Recently, I stumbled upon an article by K.M. Weiland regarding how to use a journal to conquer writing fears. Today, I want to share my findings with my audience of fellow writers.
See how award-winning, bestselling author K.M. Weiland uses her journal to "slay writing monsters."
I've been keeping a journal on and off for over 20 years. (Some of the entries have been used for my own articles on this site.) Now that I'm pursuing writing fiction more seriously, I'm finding my journal to be an indispensable aid in storytelling.
Imagine my delight when I found this article by K.M. Weiland confirming my enthusiasm on the subject.
Introducing K.M. Weiland
In her most helpful site for writers www.helpingwritersbecomeauthors.com, K.M. Weiland has written hundreds of articles specifically for writers of the fiction genre.
I came across her site after first discovering and purchasing some of her amazing non-fiction books based on the articles she's so generously shared on her site. (I'll list some of these books at the end of this post in case you're interested as well.)
In the particular article I'll be referring to in this post, K.M. Weiland shares her insights on how using a journal has helped her become such a successful—and productive—writer over the last ten years.
The Battle Begins
The Weapon: Your Journal
She likens the journal itself to a weapon of sorts, allowing her to take on various "monsters" that would deter her from ever conquering the blank page.
I’ve seen the hulking beasts that stand between every writer and the end of our stories. Procrastination. Discouragement. Fear. Disorganization. Boredom. Burnout. I’ve seen them, and I’ve conquered them.
At the time of writing the article (February 2008), Weiland had been at work on her seventh novel after previously having written two novellas and hundreds of short stories. So I believe she knows a thing or two about conquering the monsters listed in the above quote.
Not only does Weiland keep a personal journal, she also keeps a separate journal for each of her novels in progress. This helps her keep the multitude of ideas for each work organized in a logical way that doesn't overlap with other works in progress (WIPs).
Some of the benefits of keeping a journal that Weiland lists which keep her so successful and productive in her writing include (view the article for more detail):
- Recording her word daily word count.
- Recording her frustrations.
- Celebrating her triumphs.
- Jotting instructions to herself.
Your Journal to the Rescue!
Even after such a tremendous volume of work, it wasn't until two years after beginning her "Journal of a Novel" that she realized the true potential of keeping a journal.
While writing down the fears and frustrations in a journal of her current WIP such as, "I can’t do this! I stink! Everything good I wrote up to now was just luck!" Weiland discovered similar thoughts in the journal of a former WIP and was comforted to know she had indeed encountered these same "monsters" before and had conquered them.
The writing journal was tangible proof this wasn’t the first time I’d been through these canyons of frustration and doubt. I’d been in the pit of despair, I’d fought my way out, and I’d even emerged with one of my best stories. I could do this. I’d done it before, after all.
As a result of having an archive of journals to record the thoughts, frustrations, fears, etc. that she encountered on a daily basis in her writing journey, K.M. Weiland had an epiphany: She had conquered them before and would conquer them again.
If you would like to read her journey of keeping a journal in her own words, check out K.M. Weiland's article "Why Journaling Conquers Writing Monsters."
And as promised, be sure to check out the "Featured Resources" below to get your hands on some of Weiland's awesome books for yourself. Her writing style is very informative, and her way of explaining the writing processes is easy to follow and implement in your own writing. Highly recommended.
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CHECK OUT MY BOOKS...
If you would like to see more of my writing, be sure and check out the books I've already written, as well as those I'm currently working on, by visiting my Books page.
Question: Have you ever found the journal to be an invaluable tool in your own writing?
Leave a comment below and tell us all about it.