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journal writing

If We Were Having Coffee: A Week of Writing Fiction

If We Were Having Coffee 01

Hello everyone! I hope you’ve been having a wonderful week and an even better weekend. I’m sorry I didn’t do a coffee post last weekend. I did the Great Strides walk with my best friend last weekend, but I also just didn’t have too much to talk about. But that’s okay, because I have more things this week for you to make up for it.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that the Great Strides walk I went on last Saturday was quite a bit of fun. It’s the second time I’ve done this walk with my best friend, and I’m glad I could make it. I was a little worried at first because the weather was calling for rain, but luckily it didn’t rain at all when we were there so we were good. I really enjoyed doing it though because it really got me walking, which is something I don’t do as often as I need to. But I managed to do okay, considering it was a 3 mile trek and I haven’t walked like this since I’ve been away from work. I also managed to talk to one of Erin’s dear friends while doing this walk because Erin and her husband were busy managing their son. He walked with me the whole time and we just talked about all sorts of stuff. It was just nice having the company, having someone there to keep you going until you completed the 3 miles.

Last weekend was also Mother’s Day too so I spent my Friday cleaning the house for my Mom while she was away at work. I couldn’t think of anything in particular to get her (which quite frankly, wouldn’t have been enough anyway, because my Mom has done so much for me and my sister), but I figured having her come home to an already clean house would be a nice gesture. It meant she would have one less thing to do, and it would allow her to just spend the weekend relaxing if she wanted to. I also bought her dinner Saturday night too at our favorite Mexican restaurant, and we rented two movies: Patriot’s Day and Star Wars: Rogue One. Originally we were going to eat dinner then go see a movie, but none of the movies in the theatres that day were anything either of us wanted to see. So we just figured renting some movies for at home would be better. And it was, because both the films we rented were great.

Star Wars Rogue One Darth Vader

What I enjoyed about Patriot’s Day was how true it stuck to the real events that transpired with regards to the Boston Marathon bombing. I also liked it because it felt real personal. Besides having family members who lived in Boston around the time it happened, I felt like it was just a great film showcasing the real life of those who the bombing really affected. Especially near the end when they showed interview clips from some of the survivors and the police officers who handled the case. What I enjoyed about Star Wars: Rogue One was the characters, and how the storyline connected with the rest of the Star Wars series. Though the ending caught me completely off guard and mad me sad, I felt like it was a good side film that could hint at what could come in the rest of the series.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you I’ve gotten a lot of writing done this week. I made the decision to write a post about journaling, because it’s something I’ve been doing since middle school. It’s also something I think every writer should do so I wanted to talk about how keeping a journal has benefited my life. I also have this story I’ve been working on since middle school too that I hope to one day get published into a book so I was working on that one day during the week. I’m planning on working on it some more once I get the chance because it’s a project I seriously want to complete. I’ve also completed another Flash Fiction Challenge, which I also think has some serious potential of becoming a novel. It’s a story I started working on that I believe is going to take a while to complete, but once it’s done could be a really good piece. I don’t know yet necessarily if that’s something I’m really going to do with it, but I’m just going to wait and see how far I can get with it at least before I make that call. I’m also going to be doing another guest writer post for my friend Lesley. So look out for that in the next couple weeks whenever it comes out.

Gardenscapes App Game

I’ve also been playing a couple of App games on my phone. In particular, I’ve been playing a game called Gardenscapes, which is a matching level game that allows you to build the outside garden of your dreams. It’s a game I stumbled upon by accident while on Facebook, and I haven’t been able to stop playing it since. Part of it is because it’s such a cute game, and I like the look and feel of it when I play. There’s also just enough of a challenge that makes me come back to it again and again, even when I run out of lives. I don’t know how else to explain it just yet, but I’m considering doing a review of it in the near future. I know I’ve definitely been playing it enough that I could. Plus, I haven’t done any video game reviews in a really long time.  I don’t know, I guess I’ll just wait and see.

I also recently started and finished this book called The Shotgun Arcana this week. It’s a book that’s equal parts western, fantasy, and historical. But it was a really enjoyable book, so be sure to see my book review for it this upcoming week.

Next weekend, you probably won’t be seeing one of these posts because my sister is coming home this Memorial Day weekend, and her boyfriend will be coming too. So we’ll be spending some time together and I’ll get to meet her boyfriend for the first time. But either way, that’s really all I have to say for now. How’ve you all been doing? Did you all have a wonderful week too?

The Importance of Journal Writing: Why You Should Write in a Journal

Journal Writing1

I remember starting to write in a journal when I was in middle school. It was the summer after 7th grade, after my family moved before I started going to another school. I don’t remember why I started journaling. What I do know is that I haven’t stopped since, even during those moments when I wasn’t writing in my journal very often.

Now, I’m on my ninth journal and still going strong. As a writer, I think it’s important you keep a journal. You don’t necessarily have to write in it every day (I know I don’t), but I believe it’ll help you in the long run.

What I love about keeping a journal is being able to write my own personal thoughts down on paper. Nowadays with advancements in technology, digital platforms are becoming an increasingly more popular mode of communication. Emails, texts, social media—everything is digital. Even writers use digital forms to store their writing somewhere safe. But with digitalizing everything comes risks to your writing being stolen or worse, accidentally deleted. So it’s nice to keep a journal because I can physically write my thoughts down on paper without having to worry about someone else reading them. It’s also nice going through the motion of physically writing things down because it allows you to stay in practice of handwriting.

I love keeping a journal too because I can write without judgment. I don’t have to clean up my handwriting, make it neat and pretty or worry about someone else reading it. My journal is for me to express my thoughts only so I can use it however I want and not have to worry about any writing mistakes I may make. It’s also a nice way for you as a writer to express all of your thoughts, allowing you the chance to get whatever thoughts are buzzing around in your head out.

Notebook Creative Lifestyle Journal Pen Write

Whenever I was in college, one of the classes I took was called Creative Nonfiction. In that class, we were assigned the task of writing about personal experiences in our lives. And one of the things we talked about was using writing to heal. About how by writing about some of your most personal experiences, you are acknowledging your past and can use it as a means to heal from the trauma and move on. I think writing in your journal works in the same way too. For one, it’s a very personal mode of writing where you document all of the experiences you’ve gone through in your life. But you document them from your own experience, sharing your own thoughts about what happened and how it’s shaped you as a person. I like writing in my journal in this way because I’m able to bring fresh thoughts out that I might not be ready to share on my blog yet. I can write about the most personal things, and not have to worry about someone else seeing them when I’m not ready.

I also like journal writing because I fully believe it helps you improve as a writer. It allows you to get any thoughts out that might be stopping you from writing. But I also think it can improve the way you write by allowing you to write in whatever way you want. When writing in a journal, the only person you’re writing for is yourself. You don’t have to worry about someone else reading your personal thoughts, so you can write about whatever you want, which can improve your writing because you don’t have to worry about writing for a perspective audience. You can write about whatever’s on your mind with no care in the world.

I also like to write in my journal because I feel like I’m accomplishing something. I’m already on my ninth journal, which feels like quite an accomplishment to me. And seeing all those blank pages I have left makes me want to continue writing in my journal to see how long it takes me to fill them. I also like it because I like how writing in a journal feels. It feels like I’m writing in my own personal space where nobody can bother me. Each journal feels like a different chapter in my life, like I’m telling my story in different parts. It’s like an adventure story where I’m just waiting to fill in the next journey I myself as the character am about to go on. I don’t know where it’s taking me; I just know I’m going somewhere. And with each journal I complete, I learn something new about the world around me and myself.

Raney Journals
Five of my completed journals over the years, not in complete order.

As a writer, I believe journal writing has vastly improved my life. It’s allowed me to keep writing, even during moments when I don’t feel like it. It’s also allowed me to continue expressing myself in whatever way I see fit as well as makes me feel like I’m accomplishing a lot even when that really isn’t the case. I know it’s something I’m going to continue doing in the years to come, and I can’t wait to see how many more journals’ pages I’ll fill.

What about you? Do any of you write in a journal? Leave in the comments below your own experiences with journal writing and whether you feel like its benefited you in anyway.

 

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