Why Journaling Might Be The Key To Overcoming Your Writing Fears [Guest Post]

It’s my pleasure to welcome Kleia Paluca to my blog. This Inspiration Station is brought to you by her. Thanks, Kleia!

Inspiration Station: Why Journaling May Be The Key To Overcoming Your Writing Fears | Writing Fears | Creative Writing | Guest Post | RachelPoli.com

Many writers struggle at the beginning of their writing journey and never get past the first hurdle: the act of overcoming the blank page in front of them.

Fortunately, there’s an ancient art that can help authors face this writing fear, and it’s called journaling. The Harvard Business Review once said that the key to becoming an outstanding leader is simply to keep a journal. Well, the same truth holds for all writers — and we’ll show you exactly why in this post.

1. Journaling helps you practice writing consistently

To produce a book, you need to get in the habit of writing. This might seem like an oversimplification, but many bestselling authors have said that writing regularly — especially when you don’t feel like you’re writing particularly well — is the most important thing that they’ve done to overcome writer’s block. Maya Angelou is famously on record for saying that she might even jot down, “The cat sat on the mat, that is that, not a rat,” just to be able to put something down on paper.

In this respect, journaling is one of the best ways to practice regular writing. For authors, it can help build a good habit of writing daily (and personal character). Stuck for several days untangling a plot thread in your story? Write in your journal. You might be surprised at how the simple act of writing will benefit your storytelling.

2. It gets the creative gears in your head cranking

Multiple studies have confirmed that journaling will inspire creativity. And perhaps the most freeing thing about journaling is that you can journal about anything. If you’d rather not write about your day, perhaps you can instead describe a recent encounter that you had — in the third person! Or you can practice character creation by plucking a name from a character name generator and building a fun backstory around it. Or you can recall that conversation that you heard earlier that day in the coffee shop and expand upon it, wherever your imagination leads you.

Writing prompts in particular are a great (and readily available) source of inspiration that can get you started. In short, you’re asking the wrong question if you’re asking, “But what should I journal about?” What you want to be inquiring instead is, “What should I journal about first?”

3. It encourages mindfulness

As the old adage goes, a healthy writer is a productive writer. Stress and self-doubt can weigh you (and your words) down, which is why it’s important to try and keep these two horsemen of the apocalypse at bay as best as you can.

It’s important to note that journaling has been found to have long-term benefits for mental health. As Natalie Goldberg once said, “Whether you’re keeping a journal or writing as a meditation, it’s the same thing. What’s important is you’re having a relationship with your mind.” Taking the time every day to journal will keep you keep in touch with your mind and thoughts. It can help turn a negative mindset into a positive one. More than that, it encourages mindfulness, which will benefit you not just as a writer, but as a person.

4. It makes sure that you don’t forget a story idea again

If you’re an author, aspiring or not, you’re probably familiar with this common writing fear: coming up with a really good story idea, promising yourself that you’ll actually remember it this time, and then forgetting it — all in the span of a day.

So, last but not least, a journal can help you recall important ideas. It’s no coincidence, either, that research has found that journaling actually boosts your ability to remember! So you can start saying goodbye to days where you forget a thousand story ideas, so long as you have your journal nearby and handy.

Start journaling!

If you’re excited about journaling now, first things first: grab a journal. Then give yourself 15 minutes a day to write in it, and strive to find a quiet place where you can write in peace. To give you a headstart, here are a few things that you might like to try writing about at first:

  1. How was your day?
  2. Describe a coincidence that happened to you recently.
  3. Describe the last time you experienced déjà vu.
  4. What was the last dream that you had? Can you describe it?

(For more writing prompts, you can go here.)

Remember: at the end of the day, a writing fear is just a fear, and you don’t need to be fearless to eliminate fear. You just need to know how to navigate it, so that you can do what you actually want to do. In this respect, journaling is an invaluable exercise that can help you climb daily nearer to your end goal: a beautiful book.

About Kleia

Kleia Paluca | Why Journaling May Help You Overcome Your Writing Fears | Guest Post | Creative Writing | Writing | Writing Fears | Inspiration Station | RachelPoli.com

Kleia Paluca is a writer based in the Philippines. She reads a lot of books, doodles portraits of famous and unknown people, and would like to make a difference in the world before kicking the bucket.

Be sure to let Kleia know what you thought of her post in the comments! Check out her links and show her some love. If you liked the post, please share it around.

If you’d like to write a guest post for my blog, then read the Guest Post Guidelines.

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Inspiration Station: Fear As Fuel [Guest Post]

It’s my pleasure to welcome Annette Rochelle Aben to my blog once again. This Inspiration Station is brought to you by her. Thanks, Annette!

Inspiration Station: Fear As Fuel | Guest Post | Creative Writing | Blogging | RachelPoli.com

In the Kane Brown/Lauren Alaina song: What If, the duo goes back and forth siting the pros and cons of starting a relationship. Of course, it might work but what if it doesn’t. In the end, it sounds as though they are willing to throw caution to the wind and give it a go, despite their fears. Why? Because the pay-off is more attractive than giving into the fear.
They are using the fear as the fuel to create the argument FOR making their dreams come true.
As writers, we can talk ourselves in or out of everything from hitting the PUBLISH button to even beginning a project. The ten good reasons why we should not move forward, can become the justification to languish in a comfort zone of safety from disappointment. The more frequently we talk ourselves into playing it safe, the further away we drift from the possibility of making our dreams coming true.
I don’t mind having a life in which I never experience happiness from my creative energy is just fine with me.” Said NO ONE EVER!
Fear is merely a word. A word we define for ourselves. We decide if fear is our guide or our prison guard. It is up to us to use the fear of failure to help us explore the possibility of success. The power is ours to wield! Own your “what if’s” and watch the amazing results.

About Annette

Annette Rochelle Aben, Author | Guest Post | Blogging | Creative Writing | RachelPoli.comLearning to read, opened up world of acceptance and creativity, Annette found irresistible. Learning to write, made that world come alive inside Annette. Publishing books, allowed Annette to share herself with the world.

To date, Annette has self-published 12 books in the categories of poetry, self-help, spirituality and inspiration. A Haiku Perspective 2018 became a #1 Amazon Kindle Best Seller within 3 days of release. Her television commercial copy writing, garnered her an Emmy nomination and a children’s coloring book she designed, won a national marketing award for her, then, employer, United Artist’s Entertainment.

Currently, Annette is the Copy Editor for the digital magazine, The Magic Happens.

Blog | The Magic Happens | Amazon

Be sure to let Annette know what you thought of her post in the comments! Check out her links and show her some love. If you liked the post, please share it around.

If you’d like to write a guest post for my blog, then read the Guest Post Guidelines.

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Inspiration Station: When and Why Did You Begin Writing? With Skye Hegyes

As you know, guest bloggers appear on my site twice a month. For the months of August, September, and October, my guests will be discussing the same topic:

When and why did you begin writing?

This week we’ll learn a little bit more about Skye Hegyes. Thanks, Skye!

Inspiration Station: When and Why Did You Begin Writing? With Skye Hegyes

This is going to be horrible to say, but I honestly can’t remember when I started writing. I know. I know. I’m a horrible writer/author, but it’s the truth. I have no real recollection of when I started writing. Nor do I know what started it all truth be told. I have my hunches, though, and I guess that’s going to have to be good enough.
First, you must realize I come from a major reading background. There have always been hundreds of books (no lie; last count there was over three hundred) in my parents’ household. Most of them were fantasy. Some of them were thrillers, some romance, and some horse books. Horse books are their own genre in my household. Both of my parents were readers, and as soon as I could figure out words and letters and everything in between, I was too. My younger sisters weren’t far behind.
Even before the ability to read kicked in, my ability to tell stories reared its head. I was a knight saving a princess from a dragon, an astronaut exploring space in my one-man shuttle and fighting galactic battles in order to save the universe, a native hunting on the plains or taming a wild horse, a gunslinger who robbed banks but went after a murderer when my family was killed. I befriended giants and dinosaurs, rode dragons and unicorns, build robots and cybernetics. The games were endless and with them my ability to weave a story. Some were good. Some were bad. Some were too horrible to ever be mentioned again.
When these stories started being pulled from games and instead weaved into words on a page, I’m not certain of. My first “stories” that I can recall were all the school papers written based on writing prompts I was given in class.
The first story I can remember writing and being proud of was a short story I wrote for a fifth grade journal. I don’t remember the topic we were supposed to write about or how I came up with the particular story (See? Bad author!) but I remember being more proud of it over other stories, not because the idea was good, but because it was the first short story/prompt to spark an idea for a novel.
Of course, this was the first novel I plotted in my head completely but only wrote out bits and pieces to here and there. If I ever did complete the whole novel: a) it wasn’t right away, b) I have no recollection of it, and c) I no longer have a copy of it. Either way, it’s quite possibly a good thing. I might – just might – have a copy of the short story still but I don’t know. If I do, it’s mixed up with all my remaining school paperwork somewhere deep in the depths where only Cthulhu himself dares to go.
The first full novel I have a full recollection of writing was a novel I wrote in a black and white composition notebook, and it was called A Horse Called Catapult. It was the first somewhat original piece I’d ever written – heavy on the somewhat – and the first I showed someone else and asked their opinion on only to have that person question why I wasn’t trying to become an author.
Looking back now, I’m glad I don’t still have a copy of it. It was… well… to put it mildly… It was a bucket of copyright infringement. It had a plot close to the first three books in the Thoroughbred series by Joanna Campbell. In that series, a young teenager called Ashleigh moves to a racing farm where she meets an older pregnant mare who gives birth to a sickly foal she then has to convince everyone is worth saving. Then it continues on with the foal’s training and finally on into her racing career. If you ever want to read it, the first book is called, A Horse Called Wonder.
My novel, A Horse Called Catapult, was about a teenager named Anna living on an Arabian horse farm. A local vet brings in some rescues including a black stallion Anna nurses back to health, trains and then races. See the similarities? Yeah…
Beyond that, I wrote a bunch of short stories about a girl and her horse, the first of which she saved her horse as a foal when it fell through a frozen pond. While I don’t still have the original, I re-wrote it, and it appeared in Short Story Smash.
Since then, I’ve written hundreds of stories and several novels. I’ve had great people introduce me to National Novel Writing Month, publishing, and blogging. I’ve been privileged to meet dozens of awesome people both online and in real life. It’s been a great opportunity and an even greater experience. Plus, just think. I have many more amazing years left in which to continue to grow, develop, and of course WRITE!
Author’s Bio:
Dragons, wolves, and sharp objects are commonplace in Skye Hegyes’s home in North Carolina. She spends most of her time between writing and working. When not doing either of these things, you may find her making crafts or adventuring with her family, which consists of her husband, two daughters, two birds, and three cats… and a partridge in a pear tree…
Connect with Skye:

Inspiration Station: When and Why Did You Begin Writing? With Sacha Black

As you know, guest bloggers appear on my site twice a month. For the months of August, September, and October, my guests will be discussing the same topic:

When and why did you begin writing?

This week we’ll learn a little bit more about Sacha Black. Thanks, Sacha!

Inspiration Station: When and Why Did You Begin Writing? With Sacha Black

I had a cupboard.

I was nine and it was built into my bedroom wall like an adults’ closet, a fact I used to feel smug about because it was in my room and not my parent’s.

At first, I used to store things in it, like toys and roller skates. Then after a particularly bad day at school with bullies, I came home and wanted to hide. Usually, I’d grab a book and run into the fields to climb a tree and read till sunset. But it was winter and by the time I was home from school, darkness had fallen.

I looked at the cupboard – it was just big enough for one small child to fit inside. So I yanked open the door and threw everything into the middle of my bedroom floor. I sat inside and slammed the door shut. I cried, not because of the bullies, but because it was cold, dark and uncomfortable and not the safe haven I’d expected.

I took pillows, a blanket, a torch and what I’d thought was a book back into the cupboard. But it wasn’t a reading book, it was a sketch book. Instead of finding a reading book, I grabbed a pen and started doodling. Doodles turned to words, which turned into a story. That was the first real story I ever wrote, and I wrote it in a cupboard!

The creatures in the story were called Praeth. Even then I wrote fantasy, it was my little way of escaping, of creating worlds where I would fit in and didn’t have to explain myself or be the school weirdo because I liked books and studied hard.

I rewrote that story several more times, expanding and building each time as my skills and knowledge developed. That short story called Praeth eventually got so long that on August 20th 2016, twenty years after I inked the first full stop, it was a completed novel called Keepers. Next year, I’ll publish it, and I’ll put the first copy next to that very first notebook which I still have.

Why do I write? I write because stories are woven into my blood like oxygen. When I was created, instead of filling my DNA with genetic material, someone put characters and words into there and now those characters’ bark at me until I sit down and pen their stories. They demand to be told like the government demands taxes. This isn’t a choice. I was born to tell stories.

Author’s Bio:

Sacha is a nightwalker carefully treading the line between light and dark, strange and unusual. A hunter desperately pursuing the right words to chronicle stories. Sacha was always meant to write, she was the girl who spent her lunch break tucked away in the corner of the school library, head buried in a pile of books, pencil in hand, weaving stories on the page. But she grew up, stumbled and fell forgetting her dream and then spent a while lost in a dark and twisted place. Then, one day she sat in front of her laptop and started to write. She remembered that all she’d ever wanted to do was write stories in faraway places filled with curious creatures and magical happenings. Sacha is also a mother to a toddler terror tot and wife to a beautiful woman.

Connect with Sacha:

Website

Email list (full of juicy writing tips and the latest industry publishing news)

Twitter

Facebook

Pinterest

Google+

Instagram

Inspiration Station: When and Why Did You Start Writing? With Nthato Morakabi

As you know, guest bloggers appear on my site twice a month. For the months of August, September, and October, my guests will be discussing the same topic:

When and why did you begin writing?

This week we’ll learn a little bit more about Nthato Morakabi. Thanks, Nthato!

Inspiration Station with Nthato Morakabi: when and why did you begin writing?

Writing: A Privilege and an Honour

I think a majority of writers start at an early age, and I am no different from the flock. The oldest piece of writing I found was in an old diary when I was between the ages of six and eight. My piece of creative writing featured my own version of the lyrics to the song La Bamba performed by Ritchie Valens in the film of the same name as the song. Something along the lines of “La la la la la Bamba I was born in Soweto.” I imagine my parents dancing to the off-tune vocals of young me while their faces wondered when the madness would stop. It didn’t. I wrote more than just lyrics and in Grade 2 (second grade), I was fast becoming an avid reader.

My reasons for writing have evolved from those formative years and has become a more refined version, something I experienced quite a couple of years ago. But initially, it was for the praise of my parents and teachers. I wrote to please others. I remember freaking out during creative writing because the story I wanted to write ended up with such a large scope it wouldn’t fit the word count, and I would whip up something quickly in the last ten minutes. At least that hasn’t changed, I still can’t keep word counts.

It was in Grade 9 when I really started writing for myself. I was so consumed by the fictional worlds that existed around me that I had to delve into them. If they weren’t big enough I created my own. I spent a lot of time in class writing my stories rather than taking notes; the only thing that helped me pass was my strong short-term memory: study the night before, go to bed, retain what I studied and write exams/tests; forget it all the moment it’s pens down. This was where I started thinking of writing as more than just a hobby; I wanted to be a writer. I had stories man. Tons of stories. I had a file where I kept all my drafts and documents and ideas; any empty notebook immediately became a story book. If I saw a blank page, I saw potential. Of course, I was also frequenting the school library, determined to read every Stephen King, Clive Barker, James Herbert, Dean Koontz and any other horror author I could find. These pulled into my writing. Anime I was watching pulled into my writing. Games I played pulled into my stories. I fell in love with Final Fantasy not only for its amazing CGI (which at that day and age was far ahead of its time) but also for its intriguing stories, characters, and villains.

I look back now and see how my education, upbringing, and circumstances have allowed me to be the writer I am today. It truly is a privilege to sit here and type this out with speedy, proficient keystrokes, to be able to string thoughts together using letters and words formed back in school when I was a young lyrical genius (sarcasm). It’s been quite a journey already and I look forward to enjoying the remaining years achieving my goal of becoming a full-time author – I’m a full-time writer by profession after all.

Author’s Bio:

Nthato Morakabi is a South African author working as a Junior Technical Writer for Everlytic and a freelance writer for Gamecca Magazine. He has a total of seven published short stories, available in separate anthologies on Amazon and Chasing Dreams Publishing website. He is currently working on personal anthologies, one of which will be on Patreon.
He is a hobbyist blogger, avid reader, and aspiring digital artist.
Connect with Nthato:
Twitter: @Nthito