Journaling: A Writer’s Work, A Writer’s Life

Debby Zigenis-Lowery's Literate Lives

Narrative writing is a skill all students must learn and all writers must master—whether you write memoir, fiction, or non-fiction. Daily journal-writing can be a fun way to build this skill, but anyone who has ever kept a sixth-grade diary knows the learning and development as a writer can be lost if one falls prey to the tedium of day-by-day. In “Journaling Without Tedium,” Ruth O’Neil, writing for this spring, listed some journaling topics any author could mine for future projects. Here they are:
Write down memories from your childhood.
Write about things children say and do.
Write your prayers.
Write down family stories that you have been told by older relatives.

O’Neil includes ideas to help mold your journaling into finished articles and stories, and shares tips for organization. For example, she keeps a separate journal for each kind of journal-writing she does; that way when she wants…

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