Nonfiction Editor, Zachary Benavidez, blogs about why he keeps a journal.
This summer I started doing something I haven’t done since college: I started journaling again. In grad school, our writing professors encouraged us to keep notebooks in our pockets to jot down instances of inspiration or bits of overheard dialogue. I definitely see the value in that practice, but I’m referring to how a writer’s personal journal can benefit the fiction-writing process; here are five ways:
- Recounting a day’s events can help with sequencing events in a story.
- Choosing which moments to write about can help with choosing relevant plot points.
- (This one goes without saying.) Writing details and descriptions of people and places is good practice for writing details and descriptions in stories.
- Reflecting on yourself and your emotions can help with writing internal monologue.
- A daily journal ensures that you write everyday – always a good thing.
These points are mere reminders that I rediscovered this summer during moments of great stress, which brings me to a last, important benefit: journaling helps keep the writer sane!