A lot of research shows your brain sees writing differently than thinking or talking.
Writing forces you to organize and clarify your thoughts. You learn better when you write things down and are more likely to follow through.
So what should you be writing in this notebook?
Eric Barker has eight answers to this question, along with references to some scientific research to back up his claims.
Lawyer and entrepreneur Marelisa Fabrega explains these two methods:
- Proprioceptive writing, originally espoused by Linda Trichter Metcalf in 1976 and updated by Metcalf and Tobin Simon in their 2002 book Writing the Mind Alive: The Proprioceptive Method for Finding Your Authentic Voice.
- Morning pages, a concept discussed by Julia Cameron in The Artist’s Way.
All right, this article is technically not about journal writing. It’s about writing memoir. But a journal or diary can often be the source for the material necessary to craft a compelling memoir:
“It’s the age of memoirs,” Ms. Salinger said, as self-publishing has made it easier and more accessible to plumb an individual’s past and share it widely. And many do so because they believe memoir writing is therapeutic and revelatory.
The article has information on classes, offered both online and in person at writing centers, adult education programs, and bookstores. It also touches on publication options, whether for commercial success or for smaller distribution to family and friends.
You won’t find here everything you’ll need to get started on memoir writing, but you will find some good starting points, particularly encouragement.