Exercises in Journaling

I was reading through some advice on writing and found one I thought would be a good application for myself in the next year.  I’m already in an odd sort of transition.  I’m moving.  I’m starting a new job.  I’m going from a focus on writing first drafts of novels to editing while also generating short stories (a style I was never as excited about – more on this some other day). No better time than the present to also look at where I am headed and adjust the trajectory.

There’s always room for improvement.  I’m someone who believes firmly in taking a look at one’s own life on a more regular basis than merely at year’s end.  That said, I also recognize the power of finality.  In a way it is a human construct based on the heavens, but marking time instead of passively observing the earth’s rotation gives us a benchmark, something powerful to remember.  So, I often take time to go through my goals from the past year and adjust where needed.  Usually in the week before the new year.

The advice I found is from John Berendt:

Keep a diary, but don't just list all the things you did during the day. Pick one incident and write it up as a brief vignette. Give it color, include quotes and dialogue, shape it like a story with a beginning, middle and end—as if it were a short story or an episode in a novel. It's great practice. Do this while figuring out what you want to write a book about. The book may even emerge from within this running diary. - John Berendt

So, in preparation for my two goals of journaling more often and becoming a better writer, I’m going to adopt this challenge for a year and see where it takes me.

The first foray into this discipline can be found under my new page – Daily Vignettes.

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