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Journal

Finding out what breaks and seeing if I can fix it

I began writing at 14. Back then I wrote embarrassingly bad rap songs, which were often repetitive and were imitations of far more competent lyricists.

What amazes me now, though, is how consistent I used to be. Back then I would come home from school, sit in front of Microsoft Word for an hour and mash out a few verses and a chorus — every single line ending in rhyme.

But whenever I tried to pen lyrics into a notebook, I could never finish a song. None of the words ever looked right on paper. Rhymes did not come so easily, and every line felt forced.

Flash forward 11 years to now, I most enjoy drafting poetry by hand. In fact, pen and paper has become my favourite method of drafting anything creative.

In all the years I’ve been writing, never have I worked out what process works best for me. Whenever I think I’ve found an answer my system breaks, and I lose the habit once again.

That’s where I’m currently at as a writer, trialling new ways of working and seeing if it sticks or breaks. And if it does break, rather than abandoning it altogether and stalling my writing habit, I’m going to see what I can fix.

Categories
Journal

Drawing badly and loving it

A page from Lynda Barry’s Syllabus: Notes from an Accidental Professor asking: “What is a bad drawing?”

I’ve never considered myself to have any talent when it comes to drawing. Copying an image in front of me has often been too challenging, let alone translating images from my head to the page.

So despite a consistent compulsion to draw, my misgivings over the pictures I failed to create prevented me from ever building any kind of drawing habit.

I was also hesitant to share what I drew. On the occasions I did share, I was rarely met with encouragement. So I told myself drawing wasn’t for me.

But more recently, I’ve tried to embrace the practice of making bad art. Not only do you need to suck at something to get good at it, but we should resist the idea that we must be competent at something to enjoy it.

Categories
Journal

How I set up my Bullet Journal in 2022

Double-page spread of creativity trackers, tracking four habits: poems, drafting fiction, blog posts and journal entries.

Starting a Bullet Journal in 2021 changed my life. It helped me to be more organised and keep track of what I was doing each day. I better understood where my time was going, and I could recognise my habits.

My BuJo brought a lot of structure to my disorganised life, and it was also relaxing and fun. How I’ve used the journal has also evolved over the past 12 months, and I thought it would be useful to share my setup.

Covered in this post: initial first pages, trackers I’ve created and my monthly setups for daily logging.

Categories
Journal

7 thoughts on daily journaling

Two journals, side-by-side. The left has a brown cover with the words "Master Plan" written across it. The right is a grey Game of Thrones premium notebook with House Stark direwolf sigil and words "Winter is Coming" on the front.

Many great things have come out of this year and starting a daily journaling habit back in October is one of them.

I’ve mentioned journaling a few times already, primarily in a Sunday Sharing post and in my newsletter. But I wanted to elaborate on my daily practice further. 

Journaling has done wonders for my creativity and my mental health, so I thought I’d list some specific thoughts on how journaling has benefitted me in the hopes it might encourage someone else to give it a try.

So if you’ve ever considered keeping a diary or journal (I use these terms interchangeably), here are seven thoughts on why it’s good to journal every day, which might give you that little nudge to get started…

Categories
Logs

Sunday Sharing #8: Starting a new journal, Promising Young Woman, four short games about pain and more

Dressed as a nurse in this shot is Carey Mulligan as Cassie Thomas, the protagonist of the film Promising Young Woman

As I mentioned in last week’s Sunday Sharing, this probably won’t be a weekly fixture come next year. My plan is to continue these posts for another two weeks and then call it quits for a while to focus on some end of year posts, such as my favourite books of the year. Then I’ll make my final decision towards the end of December about the direction I wish to take this blog in 2022.

In the meantime, here’s what my week looked like. Like every week, you can find a list of 10 things I read/viewed on the web I wanted to share.