Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Keeping a Journal

If you're just launching a freelance writing career, keeping a journal is key to productivity and success.

Let's look at some reasons why:

A journal keeps you organized.

Beginning writers are learning all sorts of new things - developing a platform, creating an online         presence, networking - not to mention fine tuning the craft of writing. It can be overwhelming. Listing what you've learned helps keep the path you are on clear so it doesn't interfere with your actual writing.

A journal keeps you on track.

Most of us are not full-time writers. We're mothers, wives, employees, care-takers, or business owners. There are lots of responsibilities vying for our attention! Keeping a journal of daily accomplishments, no matter how small, helps you see you're making progress.

A journal keeps you encouraged.

We all get discouraged for one reason or another. Breaking into freelance writing requires hard work and patience. Being able to read over the last week or month of your hard work encourages you to keep going and not give up. Emotions cannot dictate or determine your future. The real deal is written down.

Your journal doesn't have to be fancy. I have a composition notebook. Every time I apply for a freelance job, take a writing course, submit a magazine article, or work on a long term project, I jot it down in my journal. Just the act of documenting these things makes me feel great because I'm so busy, I forget.

There are several ways to organize your journal. I keep it simple. I just list the date line by line, and write what I did that day. Having a record of accomplishments is valuable for every writer.

Do you have a journal? How does it help you?


Photo credit: Smallest Forest / Foter / CC BY-NC

Kathleen Moulton is a freelance writer.  You can find her passion to bring encouragement and hope to people of all ages at When It Hurts -


Romance Book Haven said...

hi Karen

I kept one for many years and enjoyed it, but time and life got in the way, Kathleen. Must go back to it. You've given me the idea.


D. Jean Quarles said...

I switched to a computer journal a few years ago and still use it. Great reasons for using one.

Heidiwriter said...

I always think I should keep a journal, but... I never seem to keep one going. Good ideas though.

Mary Jo Guglielmo said...

I think tracking the things you do and accomplish is really useful. Just writing it down, helps internalize the accomplishment.

Shirley Corder said...

Thanks for this post, Kathleen. I keep journals (several) for different reasons. I also have one on my computer. My book, Strength Renewed, Meditations for Your Journey through Breast Cancer, is as a result of a journal I kept during cancer treatment. I also have a short e-book available as a freebie on my website - if anyone's interested.

Carolyn Howard-Johnson said...

Kathleen, I keep journals when I travel. They helped my husband count the countries he had visited when he recently published What Foreigners Need To Know About America From A To Z. He wanted to be accurate when using that data in his bio. (-: I also have a book of creative nonfiction shortstories. It's out of print but available in amazon's new and used section at I think it's a good example of what journals can do for a writer. Ha!

Kathleen Moulton said...

Thanks, everyone, for your comments!


Karen Cioffi said...

I use to have two separate journals a while ago, but stopped them. They are important though, even just for keeping track of your life. I need to get back to it.

Anne Duguid Knol said...

I'm another used-to-do-it and it was enormously helpful. I've been floundering a bit since I stopped. I'm taking to heart your suggestion that even just jotting down the daily achievements can be so helpful.

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