Julie's Quest

Hello, and welcome to my blog. My blog is about the trials and tribulations of writing, where we celebrate successes and commiserate our near misses. We tell it like it is here and will do our very best to help you on the road to being published and pick you up after the rejections (they will come!) Whether you are a professional or amateur writer you will find something useful here.

I hope you enjoy reading my posts and will visit again soon.

Happy Writing

Julie Phillips - freelance writer - member of the Association of Freelance Writers - member of the Society of Authors

Monday, 13 April 2009

Life Stranger than fiction?

Since December 31st 2008 I have been writing a personal journal/diary. I decided to do it as I remembered that one of the other members of the writing group I attend had done it last year and I thought it was a great idea.

I bought a red, hard back, lined, spiral notebook - nothing too fancy, but something that would take a year of hard pounding. I write in a normal pen, again nothing fancy - I didn't want to be put off writing by being daunted by defacing a glamorous, beautiful book with and equally exotic pen!

I wanted to record what was happening in my daily life - my thoughts, feelings and any events happening in my world and that of the wider world. I don't write in it everyday, only if something interests me and I want to explore it more closely.

My plan, when I've finished it, on December 30th 2009, is to read back through it and see how far I have come - look at the good bits as well as the bad bits, and see if it tells me anything about myself and how I interpret the world, as that's what we writers do. So hopefully it will also allow me to explore who I am as a writer and help me to hone my writing skills as well. It will never be read by anyone else, (I doubt anyone could read my scrawl anyway),neither will it be published. It is full of my deepest and often darkest thoughts as well as much hilarity. If I thought it was going to be read by all and sundry, I wouldn't be able to express myself do freely.

Quite often the entries I make are a lot like free writing where I jot down random thoughts as they come into my ahead about the day I've just had. It certainly helps to clear the debris out of the brain and I often find that problems I had with a line in one of my poems - or with I dilemma I face in my life, have been sorted by the morning.

We did Life Writing as part of the Open University course I did in 2007/2008, and part of that section was on diary writing and using diaries in our writing - think The Diary of Anne Frank, Frank McCourt's Angela's Ashes, or Samuel Peyps. I don't think my everyday writing is anything like to the standard of these famous diarists - but you never know, one day, when I'm a famous writer (cough) you may find my journal being flogged on ebay!

I wanted to write something just for me, something totally different to the stuff I'm writing with a view to get published. I'm hoping there may be some nuggets in there I can tease into poems or short stories, or maybe an article or two. If there isn't, then that's okay too. It won't have been a wasted exercise. Any writing is valid and even the most seemingly mundane ramblings can be hiding something glorious - It's about finding the extraordinary in the ordinary. That's often where the best stories are.

Give it a go - you don't have to do it every day, but I view it as writing practice. If I'm not writing anything else like a short story or poem - then writing in my journal keeps my writing muscle flexed and limbered up for when I do embark on my next project. You may be surprised by what ideas it throws up for your creative writing.

Happy writing! (Has anyone got any chocolate, or non dairy equivalent left?!)

Julie xx

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