Why You Should Keep A Journal (Mine Would Be With A Typewriter).

journaling-is-good-for-you

Now that I have a typewriter, I’ve often been wondering what the heck am I going to use a typewriter for as I already have a laptop and several new Moleskine ruled notebooks (these are still waiting to be used). I’ve done my share of researching online, reading a variety of blogs and websites on typewriting…

When I came across a couple of blogs whose authors mentioned journalling or keeping a journal using their typewriters.

It won’t be easy with a typewriter, though. A laptop comes with convenience to write, with softer buttons and the ability to fix errors with the ‘backspace‘ or ‘insert‘ button. However, if you made any errors on a typewriter (spelling or grammatical) like I have, the only way to fix the errors is to use liquid paper to blot it out and replace the paper in the feeder. Or you can carry on typing until you’re done, blot out the error anyway and use a black pen to write out the correct word or sentence.

But these shouldn’t be excuses for me not to start my journal! I know the more I type, the better my typing becomes and the less mistakes I’ll make too! It’s both an opinion and a fact. Practice makes perfect, right? Experience breeds expertise too, so if I typed more, I will become an expert typist too. Typing every day is the best way to get lots of typing experience. It’s a habit to get used to and an effort on my part.

Reasons for Keeping A Journal

Well, one thing sets successful writers apart from unsuccessful writers: dedication. When you’re dedicated to the work, you have a higher chance for success. And there is no better way to commit to your own writing and produce better writing over time than keeping a journal. It is easy, natural, creative and cost-free!

The most ideal reason to journalling is a solution. Journalling is known for its artistry and highly recognised for its self-help qualities (more like vent-and-rant benefits to me). A journal is also a writer’s most sacred space where one can jot down ideas, free-write or work on writing exercises when suffering from writer’s block, while tackling writing prompts when you’re short on time. It is, by far, a space for writers to develop and foster their writing skills and learn new techniques through trial-and-error.

In short, journalling can make you a better writer. Of course it’s not the only way but it is a good way and you don’t have to break the bank for it.

Speaking of writer’s block, it is an unavoidable situation and you will be face it more than once in your lifetime of journalling. It is one of the three biggest barriers to a writer’s success, including time management and procrastination.

Writer’s Block

If you’re working on a big project and suddenly, you have no idea what to write next or how to continue, then you’re likely suffering from writer’s block. As I’ve mentioned before, it is unavoidable. Hence, a good solution to this is to take a break and do something else for awhile. Something else that is entirely different from writing. Perhaps your cat is hungry or your plants are lonely. Go for a short walk around the neighbourhood. Observe and enjoy nature in all its glory. You may come back feeling refreshed, rejuvenated and more inspired than before!

Time Management

Everyone wants to write a book, even those who don’t see themselves as writers and don’t want to be writers. Aspiring writers often complain that they’d love to take their writing hobbies to the next level but they never have the time to do so. Well, journalling is an ideal way to bridge that gap. By keeping a journal, you are provided a time and space where you can explore ideas, develop good writing habits and sharpen your writing skills… so when the time comes for you to write that book, you’re ready for it!

Procrastination

I can count the ways of journalling, from using a computer or a laptop to using a good, old-fashioned notebook (pen and paper, that kind of thing). Or you can use an old typewriter if retro and vintage appeal to you. Whichever method that suits you, use it to your advantage and crank out as many words as you can.

The only downside to using a digital device is the exposure to distraction. In this day and age of the World Wide Web and social media, you will find yourself often wondering who is saying what on which social media platform that you have. With a notebook or typewriter, your mind is offline and you have a higher tendency to increase your productivity. There are no distractions so you’re less likely to procrastinate.

Benefits of Keeping A Journal

Commitment

You don’t have to write every day to become a professional or established writer. Without a doubt, daily writing is the best practice but many writers keep a regular, five-day work week. Few writers can get by with writing heavily for a few months and then not writing at all for awhile. But you should abide by one rule — those who succeed treat their writing as a job and they commit to it.

Focus

Keeping a journal is ideal for writers to fulfil a commitment. When you have a journal, you rid yourself of excuses. You can no longer say that you’re stuck on a plot twist because you can write in your journal until that plot is no longer twisted. Heck, writing in your journal may just help you with that! Also, when you’re short on time, you can always turn to your journal for a quick blurb-session. It’s easy to stay focused during your journalling sessions because of its distraction-free environment.

So with all these reasoning and advantages displayed for your attention, what are your thoughts on journalling? Do you keep a journal? Do you have a journal? Are you planning on starting one? I used to journal at one point, then I stopped. But I’m planning to start again and this time, I’ll make sure I’m committed to the task!

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