Is Journal Writing Effective?

How-To-Improve your writing with a journal - The Amazing Office Journals
There are many ways to use a writing journal.

Here are my Top 10 uses:
  1. Idea creation
  2. Story outlining
  3. Mind mapping
  4. Writing practice
  5. Ongoing to-do list
  6. Diary/Journal of your creative process
  7. Planning and goal setting
  8. Improve your focus
  9. Increasing your creativity
  10. Allow you to be more present
I do personally use journals for all of them. But, the question is, Is journal writing effective?

The effectiveness of journaling depends on your goals

Like any other tool, and a journal is a tool, journal writing for any of the previously mentioned uses is only as effective as your goals.

Whether you are journaling for story outlining, idea generation, or simply creating a to-do list, you must have a goal in mind.

Don't let the "goal" word scare you; they don't have to be hard and fast goals, just a destination.

Here are some examples:    
Idea creation
    Have you produced any useful ideas?
Story outlining
    Do you now have at least the beginning of a story outline?
Mind mapping
    When making a mind map, the goal is usually to clarify a process or idea, did that happen?
Writing practice
    Self-explanatory, did you write for a bit?
Ongoing to-do list
    Simple - is a list created?
Diary/Journal of your creative process
    This one is a bit more complicated. While the goals of journaling as a diary may be varied, it can be simply, did you write something each day?
Planning and goal setting
    Goal setting with a journal can take a bit of time to do correctly. But the goal of goal setting isn't the goal itself (sorry).You need to have a clear goal and a path to that goal?
    (I do plan on writing a post on goal setting for writers soon.)
Improve your focus
    When done, are things clearer?
Increasing your creativity
    It's hard to define a goal on creativity because it is ingrained in the journal writing process. But, just writing in your journal is increasing your creativity.
Allow you to be more present,
    Similar to Increasing your creativity, just writing in your journal allows you to be more in-the-moment.


But, before you write in your journal, whatever your purpose, think about what you want to accomplish and, while keeping that in mind, write.

Now it's your turn!

Grab your journal and start writing. Write a story outline, set a goal, or just practice your writing, Journal writing is a freeing experience, and once you start, you'll soon realize its effectiveness. 

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