Posts Tagged ‘journals’

h1

Quotes

February 18, 2015

If you want your life to be a magnificent story, then begin by realizing that you are the author, and everyday you have the opportunity to write a new page. -Mark Houlahan

Exercise the writing muscle every day, even if it is only a letter, notes, a title list, a character sketch, a journal entry. Writers are like dancers, like athletes. Without that exercise, the muscles seize up. –Jane Yolen

Being challenged in life is inevitable, being defeated is optional. -Roger Crawford

Advertisements
h1

Why do we Write?

July 2, 2014

Why do you write?

For me, I write because I can’t not write. I realize that’s a cheat of an answer, but it’s true.

I’ve been writing in some form or another my entire life. When I was little, I wrote down my dreams and did creative writing prompts at school. As I moved into my teens, I wrote sappy poetry. I was, of course, the only girl in the world who was having boyfriend troubles and who’s family was driving me crazy. It was fine poetry. In my early twenties I began to write stories but didn’t do much with them. Twenties were a bit of a blur. I wrote professionally in my thirties, and after my kids arrived, I began writing in earnest. My first book, Soul Sunday: a Family’s Guide to Finding Faith and Teaching Tolerance, won seven national awards, and I continued to write articles and essays. However, once I found my voice in fiction, I’d come home. Now, it’s what I do.

In addition to writing professionally, I write for myself. My journal is a kind of therapy. There have been times that I couldn’t write—my brain too deep in a void to find words. Other times were too busy for journal writing. But both of these reasons are excuses. We should never be too busy to take care of ourselves, if we use writing to help clear our heads. The void can be filled with words. Writers should never be too busy to write, even if it’s only a few minutes to capture fleeting thoughts.

I finally know why I write, and so I do. Everyday.

Ask yourself why you write and then ask yourself why you stop. Write anyway.

h1

mother daughter workshops

March 13, 2014

I teach a number of workshops with my writing partner and middle grade author extraordinaire, Lindsay Eland. Our favorite is the mother daughter class.

For two hours, Lindsay and I lead middle school girls and their moms through an adventure of writing and artistic expression. It’s a blast.

First, we introduce ourselves by creating opening pages in a journal. Then partners swap journals with each other and make a page for the other person. Moms generally paste pictures, phrases, and words like “beautiful, strong, and spirited” on their daughter’s pages. The girls post their own descriptions, often offering insight to their mom’s lives. In our last class, one girl cut out a picture of a yawning lion and said, “My mom is strong like a lion, but she yawns a lot.” I can relate.

The class continues with lots of laughter, animated conversation and personal convictions, ending far too soon. At the end, we ask the girls to share books that they’d like their moms to read and vice-versa. It’s an empowering exercise: one that I think more parents should try.

If you have kids, ask them what they think you ought to read. It might surprise you. I guarantee they’ll be excited that you asked and elated if you actually read them.

h1

Why do We Write?

July 2, 2013

Why do you write?

For me, I write because I can’t not write. I realize that’s a cheat of an answer, but it’s true. I’ve been writing in some form or another my entire life.

When I was little, I wrote down my dreams and did creative writing prompts at school. As I moved into my teens, I wrote sappy poetry. I was, of course, the only girl in the world who was having boyfriend troubles and who’s family was driving me crazy. It was fine poetry. In my early twenties I began to write stories but didn’t do much with them. Twenties were a bit of a blur. I wrote professionally in my thirties, and after my kids arrived, I began writing in earnest. My first book, Soul Sunday: a Family’s Guide to Finding Faith and Teaching Tolerance, won seven national awards, and I continued to write articles and essays. However, once I found my voice in fiction, I’d come home. Now, it’s what I do.

In addition to writing professionally, I write for myself. My journal is a kind of therapy. There have been times that I couldn’t write—my brain too deep in a void to find words. Other times were too busy for journal writing.

But both of these reasons are excuses.

We should never be too busy to take care of ourselves, if we use writing to help clear our heads. The void can be filled with words. Writers should never be too busy to write, even if it’s only a few minutes to capture fleeting thoughts. I finally know why I write, and so I do. Everyday.

Ask yourself why you write and then ask yourself why you stop.

Write anyway.

h1

Why do You Write?

July 2, 2013

For me, I write because I can’t not write. I realize that’s a cheat of an answer, but it’s true. I’ve been writing in some form or another my entire life.

When I was little, I wrote down my dreams and did creative writing prompts at school. As I moved into my teens, I wrote sappy poetry. I was, of course, the only girl in the world who was having boyfriend troubles and who’s family was driving me crazy. It was fine poetry. In my early twenties I began to write stories but didn’t do much with them. Twenties were a bit of a blur. I wrote professionally in my thirties, and after my kids arrived, I began writing in earnest. My first book, Soul Sunday: a Family’s Guide to Finding Faith and Teaching Tolerance, won seven national awards, and I continued to write articles and essays. However, once I found my voice in fiction, I’d come home. Now, it’s what I do.

In addition to writing professionally, I write for myself. My journal is a kind of therapy. There have been times that I couldn’t write—my brain too deep in a void to find words. Other times were too busy for journal writing.

But both of these reasons are excuses.

We should never be too busy to take care of ourselves, if we use writing to help clear our heads. The void can be filled with words. Writers should never be too busy to write, even if it’s only a few minutes to capture fleeting thoughts. I finally know why I write, and so I do. Everyday.

Ask yourself why you write and then ask yourself why you stop.

Write anyway.

h1

Travel Journals

March 25, 2013

In two weeks my husband and I are taking our two teens and one tween to Asia. We’ve been planning the trip for some time. We plan to live with my college roommate and her family in Hong Kong, then travel on to Vietnam and Cambodia. We’ve made lists, gotten shots, and figured out foreign currency. We’ve packed pills, books, and cards for the grueling flight. What we’re not doing? Bringing a computer or allowing the kids to bring their devices. I sincerely hope they don’t revolt.

Instead, we are buying them each a journal­­­—the old fashioned kind with real paper. I might even let them pick out a special pen. Of course, I could be asking for complete mutiny.

When I travelled as a kid, my mom wrote travel diaries, recounting what we did every day. I’ve written journals describing scenes, smells, and sometimes, my feelings. There is something to learn by putting pen to paper and recounting what you see. I hope that by bringing travel journals, our kids will learn to be better observers. Will they notice what people eat on the street? Will they notice people living on the street? Will they hear mosquitos buzz in their ear and smell exotic spices? I don’t know. But I know that by limiting technology for a few weeks will help them in some way, even if it’s how to plot a rebellion.

Writers are observers. What do you notice?

h1

Journals: what and how to journal

September 24, 2011

What do you write about in your journal? In order to answer my own question, I hunted

through my stash of old notebooks and discovered a plethora of ideas. Not only did I have traditional diaries with covers designed in pink polka dots and bursting flowers, but I had journals filled with odd organizational tips. Call me obsessive, but I found notebooks about the following subjects:

-personal musings

-poetry

-ideas for writing

-character sketches

-Christmas ideas

-important dates (birthdays and the like)

-letters

-blogs

-notes to my kids

-notes to my dad

-home improvements

-travel ideas

Be relieved to know that I’ve since consolidated. I now have one journal with tabs for most of my subjects. As a paper girl, I can’t completely convert to the keyboard, but I’m trying.

Journal writing can be used for almost any kind of organization. A journal gives you a place to write anywhere, anytime. As a certified writing geek, I even keep a journal in the glove compartment of my car. One never knows when the next Newberry or Pulitzer Prize idea will strike. My suggestion? Buy a journal, although just one. Organize with tabs. Write.

And write some more.