Journal Writers, Start Your Pens

As promised, I launched a new blog design with this post!

Turning the page to a new month is an excellent time to begin writing in a journal, especially if you’ve never tried it before. Just grab a $3 composition book from the back-to-school discount bin and start! If you need a few suggestions, here are four:

#1: Use The Artist’s Way

For the past two months, I’ve been using author Julie Cameron’s suggestions from The Artist’s Way: I start every day by filling three “morning pages” of longhand, stream of consciousness writing.  After I’ve emptied my head of the surface thoughts, like my anxiety over news headlines, I can begin the serious business of writing … and rewriting.

#2: Go outside

October is a great time to be out hiking, camping, observing. Moleskines make great travel journals because they are slim, lightweight, and come in sizes that conform to pocket or backpack. Ernest Hemingway and Vincent van Gogh used them; so did my son’s girlfriend when she walked the Camino de Santiago in northwestern Spain.

#3: Journal with a guide

Search online for the name of your city or county and the word “journaling” and you’ll find local opportunities to join others in a guided journaling experience.

For example, I searched for “Manassas journaling” and found a nature journaling program for all ages being taught at Manassas National Battlefield Park in Virginia on October 12 and October 14 by author Linda S. Johnston. The event is free and no registration is required. Bring a journal. Other supplies will be provided.

In Saxapahaw, North Carolina, author Taralynne Groth will lead “Pen & Paddle” on October 14 starting at 9:00 a.m. Meet at Haw River Canoe, 6079 Swepsonville-Saxapahaw Rd. The cost is $54. Taralynne describes the journaling experience as: “Paddle along the Haw River on this ‘floating retreat’ and revel in nature. We’ll take time at different points along the river to drift and write. Fee includes single-rider kayak rental, flotation device, paddle, shuttle, Moleskine journal, pen, bottled water, and all-day snacks. Pack your own lunch. If you bring your own kayak/canoe your retreat fee is only $30/person. For more information contact Taralynne at or visit her website.

#4: Don’t Write, Bullet

A writer in my Saturday morning group, Cornerstone Writers in Selma, North Carolina, introduced me to her bullet journal. It’s almost like a personal almanac, where you track different areas of your life, like diet, exercise, to-do list, income and expenses, gas mileage, parenting tips, and more. I’m willing to try this style for a month.



Draw, doodle, add photos cut from magazines, whatever you want to do. However you journal, have fun with it!





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