5 Ways Freelance Writers Benefit from Journaling
by Michelle Brooks
Journaling for everyone! It’s a safe place to express yourself. Writers use journals to keep track of their projects. I keep it for a mixture of both. For another thing, it’s nice to get off the computer and physically write something.
Whether you’re just launching a freelance writing career or you have already turn profession, starting a journal is a right choice. Use this powerful tool regularly, and you’ll reap the following advantages:
1. Stress relief and improved health
Writers have long known about the therapeutic benefits of writing. Now, this issue is the focus of research for scientists. Several studies have shown that patients engaged in expressive writing felt appreciably better, both mentally and physically, as compared with patients who didn’t.
From a simple observation made by me, journal keeping reduced my stress level by half. Although the therapeutic effect may differ individually, the positive impact of writing on overall health is beyond doubt.
2. Your idea bank
Pitching article ideas to editors of print and online media is part of freelance writing career. A journal is a starting point. It’s the soil where you plant ideas. A pitch that you dropped a few months ago and weren’t ready to develop may be perfect for you to work on tomorrow.
You’ll never suffer from the writer’s block. I often use my journal for article or essay writing. When the muse is mute, you can look through the entries and find a concept you’d love to employ.
3. Extra motivation
A freelance career requires hard work and patience. Journaling gives you an opportunity to keep track of your progress. That will push you forward.
My journal keeps me encouraged. I write down the ideas that inspire me. I also maintain records of the happy moments in life when I feel like having accomplished something.
Create a log of inspirational sources. The more motivation you get, the more you grow personally, mentally and professionally.
Setting up your work schedule (especially if you are working on multiple orders at once) is a task of utmost importance. A diary helps to prioritize time more efficiently. You can see patterns and notice troubles that keep popping up and need your attention.
Journaling helps me plan what I’m actually going to write. This way, I complete the non-writing activity sooner squeeze time out for actual writing.
Every time I take a writing course, submit an article or work on a long-term project, I jot everything down in my journal. The act of recording these things makes me feel organized. I know that I can manage my workload.
5. Higher qualification
The freelance job involves high professionalism. Working in the comfort of your home, what can be more appealing? When it comes to success in freelance writing, qualification matters. However, it doesn’t mean you must have a degree in a related field.
As a freelance writer, I take into consideration the expectations and satisfaction of my clients. It forms the driving force to produce the best quality of work possible. And meeting the deadlines is always an achievement.
If you’re not qualified but have necessary knowledge and ambitions, all you need is practice. A journal is a place for exercising your writing skills, developing your approach to work, and defining your career goals.
Are you already inspired to journal? The question is how to start practising it on a regular basis.
Choose a journal that suits you well
While it’s tempting to opt for the journal with the cutest cover or the fanciest embossing on it, select one that will be practical. Will you always have a surface to put your notebook on while you write? Will you be able to document your observations while standing in line and your creative juices are flowing at their very best?
Some writers note their ideas down on index cards and keep them in a file box. Others have a large notebook in handy locations at home and take a small spiral notebook when they go out. The latter can be tucked inside a purse or in the pocket.
A pen and paper give your brain a break from the screens. But why not use an app that you can open when you have a few spare minutes in the day?
Various software packages designed for journal keeping are also available. Their advantage is that you can tag entries, and then quickly find the necessary abstract. And if you want to include some sentences in your article, it is a matter of a few clicks.
The Idea Journal
It is the most suitable type of journal for writers. The idea journal comprises random thoughts and ideas that can be used for the future paper writing process. Make records while still fresh in the mind. It is clear that not all the ideas will be worth using. Still, some of them will turn out to be valuable.
What exactly should you write down? There’re no rules and limits. For example, you read a newspaper article, and you do not agree with an author. Write a short essay to explain your opinion. Someone said or did something wit? Record it. You may use it later to grab readers attention. A hectic thought keeps running in your head for several days? Create a mind map. And don’t focus on grammar or punctuation accuracy! Let your thoughts and feelings flow free.
How to make journaling a habit
Want to journal every day? Connect it to something you already perform daily. Maybe you take vitamin or have a couple of coffees every morning? Tie your writing practice to when you do it. This is why many daily journal-keepers write in the morning or right before bedtime to declutter the brain and avoid insomnia.
Want to write in your journal once a week? Choose a day, book that chunk of time (I suggest from ten minutes to an hour) in your calendar for a recurring event and set a reminder.
You may prefer digital or paper journaling and invent your specific diary format. In the first place, journaling brings you joy, fulfilment and self-discipline. In the course of time, you’ll be pleasantly surprised as your writing skills sharpen. Good luck becoming a journal keeper!
About the author: Michelle Brooks specializes in freelance writing, professional article editing and edits blog content for EssayHub. Besides her career, Michelle is interested in art, psychology and self-development.