Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Guest Wednesday- Joy Held

Joy E. Held

People have a love/hate relationship with keeping a journal. “Ugh. One more thing to do! And if I have a good idea, I’m going to save it for my WIP.” Precisely. Journals are super places to keep track of those juicy kernels of inspiration as well as the place to play around with them until just the right idea springs forth. That’s what goes into the WIP. But what if a blank journal page scares you as much as the blank computer screen? There’s always something to write about in a journal because there are no rules, no journal police deciding if what’s in the journal is write (get it? write…right?) or wrong.

Writer Wellness came about fifteen years ago when fellow critique group members asked me what the secret was to publishing, working part-time, raising a family, and staying in shape. My dance and yoga background was a natural part of my everyday life, but it wasn’t for my friends. I took a step back, examined what I did, and Writer Wellness was born. I determined that my personal program of journal writing, exercise, meditation, eating right, and noodling around with creative play kept me compassionate, productive, and creative. What else do we want? Good health.

JOURNAL: “I can’t think of anything to write!”

You’ve got old magazines don’t you? You’ve torn out and filed the articles you want to keep for future reference (I hope) and what’s left are inspiring words, pictures, and loads of ideas for journal writing. ANY magazine is jam packed with journal prompts and it’s a great recycling effort to use items from magazines to jumpstart your pages.

Take one or two magazines, scotch tape, scissors, your journal, and a pen and sit down with time to create. Flip through the magazine ripping out the pages with words, pictures, etc. that catch your eye. Just two days ago I ripped out a brightly colored gift, a stack of clean bath towels, several large words like ‘fun,’ ‘breathe,’ and ‘love,’ and a picture of a person sitting in a cross legged position meditating.

Now take the scissors and cut out the pictures and words that inspire you. Tape one picture somewhere on the current and blank-not-for-long journal page. Take a sip of the beverage I’m sure you have handy and look closely at the image on the page. Write about the first thing that pops into your head that is perhaps related to the photo. It doesn’t have to be, it can just be a place from which to leap into the wonder.

I wrote a whole page about how much I dislike doing laundry. Also on the page is the picture of a stack of clean towels. I seamlessly whined about how if there are disposable hand towels for the kitchen, why are there no disposable bath towels? Would save the world in water, soap, electricity, and toil! Paper bath towels could be recyclable! What do you think?

Be well, write well.
Joy E. Held is the author of Writer Wellness, A Writer’s Path to Health and Creativity
Who Dares Wins Publishing

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Jenni Holbrook-Talty said...

A new thing I started with the last couple of novels is to make a collage, sort of. I cut out pics from mags we're recycling that make me think of my book and then I put them on a poster board and hang it up over my desk. It helps get me into the book when I sit down to write.

Anonymous said...

Hi, Jenni, LOVE collages and they are especially inspiring for writing projects. My new journal love is art journaling and I've learned to do a mini collage in my journal almost every day. Great way to keep the creative juices flowing. Thanks for stopping by today!

Marianne Stephens said...

I wrote journals for years, but have drifted away from doing it once I started publishing. What I do instead is write down story ideas, but not in a journal...I keep a list on the computer.
Interesting way you've managed to make it all work for you! You sound SO organized!

Margaret Fieland said...

Paty, I never thought about cutting out pictures for inspiration -- that's a really neat idea. I'm reading "Year's Best SFF 10" right now, and they mention Discover and Scientific American -- I used to have a subscription to Discover, and I miss it. Bet there are some great photos in there.

Bob Mayer said...

When I co-wrote with Jenny Crusie, she collaged the book. I believe she does it for every book she writers. It gives her a visual representation of the entire book all in one place. I think for writers who are detail persons but have a hard time with the big picture, this is an excellent technique.

Paty Jager said...

I don't keep a journal. Fro some reason it always ends up being a book I use for research. But I love journals. ;) I have a collage of my writing path but I like the idea of cutting out pictures that relate to my story when I see them and add them to an ongoing storyboard of sorts.

Anonymous said...

Margaret and Marianne,
So glad you stopped in today! And yes, those magazines would be FABULOUS sources for journal inspiration. Cut out the pics, get a glue stick and write! Be well, write well!

Ilona Fridl said...

I've been kicking around doing a journal, but I seem to be a note taker. When I plan a story I note what I want to happen in the story on a sheet of note paper. I wish I was as organized as you are. Maybe someday...