Why I Keep an Idea Journal

Hello everybody, and welcome to February’s first Writing Wednesday. This week we’ll be talking about an idea journal.

First, what is an idea journal?

An idea journal is, to me, where writers keep their ideas, research, and little kernels that will eventually make their way into your writing. It is one place that all ideas go to be collected. Before I had an idea journal, I kept ideas everywhere. There would be scraps of paper, multiple journals, ideas lost because I couldn’t remember where I wrote them down. I can’t tell you how many ideas I simply can’t find because they were on a post it that has somehow been lost to the mess that is my desk and creative mind.

Second, why use just one?

I find using one and dividing it into sections: ideas, kernels, research and blog posts is best for me. That way I can carry one thing with me and have everything I need for my all of my various writing duties in one place. I can keep my blog ideas in a section and check them off as I write them, adding more as I come up with ideas, add ideas for novels and short stories in another section and keep of track of research like where I looked and what I have looked up in one place. It means that I have to only grab my notebook and I’m good to go. My kernels are little details I notice like when someone in one of my college classes pulled a pair of sweatpants out of his backpack. That will find its way into one of my stories somewhere.

Third, what kind of notebook?

I just use this. It’s a simple notebook I was given for my birthday that I divide with some post its. I could use a fancier one and I’m sure once I’m done with this notebook, which works for now, I will. A three ring binder or multiple subject notebook like I use for class would work better. But for now, Darth Vader serves the purpose that I need. He is great and captures my personality and love for Star Wars.
Well, that’s about all I have to say. Do you have an idea journal or anything similar or why not? -Jessica

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