Words by Jordan Villanueva
If you’re a writer, you know inspiration is a fickle mistress.
If you’re a writer, and you work a 9 to 5 job, you know a long work day of researching, reading and writing can take a serious toll on your creativity. And sometimes, your will to write during your leisure time can be exhausting, especially when creativity is running low and you’re at an all-time hangry high.
As a writer who has experienced a year-long writer’s block, I can’t tell you how important it is for me to keep a journal or a super cool note app, like Evernote, handy. For me, inspiration either comes in an engulfing wave, or in short, frequent bursts. When those bursts do happen, I always whip out my phone and start jotting my ideas down, even in point form, to remember for later. As amateur as this can sound, this has helped me remember ideas, even certain phrases that have flourished into well-received work.
Here are a few reasons why you should consider keeping a journal (if you currently don’t):
1. There’s something oddly therapeutic and final about writing something down.
My mind races about a mile a minute about everything. Sometimes I have sleepless nights because my brain is in overdrive. So what do I do? Write my thoughts down. I find that once I put my thoughts on paper and “to bed” so to speak, I can finally go to bed.
2. When you start a journal, you’re essentially documenting your life.
Try to commit to writing in it at least once a day. Even if you have nothing interesting to say, note that. I find it therapeutic and empowering to reread previous entries, especially when I pour my heart out onto a page, and see how far along I’ve come. Not only does revisiting the past allow for some serious self-reflection, but it can also help to plan for the future.
3. Raise your hand if you’re not a “card person.”
I know too many people who aren’t “card people,” meaning they don’t receive cards well (i.e., trash ’em) and don’t take the time to write one out. I do not fault my friends or anyone for not being a card person, but I am definitely a card gal. I love picking out a funny card and writing something hilarious and profound for my friends. The art of writing in itself, whether it’s in a journal or a card, can help maintain (or improve!) your awesome penmanship and support a form of communication that is dying. I say this as I furiously type away on my keyboard, but my journal is for my eyes only. Sorry!
4. Fun fact of the day: Writing improves writing!
That’s right. Even if you’re not a professional writer, the process allows you to get better and better at the craft. Some days, it’s hard to translate your thoughts into words, and though this is usually the difficult part, it’s also the most creative. You literally have to play around with words, and explore ones you’ve never used or heard of before to make a coherent sentence that looks and sounds pretty. That’s learning, my friends—and who doesn’t love to learn?
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