M. Hoban: The Journal

Here’s a confession: I don’t journal. I didn’t think it was unusual for writers to not journal until I found myself in a room full of writing-minded peers, all of whom regarded journaling as an invaluable part of their creative process. They all seemed to think it was a number-one tool, an all-important record of feelings and observations and ideas which they could use like a big reference book when they later sat down to write.

This got me thinking, and it’s a question that every writer should ask themselves at least once: is journaling something that would help me in my creative endeavors?

So I did a little research, and the conclusion I’ve reached is that most people find journaling immensely helpful and cathartic. It’s a place to practice your skills, to free write, to record interesting observations. Others regard it as a waste of time or something that simply doesn’t fit with their personal habits and style, and that’s okay too. It’s something you have to try—and put some real effort and commitment into trying—before you can say yea or nay. In the worst case scenario, you have spent a little extra time practicing your writing.

For those of you who, like me, are a little late to the journaling party, here’s a nifty article on how to get started (and it has some neat tips for the already-journaling crowd too).


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