Do you keep a journal – or wish you could get one started? Literary Mama wants to help.
Three times a month, I’ll post a writing prompt. Open a notebook and write for 10 minutes. Don’t worry about grammar or punctuation – just write. Then let the writing simmer and your mind wander for awhile.
And who knows? Maybe you’ll discover a character for your next short story or a theme for a narrative essay. Or maybe you’ll use the idea to create a special holiday card or photo album for someone in your family. However you decide to use your journal entry, I know you’ll enjoy re-reading it months–and years–down the road.
I have three spiral-bound journals on the top shelf of my desk and one in the drawer of my nightstand. I don’t write in each of them every day–or even every week–yet each serves a purpose.
In one, I make notes about the books I’ve read and in another, I reflect on a Bible passage or Sunday sermon. I use the third to unwind, to process and work through my feelings about a specific comment, event or activity that’s been weighing on my mind. The journal in my nightstand, though, has become my favorite — and the most useful.
Before I turn the light off, I jot down a sentence or two about the day. Sometimes, it’s simply a comment about an activity I participated in or how the weather affected my plans. But sometimes, the entry relives a conversation with my husband or one of our children and after I close the notebook, I know the words will be the basis of something more, something I’ll write in the future.
Last summer, I added a six-word requirement to this journal, following SMITH Magazine’s Six Word Memoirs storytelling project as a guideline. Telling a story in six words wasn’t as easy as I thought it’d be, but the process made each of the 12 moments I captured more memorable — and I’m pretty sure I’ve laid the foundation for five or six short essays.
Journal Entry: Describe a moment from your day in six words. Repeat five times during the upcoming week so that by the end of the week, you’ve captured five separate moments.