How Journaling Benefits a Writer


Have you ever written something just for the heck of it? Chances are most people have not because writing is not an activity that everyone enjoys.

From the time I was twelve years old, I have journaled. Back then I called it a diary. I don’t see keeping a diary and keeping a journal as much different. However, some people may argue that they are.

Back in those younger days, I forced myself to write every day in my diary. As I got older and had less extra time, I didn’t write in my diary or journal as much.

Today I still keep a journal. But its use is limited. I use it to vent or get thoughts out of my head.

Journaling, or writing in a diary, is an informal kind of writing that has its benefits.

1. Journaling makes you a better writer.

Whether you journal every day is up to you, but it could help you become a better writer. Just like with anything else, the more you practice the better you get at whatever you are doing.

The same goes for writing.

If you are journaling every day, you are obviously going to improve your writing skills. Even better you could read books on improving your writing or have others read what you have written and give you an opinion on the content and grammar.

2. Journaling gives a writer story ideas.

Using your journal, you can easily come up with story or writing ideas if you are one of those people who truly enjoys writing. In many short stories and novels the storylines and characters are based on real-life experiences or people the author knows.

As an author, you must make your stories as believable as possible, especially if you are writing about topics that could actually happen. In order to make your stories as true to life as possible, it is important to make them believable.

If your story is too far-fetched, no one will believe it or may not even want to read it. Of course, if it is in the science fiction or fantasy genre, then you can still base your characters off of real-life people you know.

Using your journal for story ideas is a great way to benefit from your practice writing.

3. Journaling saves the writer’s family history.

Another way to benefit from your journaling is by saving your journals for future generations. Alexandra Johnson’s Leaving a Trace gives the reader an insight into journaling, not just for you, but for your grandchildren and great grandchildren as well.

Johnson states that you should expect your family to read your journal, which helps them learn more about their ancestors. A journal reveals much about the writer.

Johnson also states that you do not have to journal every minute of your life, but just those moments you feel like sharing.

4. Journaling is cheap therapy.

Finally, journaling is therapy, pure and simple.

Journaling can be used as a great means of venting, of a way to get rid of all your pent up feelings. Sometimes people have trouble verbalizing their feelings so they can write down their feelings and chose whether to share them with someone.

Writing down your feelings doesn’t have to be shared with anyone unless you wish to do so. You can use either an actual journal or even just a composition notebook. What you use is up to you.

The main purpose is just to get your thoughts down on paper so that you feel better about yourself.

Final thoughts

Journaling has its good benefits. How do you feel about journaling? Do you journal? If so, in what ways do you use it.

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