Book Status: Outline of Part I (and some thoughts on journaling)

I’ve been working on brainstorming the book in my Moleskin journal. Journaling is a new habit for me, one I wish I started years ago. My current journal is messy and disorganized, and rather reflective of my thought process. I’ve false-started journals in several forms in the past and always found reasons to stop, mostly because I had unreasonable expectations. This round, I’ve told myself not to have any expectations at all and just to let it be what it is. My only goal is to write something in it every day. Sometimes that’s a single line, sometimes it’s pages of thoughts or ideas or prose. This is working out real fine.

While I was in Bend last week, I developed a very good sense for who the main character of my book is. I made significant progress outlining the first part of the story, too, but something wasn’t sitting right. I knew what my character needed to experience in Part I, but the way it was unfolding felt a little strained. I kept finding the need to add elements to the first part to get all of the character development I was looking for. After I left Bend, I spent several hours in the car by myself driving through Eastern Washington. During the drive I realized that my character just needed to move to a new setting. She did, and Part I came together easily after that.

Now that I’m home, it’s time to start writing in earnest. I’m spending an hour and a half to two hours each morning writing before I start work, starting today. This morning I moved my outline out of my journal and into a Word document, filling in details as I went. I have all of the scenes in Part I outlined. I’ll see how I feel tomorrow, I’ll either start writing the prose of Part I, or outlining Part II.

This process is super exciting and rewarding. I can’t emphasize enough the value of spending focused time on creativity. If you haven’t already, I’d recommend starting a daily journal habit. This seems to be a slippery slope to a rich writing and reading habit. I love my Moleskin journal, and after exhaustive research, I settled on “Le Pen” as the only writing implement I’ll allow to touch the pages of it.

Do you have a daily journaling habit? If so, please consider sharing thoughts or tips!

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