[Tipster] The Writing of Journaling

tipster post Dec 28, 2021

In this edition of Tipster, we encourage you to journal with a free spirit. 

Today, I'm making a very simple point:

When you journal, you are not "writing."

You are not crafting sentences. And wrestling with structure. At least I'm not.

I am simply journaling.

Don't ruin your journaling by trying to write like you would if you were writing an article or book chapter.

My Two Types of Journaling 

I keep a couple journals. One is more narrative. I write complete sentences. But not always. I try to remember funny stories or capture especially good thoughts.

But I also will simply use a bulleted list to remember a particular day. I do that when I fly fish.

Recently, I was in Montana for a week, fishing in and around Yellowstone National Park. Here is a bulleted list from one of the days:

* Got up around 5:30, left about 6:15, and drove in darkness to Gardiner, MT.
* Arrived at the Gardner River around 7:45
* Hiked over to the honey hole
* Tried euro nymphing … caught my first fish of the day on a stone fly nymph 
* Then caught another 7 or 8
* Big big fish
* Hook jawed 
* All brown trout, all runners 
* Alternated fishing the run
* Saw a grizzly bear track on the way back to the car
* Ate at the Cowboy Grill for lunch, had chili and a salad
* Then drove over to Bozeman, thought about fishing the Lower but didn’t.
* Steve picked up some waders at Rivers Edge
* Then drove back to Livingston and dropped off our stuff at the Yellowstone Pioneer Lodge
* Then drove to Chico Hot Springs for dinner, had a petite filet, with salad
* Drove up to Chico, came back but there was a tractor trailer that had rolled over, went another way back to the highway to get back to Livingston 
* Queen bed for two story. Woman said, “I didn’t want to say anything.”

You can see I did more eating than fishing that day! Ha!

Journals Are a Source for Your Writing

I want to free you up to journal, an important source of ideas and stories for your writing.

I've kept journals sporadically for years. I'm always glad when I do.

Don't stress about the writing in your journal. Just journal. Write later.