Journalling Habits

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I’m amazed at how powerful journalling is constantly. It’s the friend that will never turn its back on you. It’s the confidante that you can rely on to tell anything. It’s the thing that keeps you grounded and level-headed.
My journal, Catie, which I started in 16 April 2011, has proved to be invaluable in my life. Since I started journalling honestly in her I feel that my life is more-balanced and controlled. She helps me to see things as they really are. I cannot imagine what life would be like without her now. Occasionally I wonder how I will have enough material to keep writing but then an outpour of ideas comes flooding in, renewing my faith in journalling.
I’m now on my fifth journal, which is a binder that holds 200 sheets of B5-sized lined paper (the rings are prying apart). I’m on page 64 and estimate that I will finish it in a couple of months. I number each page and label every corner with the date (this has helped me enormously – thanks, Kristin of Journaling Saves!). I also mark each book with the dates that I kept them. I set myself the challenge of using only one pen for the entire journal, which is a blue gel pen with bold ink (review will be up soon).
Do you journal? What weird habits do you do in your notebooks?

Plotting against Free-writing – No; I Am Not Evil

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Plotting is the heart of writing a story. But there are two methods: Free-writing, where one writes with only a basic plot, with probably one sentence to summarise the whole story; and writing a detailed plot so that the story doesn’t go too far astray.

People who free-write their stories will say that it’s not fun to write when everything is already planned out. The plotters want to be able to remember everything that they want to write in case they forget a small but significant part of the story, like the names of secondary characters or how a particular scene plays out.

I consider myself to be a plotter because I usually have a very-detailed plot of my stories before I start writing. Even with such a plot I almost-always forget to include one point. It’s like I offer myself options on what to write, and this in itself is a freedom.

How do you write stories? Do you plot or just jump right in? You may leave a response below.

Black and Blue – A Bruised Post

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My two favourite ink colours are black and blue. Not only are they acceptable in almost-all of situations (especially black), they are also my favourite colours. Coloured pens give me a kind of anxiety and nervousness that I don’t need while I’m writing.

Initially I had an amount of distrust for pens in primary school as they’re permanent and more-expensive than pencils. If I were to make mistakes while writing then I would have the cross them out, making the paper look unsightly. But soon after that I accepted them because I’d be using them for school for years.

I usually use black pens because they’re more-universal. But I recently bought a box of blue gel pens of my favourite brand, Snowman, to get a change of scenery. I love blue because it reminds me of water and the ocean.

What are your favourite colours to write with? Do you like standard or unusual colours, and why? Leave your answer in the comments below.

Cursive and Print

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I write in print. It allows me to determine the shapes of a single letter. It’s easier to read. And I believe that it’s more-individualistic because you can see more-clearly the characteristics of a person than with cursive writing.

I’m able to write in cursive, but I find it extremely-annoying. Every letter seems to look different, which is something that annoys me because I require order in writing. When I lose my train of thought I start drawing waves instead of shaping letters. I’ll post a picture of what my upright cursive writing looks like in the near-future.

Of course, cursive is faster because you take less time picking your pen up and then putting it down again. And it’s regarded as the ultimate form of handwriting, when people considered it as an art.

Children were taught how to write in print after the printing industry was established. It was thought that since books were made with print font it was easier for students to write with the same style.

I think that print writing should be taught before cursive because it enables children to gain understanding of how a letter is formed. And it allows them the freedom of shaping letters however they want to without being restricted by what the previous letter is shaped like.

To write faster when writing in print, try to draw the letters with as few strokes as possible. This eliminates the time moving the pen through the air.

Do you write with cursive, print or a combination of both? What should be taught first: print or cursive? Leave your response below.

Planning for NaNoWriMo 2012

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I just turned Owen, my beloved laptop, on for the purpose of writing this post. After this I’m going back to writing.

Last night I was planning my NaNoWriMo story because I couldn’t sleep. As I wrote with my favourite gel pen, which had blue ink, on the lined pages, flipping them over so that I could write more, this thrill grew inside of me. I suddenly can’t wait to write this story to see how it would play out. I regret that I didn’t come up with this plot sooner, when I could have participated in the competition last year. Now I have nine months and around two weeks to wait.

Along with that thrill came an epiphany. I suddenly knew what I want to be when I grow up. An author! It would fulfill what I’d always dreamed of! And now that I’ve discovered the joy of writing on paper, I can now concentrate on writing full-time to reach my dream!

I was so happy about this revelation because after I quit my childhood ambition of becoming a flight attendant for being too-reliant on aesthetics, I was in limbo, unsure of what I wanted to be. I failed every subject that I was taking because I didn’t see the point of graduating if I didn’t have a clear view of where I was going in life.

To me you must do what you love in order to earn money. Even if it’s a job that is generally low-paying, if you are enthusiastic about it, then it will pay you back. So many authors fail to get published, but that doesn’t deter me because I love writing.

I just hope that during these nine months (I’m essentially pregnant with a story) I don’t make unnecessary additions to the plot, thus complicating it for the readers and myself.

Lined Paper

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Aaah… Lined paper. My favourite paper format of all time. It satisfies my need for routine, neatness and reliability. Since I’ve been using it from the time I started school (don’t we all use this kind of paper?), I rely on the comfort that it has always been there for me. I love how it keeps me in line (pun intended) because I can’t write neatly on unlined paper and graph paper would slash my handwriting, therefore making it unreadable. It is also the most-common paper format, so I don’t need to worry about its availability.

What’s your favourite paper format and why? Leave a comment!

Writing Tools

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At any time I have three notebooks and two pens going. Two of the books are hardcover; one is spiral. Both pens are Snowman V-3s but come in two different colours, black and blue. I use the folio-sized hardcover as my journal, the B6 hardcover as my article notebook (I write almost all blog articles here before posting) and the B5 spiral as my novel (I also reserve another B5 spiral for my other stories though I haven’t written them down yet). I use the black pen for journal entries and the blue pen for articles and stories.

What are your writing tools? Comment below!