One of the best ways to improve your writing is to start journaling. You are your own worst critic so writing to yourself helps you practice for the “real” world. One of the great things about journaling is it can provide you with almost instant content. Many of my posts start out as journal entries. By reflecting each day and writing out my thoughts, I give myself the opportunity to pick out the nuggets. Then explore them further beyond that moment. Something that started out as a fleeting thought can turn into a full length feature because I took the time to write it down.
There are a few schools of thought as to how journaling should be done. I am in the “vomit all over the page” camp. I pour everything out, however it comes to me, and then sort it out later. After a week goes by, I will go back through the entries and highlight the things that stand out to me and then make a list of those that I can write more about. I may save some ideas for later or never use them at all.
The end result is a list of semi-coherent ideas that will provide great jumping points for new articles and short copy. The trick is to see where the idea can go. That thing your kid said on Monday last week that made you laugh till your belly hurt? Do you remember why it did that? Is it a story that you can share and relate to a business practice or a life skill? What a way to make your content personal! And why are you able to write about it, say, a month later? Because you wrote about it in your journal!
So, my challenge to you is this…
Write down three thoughts about each day. Put it in your notes on your phone, on your planner, the journal you keep bedside, or in your virtual journal.
It takes 21 days to make a habit, so try for 21 days. Let me know how your content looks after you catalog your thoughts. I will be writing with you!