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Do you journal?
Do you open a notebook and fill the pages with whatever comes to mind? Maybe you started as a child and it's just something you do, like brushing your teeth.
Or maybe you hate journaling and you'd rather, well, pull your teeth out.
I came across an interesting post on the topic by Janice Erlbaum, author of the memoirs Girlbomb and Have You Found Her. Erlbaum says about journaling:
"The stuff you write in your notebook is not something that's going to be published someday. It's not something you're going to read out loud. It's the shit that's in the way between you and your deeper ideas."
I think that is so true. It's like getting rid of the static so you can hear the station loud and clear. Like when your kids finally stop whining/crying/bickering and they fall asleep, leaving you to think a full thought.
She also talks about keeping a little notebook with you and taking it out - instead of your iPhone - and making notes on the scene. You can jot down details about the room you're in, the sound, the lighting, the people - whatever you see.
This is something I never do. And I think it shows in my writing. I'm not great a setting a scene. I'm "subtle" to the point of using no description. It's something I know I have to get better with and I'm going to get myself a little notebook (I'm sure BlogHer will be fertile ground for interesting characters) and start.
So, of course, I'm wondering what YOU think. Do you journal? Do you carry a notebook? If so, is it helpful in your fiction writing?