first pages: how to best start a fresh journal

New journal, unknown possibilities, fresh start. You ever flip through your blank journal, wondering what stories, lists, and scribbles will land there? Where will your life take you while you are filling these 120 pages?
How do I best start off this new phase? For some reason, the integrity of these bound pages depends entirely on how I choose to fill the first few pages. Here are the best ways to start a fresh journal.

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final pages: how to finish your journal

When I finish a journal, it signifies the end of a life chapter; whatever happened within those pages is now in the past. A fresh journal is a fresh start. Because of this, I often visualize specific periods of my life with what journal I used at the time. My year in Scotland? Ahhh, the red hardcover. My tiny apartment Portland, Maine; teaching, getting married, and preparing for Germany? That’s the era of the turquoise lined soft cover. My life fizzles down into a bunch of Moleskines.

tips for your travel journal

Traveling can be life changing. A single trip can alter the course of your life and give you your most memorable experiences. It can also be stressful, mundane, and make you want to go home. Your journal should show every angle of traveling, the highs and the lows. It should not look perfect, because traveling is not perfect.

4 creative writing prompts to stress out your characters

One of my worst writing habits is the inclination to write happy and descriptive scenes, rather than action filled, stressful ones. In my head, it seems to all fall into place so neatly, though when I take the time to write, I realize how unrealistic it feels. People, and characters, experience pain in their lives. How they confront these stressful experiences is what molds them, and ultimately, what makes them interesting to read. Check out these prompts to give depth to your characters.

3 writing prompts that use books around your house

Sitting down with a notebook or a laptop and immediately feeling inspired to write is a huge expectation we put on ourselves, and not one that is easily achievable. I’ve found that focusing on my physical environment can kickstart the flow of ideas. Do you have a book lying around? How about a whole library? Here are three ways to use the literature existing around you to write your own.

Stream of Consciousness

Starting a creative writing session with a stream of consciousness can empty out any personal thoughts or details that are lingering in your mind. You might be surprised by the gems that you write during this “zone out” time. Since I’ve started this routine, I have a difficult time beginning my creative writing time without emptying my thoughts and starting with a clean slate.

Creative Writing Practice: creating a character

If you’re like me, you love the idea of writing stories. Having your words be read by others. Publishing your work. If you’re like me, you’ve figured out how difficult that can be, especially if you’re creating characters and a story line from scratch. Today can be the very start of this journey – the seed that will grow into something beyond you. Let’s start with a character.

Life Writing Practice: intrinsic and extrinsic character traits

Ahhhh, another Wednesday writing session. This is a time where you shut off the white noise in your life, reflect, and hopefully end up with writing you’re proud of. Since we are focusing on life writing still, we’re now honing in on intrinsic and extrinsic qualities of character building. The twist is, you’ll be writing about someone you intimately know.