When you travel,
write about your surroundings. Describe the rooms, buildings,
streets, landscapes, people, and activities in which you
are involved. Jot down dialogues and conversation. Describe
yourself in your new surroundings, being sure to show how
you react to the people around you. Choose an activity other
than journal keeping and keep a journal for several consecutive
days about that activity.
Some examples might be: training a puppy,
having a visitor, planting a garden, or searching for the
perfect gift for someone. Or take the same walk on journal
entry days and write about the walk each time you take it.
Whatever you do, capture your thoughts and behavior as you
do the activity you have chosen to journal about. Locate
five words from anywhere around you: your bulletin board,
a newspaper headline, a shopping bag, a warning label, or
a Cardin your wallet.
Write each of the five words on a scrap
of paper and put the scraps in a bowl or hat. Choose one
scrap and beg into write about that word. Write for ten
to twenty minutes without stopping or editing yourself.
On some days you might just want to enter an apt phrase
or description or an ironic question that comes to mind.
Leave themes short paragraphs entered under dates. Someday
you might collect them under one title, such as Winter Thoughts
or What My Mind Wandered to in Spring. If you are engaged
in writing anything -- a story, poem, essay, play, or paper
for school or for work -- make some entries about your writing
process. Be sure to say what your feelings are as you begin,
revise, and finish what you are working on. What questions
do you ask yourself? What are you learning that helps you
write? What do you think you are working against? Do entries
in the form of poems, even if you don't think what you’re
writing about is poetic.
Take what might seem prose-like and chop
the paragraphs into lines like a poem. When you see the
writing this way, you might find that images stand out,
and with some editing (such taking out extra words), you
could have a rich piece of writing. Write letters you would
never mail. Tell old boyfriends what you’d like them
to know now that you are older or wiser or dumber. Tell
family members or friends something you never told them
before. Tell a toy from childhood or a teacher from long
ago about something that makes you think of them now. Try
writing their letter back to you.