My Creative Writing I class as Seminole State College has taught me the value of basics – one of those basics being the writer’s handwritten journal.
On September 20th I wrote the following in this blog:
“So today I sat down with my new hardback journal and started writing out all the story ideas I have in my head, one a modern contemporary piece based on a patakí, and five contemporary pieces dealing with gay issues. As I wrote the ideas flowed naturally – there is something far more natural about journaling with paper and pen as opposed to bits and bytes. After an hour and a half of writing, I discovered that the stories I’ve wanted to write for a more contemporary audience have always been right there.”
“They just needed ink to bring them out.”
“So after years of computer journaling I’ve again become a fan of paper and pen. A day meant to do nothing has already become a productive day – and while I’m sure my other professors won’t be happy that I skipped class for this, I’m sure my Creative Writing I professor will agree that today had a deeper, creative and spiritual purpose – I needed downtime to connect and create.”
That lined, hardback journal I bought at Walgreen’s has turned out to be the very best writer’s tool I’ve ever bought, next to a computer and Microsoft Word! I’ve filled about a tenth of the book with short story ideas already, and not short stories dealing with the religion – but ideas for contemporary literature about gay life and themes. I’ve come up with basic plots, settings, characters, morals, themes, and all of them are set amidst a variety of story lines so tragic that I can’t believe I dreamed them up. I’ve spent no less than an hour a day writing in that book, and the results have been phenomenal.
And today I discovered the true value of my writer’s journal: this morning, after work, I tried to remember just one idea that I plotted in its pages. Already I’m working on one of the ideas I’m hoping to submit to an anthology with the word “Haunted” as its theme – a ghost story of sorts. That piece was the only one I could remember. The rest had slipped out of my mind after writing them down, and would have been forever lost had I not written them down.
Writing on a computer screen did not give me inspiration – writing with paper and pen did. Thankfully all those ideas were recorded, or, as I learned this morning, all of them would have been lost.
The writer’s journal, truly, is a writer’s best tool.