever goals that you set for yourself at the beginning of the year and let the set backs go.

Easier said then done, I know but it is possible.

A bit of confidence helps in these situations. Even when your down and not sure what the hell your doing you can always fake that confidence.
Fake it til you make it.

Yes, I know I keep throwing random quotes at you but I hope your getting the message. There’s a hundred different sayings that tell us to keep moving. To keep striving. To not settle and they’ve been told to us all our lives.
Why?

Cause those people that told us are right. You have to fake ti til you make it. And yes it’s easier said then done but that’s why you do it. To prove to yourself that you can.

So this year, no matter what life throws at you. Take a deep breath, smile and tackle your goals with a vigor that would surprise your mother, or father. (or whatever figure head you have in your life.)

Here’s to making this New Year a great one!

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Reaching That Pipe Dream

       We all have what’s called a pipe dream. That fantasy in your head that you know will never actually happen but it’s nice to dwell on every now and then. Something that keeps us motivated and heading in the right direction. 

Having these dreams aren’t horrible, they sometimes even help, but you got to stay realistic as well when setting up your goals. We all know that midnight fantasy of being interviewed by Jimmy Kimmel is probably never going to happen. Though the idea of seeing your book in a bookstore, and maybe even sitting behind a booth at a book-con is a definite possibility.

As you go into the new year thinking of what you want to accomplish there’s probably a few things that you should keep in mind while writing out that list of goals.

Keep your goals S.M.A.R.T

Specific,

Measurable

Achievable

Result-Focused

Time-Bound

In other words write out a specific, realistic goal that you can achieve in a certain amount of time. I’m sure about now you’ve all heard of this S.M.A.R.T goal method and have read or watched some video on it. It’s probably one of the more well known of the goal planning methods because it forces you to break down your goal into bite size chunks that you can accomplish with enough persistence and determination.

Last year my only real goal was to be more productive. It was a good enough goal and a obtainable, but I didn’t break it down further then that while planning it out. A mistake I see on my part as I look back over the year.

Was I more productive?

Well…

  • I wrote a story.
  • Been through at least 4 round of revisions.
  • Started a vlog/blog. The vlog is on hiatus because of technical difficulties. (I.E. I don’t have a fully functional camera.)
  • Set up a website…sort of. It’s mixed in with the blog which is fine for now.
  • Nudged myself into the writing community with 350 followers on twitter. Not bad for an anti-social who can go weeks on end not talking to anyone unless absolutely necessary. (Husband, kids…..you get the picture.)

That was just writing goals that I’ve managed to strike off. There was also a couple of trips my husband and I took that knocked a couple things off my bucket list, the 6-weeks of back to school that I did that got me my promotion at work and

…yeah that’s about it.

I’d say that was a pretty productive year and I’m quite proud of the things I’ve accomplished and the things I’ve learned on the way. I’m finding my groove and what works for me and what doesn’t and am more aware of my draw backs.

Like the weeks where I do nothing at all.

At the beginning of 2017 I got into Bullet Journaling. Which is a basic system where you grab a notebook, set up an index and key and depending on what you want, you can either start out a yearly overview of events (Future Log) or dive right in and just make a list of the days in the month, write out what happens in that month and move on to the first day in your BuJo and make a list of things you need to accomplish in that day. What you finish in that day you cross off, what you don’t finish you migrate to the next day / page. Whatever. It really depends on how you setup your Bullet Journal and I’ll leave links so you can check out the original idea by the creator and a few other popular sites because I’m horrid at explaining these sort of things.

Ryder Carroll Bullet Journal

Bullet Journal 101 by BohoBerry

Anyways, I started a Bullet Journal in  the beginning of the year and flipping through I notice a lot of weeks where I just didn’t bother to do anything. Their either blank or the things I had planned aren’t crossed off at all.

I tried to get better at this towards the end of the year when I started noticing the trend and I have. Sort of. These past couple of weeks I’ve caught myself falling back into those grooves of nothingness and I’m fighting it. The fact that I have something to focus on now is a definite plus and I’m hoping to keep at getting better at catching myself in 2018.

The Bullet Journal has worked in keeping me accountable for my time and reminding me when I”m wasting it. Which is what I needed, now I need to take it to the next level and start really focusing on my goals and how I need to accomplish them.

Which is where the S.M.A.R.T goals system comes in.

I have three main goals this year.

  1.  Publish Stop the Raven   

Or at the very least begin the process via querying agents and publishers.

I believe I’m close to this goal. A few more CP / Beta reads and I can fix what’s wrong and hopefully move to the next step.

During that time period I’m also going to be researching agents and publishers and all those diddly bits. I have to research on how to research all that. If you know what I mean. (So much research)

      2. Is a personal goal.

          Something I’ve been saying I would do year in and year out and really need to focus on it this year. I think you are getting this gist of this so I won’t go into details.3.

      3. Build on my author’s plateform. 

      Again this is going to require research on how to get better at this, cause if this year has proven anything .I suck at this part.

  • Blogging regularly seems to be part of it.
  • Buying a Camera at some point to start vlogging again will help
  • And of course other bits and pieces that I’m working on. (Like the not talking to people for weeks on end.)

For now that’s what I got. Those are the three big plans for 2018 and I don’t think I’ve thought of anything totally extreme. I’m hoping this year is going to be as amazing as 2017 was for me.

What about any of you? Any goals that you are wanting to achieve, or any other methods to reaching those goals. I would love to hear them.

Happy New Year everyone!

Keep Reading

2018 is right around the corner. Literally, there’s what two (?) weeks left for the entire year.

*Checks Calendar*

Sorry. There’s 11 days left and people are wrapping up all kinds of things. i.e. gifts, goals and of course their reading lists. I for one am one of those people. I have 458 pages left on Stephen King’s IT and I’ll have reached my lofty goal of 15 books this year. For those of you who read 50 to a 100 books in one year this may not seem like a whole lot, but I started out with the mind set of reading 12 books and finished 15, most of those pretty good sized books like IT.

If you haven’t seen it, just know that in any print it’s a behometh of a book.

That’s not including all the books on writing and my 99 cent romance novels I get on Kindle. I don’t count those for some reason, though I guess I could and that would lead my reading number into the twenties, but we won’t go there.

This blog isn’t about my reading goals, or what I have and haven’t read. We could get into that another time, or you can just check out my goodreads list on the side bar.

This blog is about why you should be reading. Even when it’s the end of the year and things are usually wrapped up tight with a pretty little bow on top.

My family, heck my 13 year old niece, could attest that I’m never one without a book. In fact, I already know which book I’m reading when I finish up IT because that’s the kind of person I am. I keep reading.

For various reasons.

          1. It’s my safe space.

This past couple of years you’ve heard that word a lot. People needing places to go for quiet and a sense of security. I never really needed a specific place, I just needed a book and a place to seat and I can find myself escaping whatever dilemma is eating away at me and I’m fine. Of course, like with most safe spaces, you are going to have to come out and deal with those problems but while I’m reading that’s best left for another time.

         2. It’s relaxing

I don’t know about you, but when I start reading a really good book I go into a kind of trance. To the point I don’t hear or see anyone else around me. I once had someone rip a book from my hands cause they’ve been trying to get my attention. ( The death glare they received.) But they had been saying my name for ten minutes, and even attempted to wave their hands in front of the pages. Never even seen or heard them.

But when that happens and I finally come back to reality, usually at the end of the book, I feel like I’ve had one of those really good nights sleep that you only see on Hollywood movies.

       3. Books are Informative

Most of the time we don’t realize we’re learning something while reading until it comes up in later discussion. Especially when reading fantasy novels. Those are the good books though. The ones that teach you things and broadens your horizons without actually telling the readers what it’s doing. It just happens.

One minute, you are clueless about some old roman king… ruler… whatever and the next you’re reading about the same roman leader in a text book at school and you’re the only kid that has an answer for the teacher.

This honestly happened to me in Highschool and it was hilarious when I had to explain how I knew who Charlamagne was before even reading the history book.

Of course non-fiction books are even better at this, but you’re getting the idea.

 Fantasy is best for those random bits of facts that you don’t realize are being sprinkled in there until it’s to late. Non-fiction is better at actually teaching you stuff. Seriously, if you are a writer and find yourself lacking ideas for stories, pick up a couple of non-fictions stories and see where it takes you. I mean where do you think all those, “based on true events” movies come from.

                  4. You pick up the Do’s and Don’ts of writing

This is aimed more for my scribbler buddies out there. At some point in our writing careers we start picking apart other peoples writing subconsciously. Rather it’s a friend’s writing or the Harry Potter book that you’re reading for the umptenth time. We start looking for those things that everyone seems to be doing, or shouldn’t be doing, and it helps in our own writing.

We usually don’t mean to do this. Especially when we’re just trying to sit back and enjoy a good book but it happens and sometimes it’s for the better. Sometimes it’s for the worst because you have to rewrite an entire chapter that is starting to read like a Stephen King book.

Yes, I’ve been guilty of this.

But that’s why you should read widely and not stick to one author or genre. Harking back to that previous point of ‘broaden your horizons.’

                 5. Last, but not least, it helps you find your voice

Again, this is aimed for those writers that pop on here, but reading widely and various different authors can in fact help you find your voice. Over time you find that you’ve attempted, either intentionally or not, to write like one specific author or another and some where in between stalled WIP’s and half forgotten narratives, you’ve found a particular way you like to write.

You’ve found your voice.

Now this isn’t to say that that’s going to be your voice from now til the end of your writing days. It could change. It could evolve. It happens because people change. You aren’t who you were twenty years ago and you won’t be who you are now twenty years from now.

You grow and so does you’re writing.

That’s why you need to keep reading so that your writing can keep evolving. The more you read the more your brain tucks all that useless information inside and the more you have to use toward your stories and your characters. Think of it as an unlimited supply of ammo that you can continue stocking up on anytime, anywhere.


Rather you read for enjoyment, or knowledge, or whatever. Just keep reading. Keeping swallowing up those stories and carry them with you.

What to buy that writer

            Christmas time is coming around and people are getting excited for more family get togethers. The Christmas parties, the traveling, and of course the gifts. The best and worse part of the holidays would be the gifts. Coming up with gifts for everyone that you know isn’t going to earn you an eye roll is by far the most stressing inducing part of the whole ordeal.

That’s not including the meal prep and get together with the whole family.

But if you have a writer in your life, particularly a beginning writer that’s looking to get serious, here are a few items that might just perk up their day.

  1. Books on writing advice.

          There is plenty of books out there that can help someone figure out just about any stage of the writing process. There’s a wide array of information out there ready for said writer in your life but to narrow down a couple of my favorites.

There is always the most well known (also termed the writers bible) and that would be Stephen King’s ‘On Writing’

In his book, he gives a bit of a backstory on himself and how he got into writing and turned it into a career and then he gets into some of his most well known writing advice and even a list of book recommendations.

Next favorite, and I just realized she has published another one, is Angela Ackerman’s Writer’s Guides. She’s got the Emotional Thesaurus, the Positive and Negative traits and a whole slow of other books that is more reference material for writers looking to make great characters and settings. A definite must have in a writer’s arsenal when fleshing out those stories.

Like I said there is a slew of reference material that you can browse through on Amazon and no matter what stage of writing your writer friend is on, they’ll be thankful.

  1. Notebooks and Pens

     Writers write.

             That’s just what we do. Rather it be on the computer, or phones, or on that scrap of napkin at the coffee shop. We write. Everywhere. So why not buy that writer in your life a couple of note books and some pens to do just that. Don’t have to be fancy. Could probably go down to the local wal-mart and pick out some cute notebooks and decent pack of pens and we’d be happy.

Though I can be sure said writer would be more thrilled if you actually put in the effort and buy them that leather bound journal with the string that wraps around to keep it closed and those beautiful fine liner color pens to go with it. But really any notebook would do and would be greatly appreciated even though we already have like a hundred other notebooks lying around the house.

  1. Coffee Mugs and Candles

           Okay, so it’s not essential. We don’t really need the coffee mugs, or candles, or even a t-shirt that defines as writers. We are who we are. But just like having those name plates at the office, with your name and title on them, or getting one of those, “World’s Best Dad” mugs. Their nice to have around, just for the sake of having them. Not to mention that candles and caffeine help us relax and get those words out of our system.

  1. Books

              I’m not talking about more of those advice books. I mean just regular every day books because most writers love to read as much as they love to write. It’s not a must do requirement to be a writer. It just happens to come with the territory and I can guarantee there’s a wishlist of books sitting around somewhere.

It’s the never ending lists that get’s added to daily. Yeah that one. Take a look if they have it written down, or ask them.

Better yet.

Get them a gift card to their favorite bookstore and let them go nuts for however long they decide to get lost in those bookshelves.

5. An Ear to Listen

                  Every writer needs that ear to listen to. The one that let’s them bounce off ideas and just talk through random plot points that are probably never going to take place in the actual story.

Not to mention that extra pair of eyes that they can show bits of story to so they can get some idea if they’re on the right track and not demand to read the rest of the story.

Because it’s not finished. We just need to know if this particular part is working or not.

So, the best gift you could give is your time. Let us run ideas by you and rant a few times about how the story or character isn’t going the way it’s supposed to. Sure we have writer buddies we can do this with. It’s just nice to have a friend that goes along with our craziness as well.

So there you have it. A handful of items that you can give to that writer in your life that hopefully makes shopping for at least one person less stressful and time consuming.

Getting out of that funk

So you’ve reached a hitch in your story. You’ve got a particular scene, or arc, or something that just isn’t letting you move forward and you’re pounding your head against the desk until your brains slip out.

That ‘s fine. It happens to the best of us. Especially when something unexpected pops up in your story and you run with it and next thing you know your’e hanging with some new found friends in Peru.

Take a moment. Breath. Here’s a few tips that I’ve found worked great whenever I’ve come across that thing people like to term writer’s block.

1. Take a break. 

 

Go for a walk. Watch a movie. Read a book. Do something that has nothing to do with your book. Sure, you will probably be thinking about how you’re supposed to be working on that book but at the end of the day, when your mind is rested and refreshed, you’ll be thankful for the break.

 

2. Jump Scenes

Maybe that particular scene just isn’t coming to you. Could be something that needs to be worked out that you haven’t gotten to or your just not feeling this bit of the story. Try moving forward. Going to something you are excited about and work backwards. Sometimes figuring out the solutions first helps solve the problem. If that makes any sense. Or you could rewrite the scene in a different point of view. Escaping into a different perspective of the story sometimes helps those creative juices. Like seeing things from the villains out look to get back into the story. Either way. Shake things up.

3. Do some digging

Could be you don’t have a feel for the characters. That’s okay. That happens. Especially for those of us pantsers who dive right into a story with a single minded plan and a few ideas. I hate to say it but you need to do some planning. At least have a rough sketch of who your characters are and where they come from. Even if you do already know these things, sometimes your characters need a change of scenery to expose them a bit more.

I sometimes like to your write up backstories for my characters, or future stories. I have one short story written up that’s basically a origin story for one of my characters. Another short story that I have is based sometime after my original WIP and shows where a character could be going. Both of which are me just playing out scenarios that help expose my characters just a little bit more.

4.Talk It Out

Find a friend or fellow writer who knows about your WIP and willing to lend an ear. They can add some two cents to a particular scene or plot hole that is holding you back. Who knows maybe they’ll throw in some new idea that could completely change your story for the better. This happened when I was talking it out with my husband. He’s not a writer himself but doesn’t mean he didn’t have a few fresh takes on how to surprise my readers.

Then again you might not have anyone around. If that’s the case turn to the expert. Yourself. Hearing the story and its problems out loud can help you pinpoint where the kinks need to be worked out.

5. Push Through

Sometimes you just need to force your way through that sludge. Keep writing the story out. No matter if it’s nonsense and the characters are rambling on about a trip to Peru where they ate some funny tasting fish and woke up two days later in some wonky motel with a man named Bubba. Don’t stop. Just keep going. You can always edit that crap out later when the stories finished and you’ve gotten some perspective on how you want these bits to play out better.

Either way.

You’ve gotten an interesting backstory about a trip to Peru and a bit of your characters been fleshed out while you rambled on from one paragraph to the next about Bubba and the funny tasting fish.

Point Is.

Don’t Stop.

Walt Disney said it best when he said

Keep moving forward.”

Taking that Break….or not.

Taking that break…

or not.

So, you finished Nanowrimo. Worked out 50,000 words or so and are now looking into jumping into the editing phase of that writing process. Which I hope is what you’re looking into and not ways to share that first draft that you just pounded out in thirty days cause nobody needs to be seeing that first draft.

Ever.

But rather you finished that first draft or the sixth revision. We all know you need to take a bit of a break before plunging head first into those edits. Various people will tell you different time frames. Some say a month, others say a couple of weeks.

Really, it’s up to you how long you take away from that manuscript. Sometimes you don’t have a choice in how long you are away from your work. Beta readers and editors take your manuscript to make it better and it’s a waiting game while they pick apart that precious baby of yours.

 Here are  five things you can do with your new found “free time.”

  1. Work on another WIP

    If your one of those people that either make a living off your writing or can’t imagine life without some kind WIP in front of you. Chances are you have other story ideas needing to be let out. Rather it’s editing another manuscript or outlining that next great story. You have other stuff to work on.

  2. Spend time with family

    Being a writer you are always in your own little world and that means a neglected family. Rather it be spouse or siblings. Maybe some friends that haven’t seen you in a while. They probably want to know your alive and get some kind of an update on what you been up to.

  3. Read a book

    There’s a good chance you have a TBR list a mile long. Most writers are readers but they tend to neglect those much loved books whenever they are knee deep in the trenches of their WIP. Spend a week or so checking off those books that have been collecting dust on the shelves.

  4. Watch a television series

    Maybe your brain is fried from the amount of editing and research you had to do to complete that recent revision on a WIP and you don’t want to look at another word. That’s fine. There’s plenty of good TV series and movies on television. Probably wouldn’t hurt to sit back and watch a few.

  5. Play a video game

    Don’t like television. That’s fine. There’s plenty of video games. Some longer than others, some short and sweet. Either way, they are a good way to transport to another world and still experience that story telling mode.

Either way. It doesn’t hurt to take a break from that current work, relax. Put some distance between you and that story and come back to it after a few weeks with a fresh pair of eyes that will be more willing to see what needs to be worked on.

December Goals.

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A few things that I’ve accomplished in November…..

Not a heck of a lot to be honest. I’ve got a small card that I have written my goals down on and it’s pinned to my planner so that I have to stare at it on the daily and I’m trying my hardest to finish this list. Being as it’s nearly December and the end of the year is coming up fast.

Here’s a list of things I want to accomplish in the next month.

  1. Finish editing Call the Raven. (Just started the actual revisions on this)

  2. Finish Reading IT (I’m half way through this book, so cross your fingers that this happens)

  3. Start up Blog Regularly. (This is coming along nicely as you can see)

  4. Exercise regularly. (I tried to say daily, but I know me and I need that day in between work outs. So regularly as in more then once a week. At least three times a week.)

  5. Drink more water. Eat more fruits and Veggies (Again one of those personal goals.)

It’s short. I realize this, but all this is supposed to happen in 30 days so I’m keeping it short for a reason. Next month, when I do an actual bi-monthly goal lists, I’ll make it longer and see what happens in that time. This is more so cause I’m late to the game but wanted some way of keeping myself accountable for the month of December.

Keep working on that story

With NANOWRIMO wrapping up and everyone preparing to move on from their manuscripts, rather finished or not, here’s a few reasons why you should keep working on that story.

  1. Because it’s your baby.

That story you started is a bit like an infant. It’s small and vulnerable and needs just a bit of attention and a lot of patience to become the best it can be. You need to take the time to mold it into something presentable worth sharing to the world.

2. The more you write the better you get.

You can’t just do something one time and expect to be great at it.

Okay, it happens at times. There are those who just ooze “natural born talent.” Like whatever they do they’re just great at it the moment they try.

Here’s a little secret.

Very few people are actually like this.

Even the greats writers of today, Stephen King, J.K. Rowling, etc., all had to hone their skills and go over a few bumps in the road before they could be labeled the greats.

That’s life.

Here’s a motivational quote for you. “Nothing worth having comes easy.”

So even if you feel like you’re writing sucks now, keep at it. You’ll get better and will one day write your own masterpiece.

With that being said….

3.Why not start now?

Why not start that masterpiece now? Why not take those 50,000 words that you just typed up in November and edit, revise and form them into something worth sharing. Maybe you could get that publishing deal with those words. Or you could take a look at the manuscript and realize you could write something better.

Something worth working on.

My current WIP ,Call The Raven, isn’t the original story of a great idea. It’s more like the third attempt at an idea that wouldn’t leave me alone.

But I know that if I’d just written that original first draft and just looked at it and said “It’s good, but not publishing good” it would have been left on some forgotten hard drive by now and not currently being revised for the umpteenth time, but a hundred times better then the original.

In my opinion.

Point is, why not start working on that writing skill. Gaining knowledge and working towards publishing that awesome novel that you just spent a month slaving over.

    1. Finish what you start

If you’re one of the many people that start projects and don’t finish them.

Stop that!

I mean it.

It does you no good and doesn’t help you improve in the least. Even if it’s that crazy fanfiction that you started and decided was horrible.

Finish it. You don’t have to post it.

You can even delete it afterwards or print it out and bury it in the backyard.

Whatever you do with the story once it’s finished doesn’t matter. Point is you finished it.

Just like this story that you started back in the beginning of November, or whenever you started it, you need to finish it.

You can forget about it once it’s finished, but that’s beside the point.

5. The world needs writers.

Just like the world needs painters and musicians and any other form of art that people are willing to do. The world needs writers. Despite what the general population believes, the world is run by writers. Journalists, screenplay writers, bloggers etc etc.


All of them are writers. They put their words out there and make the world think, either through newspapers, magazines, movies or books. Either way. They are needed.

More of them are going to be needed because someone is going to have to keep the stories going. So write, paint and do whatever it is that makes you happy.

Even if nothing you write ever get’s shown to the world. Even if the work is just for you.

Know that you are needed and that nothing should stop you from writing.

Things to be Grateful For

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Truly aware that I shouldn’t need a holiday to realize what I’m thankful and I don’t, but figuring today is that holiday here’s a short list that I thank the universe for on a daily basis.

      1. My family and friends.

        This list is long but includes, my wonderful husband, my two beautiful children. Three people of which came into life unexpectedly and I wouldn’t change it for the world. My mother and father, the two that raised me into the strong, stubborn person that I am today. My brothers….you’re getting the idea.

      2. A steady job

        Of which I do actually enjoy despite the constant complaints that it’s the same drama in and out. It is, but that’s besides the point. I’ve met some pretty wonderful people at this job and I’ve enjoyed working there from the start.

      3. Long distance communication device. A.K.A Internet

        Superficial?

        Maybe a bit, but without the internet I would not have been able to connect with and stay connected to all of my writer buddies, nor would I be able to put up this blog on a semi-weekly basis.


        Okay, so I’m getting better at the semi-weekly thing, but it’s a work in progress. As is most things in life.

      1. The ability to make quirky characters.

        I am thankful for the ability to create and share my characters and their stories with the world. I’ve always loved making up scenarios and playing them out, rather I was 5 years old playing with my barbie dolls or 15 years old writing stories in english class. It’s always been a delight for me.

      2. The fact that Christmas is around the corner.

        This one is pretty self explanatory. I love Christmas. The togetherness, the excitement and thrill that is in the air. It’s always been a favorite holiday of mine and I suspect it will remain so even when I’m old and gray.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Every Writer Needs to Keep a Journal

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Notebooks, journals, those random bits of paper that you find at the back of your desk drawer. All of them a great places to jot down notes, make that quick list or essentials or just write down that really motivating quote that you just read.

Me, personally, I keep three. One to jot down scenes and random ideas. Another for planning and yet another for quotes. We won’t go into the odd bits of printer paper
shoved into said journals from work when inspiration struck at the oddest times.
My love for notebooks and journals knows no bounds. Mainly because they can be used for a great many things.

 

1. Great Place To Keep Notes.

The first and obvious is they’re great for keeping notes.

Need to remember to grab that thing at the store, or need a list of something that your kids want for birthdays or Christmas. Just grab a notebook. Don’t have to be a fancy one, just a small $0.50 one would do the trick. Keep it in your wallet or back pocket.

Simple.

Smart.

Everything at your fingertips.

Or you could just use that notepad app on your phone..that’s fine too. Unless you’re like me who constantly loses, breaks, or forgets her phone and doesn’t have those notes readily available on said device.

I’ve found notebooks/journals to be slightly more reliable.

2. Good for writing out ideas

Need to jot down that one line that you know you’re going to be forgetting later, I’ve got a notebook that has whole chapters in it from stories written three years ago right along with my blog posts and those crazy writer tags.

Why?

Because I’ve told myself this lie countless time while I’m laying in bed, ready to sleep after a long day, and come up with some epic scene. By morning I’ve forgotten most of it and am banging my head on the wall trying to remember even a portion what was said or done.

I’ve learned my lesson of course; as my co-workers could attest to. Now I’ve been known to stop mid work day to write down that crazy scene, or outline that next part of my book. My friend rolls her eyes at me but she knows it’s done for a reason.

With it I’ve managed to remember names, places and some of my favorite lines. Even managed to rewrite several scenes from different stories. It’s also kinda fun to go back and look through your old notes and see how far you’ve come as a writer.

Gives you a bit of a moral boost just to see how far you’ve come.

3. Journaling is essential for not only motivation, but for mental health

Keeping a journal has also been known to help boost ones moral.

When you keep consistent notes on what days bothered you and why, you tend to have a better understanding on what things you should probably avoid. Or things you need to prepare for that you know is going to trigger some sort of non-stellar mood. (Yes, I totally used that word. Who cares.)

Mood Journals, as their sometimes called, allows you to write out your feelings. Especially those that you don’t feel like expressing to the world. Their private and you need them to stay private, but it’s not good to bottle things up. A journal is a way to get them out without telling it to the world if you’re are not ready for that.

 

4. They make amazing planners.

I’m sure by now, you’ve heard of bullet journals. Where you keep a journal as a planner and you can create and change your own lay outs. Making it easy to add and remove things at will.

Yep, I’ve got one of those.

It’s been great this year for my goal of being more productive. It’s help. To an extent. I find that when I actually take the time to write down my tasks in bullet form the night before I’m more liable to complete those tasks the next day. When I don’t bother…well.

You get the picture.

You can do various different spreads from word count goals to weekly blog posts layouts. Even financial and TBR spreads. There really is no limit to what you can place inside these little planner/journals. Allowing you to keep everything in one, easy to reach spot.

Bullet journals are also good for adding in those little things. I have quotes, photos and movie tickets. Small little momentos from the past year, not to mention a handful of receipts that I might need one day.

People have Memory pages dedicated to specific events or even months, some have mood calendars. Like I said, a litter of versatile ideas with no end in sight.

 

5.  Fun to look back at all your crazy ideas and note worthy days.

I’ve kept journals for as long as I could remember. Long before my for sure writing days. All the way back to my middle school days when I would write down my angst ridden poems.

I still have them. Their sitting in a box somewhere and whenever I move I glance over them, cringing at my 11 year old self and smiling at the same time.

Journals are good for that. They allow you glance back in time, rather it been last week or 20 years ago. Little time capsules that you can stow away and look back on whenever you wish .Especially if you keep photos and little diary like entries in them. Next year, I’m going to try to do more of that. Take more photos and paste them into my bullet journal.

Something to add onto what I’ve already cataloged and will hopefully have for a long time. It’s my firm reason to believe that everyone needs to keep a journal.

Writers especially. We tend to be scattered brained at times, jumping from one thought to the next, never really sure where those little roads might lead and what might be forgotten in the long run.

Even if it’s a small $0.50 notebook and a pencil. Grab it. Keep it in your purse, pocket, whichever and jot down all those random little things in your life. Ideas, to-do lists, those moments that impress upon you the most.

After a while you’ll be glad you did.