Learning to write is no different than learning to play an instrument or learning to dance or excelling at a sport. What you want to do is create muscle memory, i.e., engram memory. There are writing muscles- nerve cells- in the brain that must be trained, conditioned.
Writing begins with desire, but the ability to write, the art of writing, is stimulated, improved and yes, honed with practice.
Journal writing accomplishes the following:
It gets us in the habit of writing. Warms up the writing muscles, so to speak, and keeps them in good shape.
It provides us with food for thought, i.e., subject material. Every single day we experience something. Perhaps we have a conversation. Perhaps we observe an unusual interaction. Perhaps we are involved in an interesting interaction, perhaps we do nothing more than watch a flock of birds interact at a feeder. Almost anything may one day make a good story or be a part of a good story. A real story reflects the rules of real life, even science fiction and fantasy abide by the rules of their respective worlds, therefore it’s helpful if a writer, herself, learns the rules governing real life and can make sense of them for herself. These rules are learned through observation and reflection.
It helps us reflect upon and make sense of our observations.
It helps us improve. The more we write, the more we evaluate our writing (within reason– an author friend of mine once told me editing is never-ending therefore he ends after two edits no matter what), the better we get, the more progress we make. I don’t suggest editing a journal entry. But rereading from time to time can be valuable.
It helps us hear our own voice. As an author it’s best to develop an individual voice. The more clarity, the better.
Write by hand (as much as possible). This is a proven exercise. Writing by hand makes the brain work harder and stimulates synapses in the brain. Makes us smarter!
It’s fun. Journaling is something with which you can have fun.
That’s it for today! Have a great week!