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The #1 Type of Writing Most Authors Forget to Do

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Whether you’re already an author, or you’re writing your first book, this post is for you.

Writers love to write

Maybe you have a character that needs to be brought to life or you have experience + insight that could help thousands of people. 

Fiction and nonfiction alike, we feel best when we express ourselves in writing.

But is that all you’re doing?

Do you only focus on writing your next book, or your next article, or your next social media post?

If you’ve read some of our other blog posts, you know we love to talk about writing.

We’ve talked about why writer’s block doesn’t exist, the demons you’re bound to face when writing, and the #1 “trick” to improving your writing

Maybe you even saw our post with self-care tips for authors while writing + launching your next book.

Amongst our previous posts, there’s one aspect of writing we haven’t talked about (I know, it’s hard to believe!).

Writing for Yourself

Journaling, brain dumping, morning pages – no matter what you call them, taking the time to write just for you may be what’s missing from your life.

There are endless amounts of information and medical studies supporting the benefits of journaling. Even a brief Google search will bring up results about how journaling is beneficial for stress relief, mental health, boosting creativity… the list goes on and on.

In my early 20s, when I was a full-time nonfiction writer, my focus was solely on what would make money. What’s the next thing people will be clamoring to read about? What can I write about that will sell magazines or get people to click?

There’s no better way to increase your stress levels and kill your creativity than chasing a dollar.

I missed writing about what I found exciting, what interested me. That’s when I returned to a habit I developed right after high school: journaling.

Personally, I type faster than I write, so my journal is digital. Over the years, I’ve seen some hand-written journals as well. Authors like Austin Kleon are well-known for their daily journaling habit.

The format is not what’s important – it’s all about the writing.

What do you write about when journaling?

Anything. Whatever is in your mind. Think of it as stream-of-consciousness writing. 

There’s no one to sell to. There’s no character progression to develop. There are no lessons to teach.

All you need to do is release the white-knuckle grip you have on your thoughts and let them pour onto the page or screen.

By now, you might be thinking, “It’s hard enough to find time to write my book, and now you’re telling me to make time to write for fun!?”

Yes, yes I am.

The easiest way I’ve found to develop a journaling habit is to write 3 pages every morning. Whether hand-written or typed, sit down and write 3 pages.

Sometimes, you’ll end up with only 1-2 pages, and sometimes you’ll get way more than 3 pages. The number isn’t the important part – repeating the habit is the important part.

The practice of journaling is about releasing what is clogging up your mind from creating the next book you’ll be proud to share with the world.

Journaling is NOT a replacement for actually doing the hard work of researching, writing, and editing your next book, but it is a helpful supplement to your professional writing.

You might be surprised how often you work through an issue, a concern, a conundrum you’re stuck on in your book through the process of journaling.

Right now, I’m in the midst of writing my 3rd book, and referring back to my previous journal entries has helped make my book far more rich + emotionally powerful than if I was using just my memory (which is not my strongest asset!).

If you’re feeling stuck in your writing, try journaling for your-eyes-only and see what gets shaken loose.

 


Bio: Victoria Klein is a two-time published author (currently writing her 3rd book) and the VP of Production for Paper Raven Books. Formerly PRB’s Book Project Manager, Victoria has helped numerous authors through the self-publishing process from start to finish. Through her monthly posts, she’ll reveal the biggest concerns and mistakes of self-publishing authors, and how to solve them.

1 Comment
  1. Shell Vera says:

    I enjoy journaling!! It’s most of the writing I’ve done in the past two years as I’ve been transitioning with my career. It’s helped me understand my fears and excitement, my hesitancies and my desires. I agree we should all do it daily!!!

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Publishing Success Blueprint

Get our blueprint for the journey from book idea to published, successful author and everything you'll need to think about along the way. (It's free!)

GET THE BLUEPRINT NOW