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Creating a Writing Journal by Kidd Wadsworth

February 25, 2024 by in category Infused with Meaning by Kidd Wadsworth tagged as , , , ,
Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

Creating a Writing Journal

I wanted to stop forgetting appointments and lunches with friends. I wanted to keep track of events days, weeks, months and even years into the future. After 18 months of watching YouTube videos, I discovered a minimalist system that has worked well for me. I’ve been bullet journaling (called Bujo on YouTube) for two years now. It has revolutionized and simplified my life.

The must dos for creating a personal journal are fairly simple:

  1. The first one to three pages should be an index. It doesn’t have to be fancy. For example:
    p.6  January Brain Dump.
  2. Since I create my journal from a blank, spiral bound, notebook (dotted pages), I draw in my own calendars. Each of my journals lasts me about 6 months. Thus, I draw six monthly calendars. I use two facing pages for each month, so the calendars are large enough to hold important events such as dentist appointments or writing dates with my creative buds.
  3. Immediately following the monthly calendar pages, I use two facing pages to keep track of events that are scheduled more than 6 months out.
  4. For each month I also create a Brain Dump page. On this page I write all of things I want to remember as they come along. For example, replace the whole house water filter or order a book from interlibrary loan.
  5. Finally, every week on Saturday evening, I create a weekly spread. I use 4 pages divided length-wise to create space for Sunday-Monday, Tuesday-Wednesday, Thursday-Friday, Saturday-Tasks. On these pages I write down my to-do lists for that day. I use the Tasks section (the second half of the Saturday page) as a way of keeping track of what I want to do each week. The daily to-do lists are easy to create. I review the events scheduled for that week on the monthly calendar. I also refer back to the previous week and make sure that I reschedule any uncompleted tasks. Finally, I check the brain dump page. Are there tasks there that I need to schedule?

And that’s it. Short, simple, and most of all, in one place.

Last year I decided to also create a Writing Journal. When I first started my writing journal, I kept track of how many hours I wrote each day. I no longer do this. I write incessantly. However, if you find that your writing time is being co-oped by your day-job, your family obligations, etc., you may wish to add a time-tracker to help you prioritize and regain control of your time.

My must have pages are:

  1. Story Ideas – Story Ideas come at me so fast that if I don’t write them down, I’ll lose them. I try to write the story I’ve dreamed up as completely as possible, including characters names, what they look like, etc. Details are incredibly important. Specific snippets of dialogue I also record. I keep paper and a soft 6B pencil by my bed. When a story idea wakes me up at night, I write it down. I NEVER remember dreamed ideas in the morning.
  2. Great Words and Phrases – These gems provide endless inspiration. Consider: Braiding thoughts, glittering eyes, wobble-bobble, prattle.
  3. Books on Writing –  I write down the titles of books on writing recommended to me by friends and writing professionals. These can be books on craft or the business side of writing. Since I can’t afford to buy all of these books, writing them down helps me save the titles and use inter library loan to obtain a free copy to read. (Typically, these are not fiction books in my genre.)
  4. Great Quotes – I love great quotes because they often include unique word choices. I always write down the name of the author of the quote. That way I don’t confuse my own good quotes with those of others. Yes, I write down “by Kidd Wadsworth” if I’m quoting myself. And yes, I do keep track of my gems, too.
  5. Goals – I both set goals and track how long it takes me to actually complete them.  I’ve learned that I can write a novel in ~18 months. It usually takes a full day for me to send out a single query letter.
  6. Index – Unlike my daily journal, most of the pages in my writing journal are unscripted. I do not have monthly calendar pages, or daily to do lists. So an index is unbelievably important. I don’t worry that the items in my writing journal are not well organized. I write down stuff as it happens. I often use my writing journal for taking notes as I am writing, too. I use the Index to help me find everything later. And yes, the index is not well organized either. But it is usually no more than two pages long, so I can read through every line to find that one crucial item I need.

YouTube has proven to be a fantastic reference for me to begin journaling. But I had to disregard a lot of what I saw. I do not decorate my journals. I am not overly picky. If I make a mistake or draw a line in the wrong place, I fix it and move on. I am definitely not a perfectionist. Some of the journals on YouTube are best described as works of art. My journal is a tool. I do the minimum amount of work needed to make my journals useful, and then I get back to writing.

Happy Writing!


Read Kidd’s Stories in the Following Anthologies

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A Day in the Life of a Writer via Twitter by Jina Bacarr

September 11, 2016 by in category Jina’s Book Chat tagged as , , , , , , , , ,

A friend recently asked me if I journal.

Wow, a question that struck a cord in me. I haven’t kept a journal in years. I’ve got stacks of journals and diaries from high school, college, etc., but I spend so much writing stories, I stopped writing down my thoughts.

Then I realized I do journal in a way.

I tweet.

I don’t mean the promo tweets or the pretty graphics I love to put together for my books.

I mean the “here’s where I’m at in writing…” tweets.

So this month, I put together my favorite “journal tweets” for you. (I left out the hashtags.) It’s not easy putting your heart and soul into 140 characters, but hey, it’s convenient, like having a cell phone instead of a landline in our digital world.

It works when the power goes out…


Jina’s tweets:

1 — best part abt wearing tight jeans when you’re writing..can’t move so you keep your butt where it belongs..in the chair

2 — Reading aloud edited version of your story is like sex: too slow and you’ll never get there; too fast and you won’t remember it. 

3 — how much of a part do our memories play in writing our stories? performing in Italy inspired my Royal Magic story
4 — is imagination the most important tool in the writer’s toolbox — or is craft more important? What do you think? 
5 — writing a novel is like watching your roots grow out…painful and oh so slow, but always, always fixable!


6 — Writing sexy romance is like taking off a pair of black silk stockings, inch by inch: the slow reveal is way more sexy 
7 —  the waiting game with yr m/s…you submit…you wait..kinda like dating It can break your heart…but you do it anyway

8 — I have a secret: I keep telling myself “just one more edit” of m/s — which have now turned into 6. Why is it so hard to let go?

9 —  this writer and her m/s have finally parted–re: earlier tweet today, I submitted my story tonight to the publisher!


10 — writing is always hard work…grueling actually…you want to quit…then you get a 5 star review on your last book and you cry…

Website: www.jinabacarr.com
Blog: www.jinabacarr.wordpress.com

Getting clean ain’t easy…even for a princess

Zoey’s story from Royal Dare coming in October 2016: ROYAL BRIDE

The magic is in his kiss… 


She wore gray.
He wore blue.
But their love defied the boundaries of war.
And time.

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