(1) Use it for you. Don’t worry about preserving your work for posterity. That’s what presidential historians are for. Use it to fuel your creativity and capture what matters.
(2) Keep track of events and experiences. Notes from a conference. Descriptions of a vacation. Impressions of an encounter. The mile markers of your life. What happened? How did you feel? Who was there? What will you tell your friends?
(3) Perspectives. Lying awake rehearsing a conversation? Struggling to digest a change of plans? How do you see it? What would you do different? Why is this good or bad?
(4) Clippings. Take samples of everything that inspires, intrigues, or provokes you. Evidence of your journey.
(5) Sketches. If you want to remember or might duplicate it, capture it.
(6) Blazing insights. The best ideas show up suddenly. They’re born while you’re walking, showering, or sitting in a meeting. Ideas for a presentation, things to tell a friend, or solutions to a problem. Write them down before you forget.
(7) Index it. Some day you’ll go searching for a particular nugget, so date your entries and use the last few pages as an index. Scanning indices is way better than thumbing through fifty old Moleskines.
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I’m all for Moleskines and labeling each entry with a category/title and a date, but what exactly do you include in an index? That’s a new one to me.
Ever since I was a young girl there has always been some sort of journal nearby for me to scribble in..moleskin journals are wonderful..
I love suggestion #1. Using a “journal” works best when it’s just for you. But I also think this may be the most challenging step for writers. In some ways we are always writing for the reader. I suppose the trick is to convince yourself that *you* are and will be the only reader.
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