To Journal or not to Journal Part 1

journalBlah, blah, blah journal.

That was my view. But I kept hearing that it was really good for the brain and sorting mental and emotional clutter. Basically a big bucket you can dump all of the random garbage that blathers in your head. (Or am I the only one with that problem?)

And of course it’s “so important” for writers, so I decided to try.

You’d think it would be intuitive but I need to know what the rules are before I do something so I got online and took a class*.

I was surprised that there are a lot of different types of journaling and different exercises. It’s not just “sit down, bare your soul on paper, hope no one reads it.” You can do a Gratitude Journal (useful for accentuating the positive in your life), lists (great for clarifying), unsent letters (excellent way of giving your older siblings “what for” without hurting their feelings or getting your butt kicked). There are others and all have different outcomes and uses.

You may have heard of Julia Cameron and her book The Artists Way. (Don’t panic! journalcatYou, as a writer are an artist, but don’t let that stop you. Deep breath. You don’t have to be a hoity-toity “artiste.”) She suggests “morning pages” which is just free writing three pages first thing in the morning. Just babble and that’s it.

I did a technique called “Dialogues” and it was an enlightening experience which I’ll make you sit through in another post. Mwahahaha.

Have you journaled? How long have you done it? Has it helped you quiet the brain and focus?

* Spokane County Library District ( is partnered with Gale University to give its patrons an astoundingly wide variety of free and awesome classes. Check them out when you have a moment.

Have you a sword or a hand?

labor day“In the application of thy principles thou must be like the pancratiast*, not like the gladiator; for the gladiator lets fall the sword which he uses and is killed; but the other always has his hand, and needs to do nothing else than use it.”

So use your hand and type up some words! Just move those fingers, combine one letter and then another and then another until you have a word, and repeat. Your characters will thank you for it.

*pancratiast: someone who participates in pancratium
pancratium: an ancient Greek athletic contest involving both boxing and wrestling

Who me?

trouble“To-day I have got out of all trouble, or rather I have cast out all trouble, for it was not outside, but within and in my opinions.”

This quote describes well the beginning butterflies of NaNo doubt – but you persevered and are passionately writing. You are, aren’t you? If not, why? Do you need a prompt? Drop by the chat room, eavesdrop or steal a prompt or two from the word wars. Not interested in word wars? Describe an instance where your MC either caused or got into trouble and then add it to your word count. =)

Welcome back!


NaNo 2014 is here, let’s celebrate! This year the blog will have random quotes from the Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius, from his Meditations, based on the translation of George Long at the turn of the twentieth century and compiled by the Levenger Company.

Some will be muse suggestions and other simple inspiration.  Here’s one to get you started –

In the morning when thou risest unwillingly, let this thought be present: I am rising to the work of a human being.

So get to it!  The work of a human being during November is writing, right?

NaNo Week One (and counting)

*Cough Cough*  Please pardon the dust. We seem to have missed October a bit.  There was that one post about Food Prep for NaNo, but we seem to have lost the rest of the month.  Sorry about that.  Our intentions were good, of course, but the flurry of MLness sort of took over.  The good news is we’re back!  And mostly on track even.

There is a wonderful thread of Dr Seuss-ness on our NaNoWriMo Regional forum:  How Dr. Seuss Does NaNo.  Being as it is our adopted theme this year, and where we are going to put the many ML communications in lieu of spamming your email inbox, you should check it out!

We have a lot of new faces in the area and first timers as well.  Please take a moment to reach out to them. Add them to your buddy list, share your expert advice on How to Survive NaNo or just say, “Hi, how’s your word count?”.  They can all be found in our Welcome thread.

Remember Tacoma/Pierce County?  We beat them soundly in a one-day word war last year.  This year they have challenged us to a month-long word war.  Of course we said, “Bring it!”, but then they added about 100 more writers, and Azombieatemyshoelace defected to their region!  Not to worry, we acquired several new writers-of-mass-word-count this year and our average per writer is higher.

Lastly, don’t forget we are still taking submissions for the regional anthology, “And Then What Happened? Vol. 2”.  You can send us anything written this past year, including poetry and black & white photos or drawings.  We’d like to have your submissions before Thanksgiving.

Contact us via Facebook, Twitter, Goggle+, email or comments below.  Then get back to writing!  Week two is approaching fast! How’s your word count?