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Mari's #JustJournal Blog


Posted by Kay Butzin on Wed, Mar 14, 2018 @ 11:23 AM

Journaling for Writers - Tips from Author Kay Butzin.jpegIt will be nineteen years on April 9 since I wrote my first three morning pages.  Over the days and months since, I have journaled my way to a better understanding of myself, my family, and every relationship in which I’ve ever been.  Having experienced the benefits of journaling in general and of Mari’s programs in particular, and being in a writing slump at the time, I accepted her promotional offer of the self-paced program, 14 Days of Journal Magic for Writers.

Life interrupted and I took twenty days rather than fourteen to complete it; but when I had to miss a day, I looked extra-forward to my next journaling session.  First thing in the morning I would print a copy of the day’s exercises and then sit with my mug of coffee, lap desk, spiral notebook and gel pen, and respond to the prompts.  As a result I wrote:

  • a poem
  • 3 flash fiction drafts
  • six Ideas and Inspirations for my list
  • a revised essay for a contest
  • six plots for old characters

Especially productive was the exercise to create prompts related to ideas I haven’t pursued.  I used to think I would write a novel someday.  I started and abandoned three of them before accepting that I lack the focus for a book length project and turned to the flash genre.  Creating prompts for former characters on Day 2 affirmed I have plenty of ideas.  I just need to resurrect those characters I still love and tell their stories in short fiction.

Or nonfiction.  By the end of the Day 5 assignment, a submission to a flash essay contest became my next writing goal.  I had a critiqued essay I wanted to revise and plenty of time to meet the deadline.

Instead of facing the challenge, I started making notes for a new project.  Mari’s journaling prompt to the rescue, I called myself on the trait which has held me back from the accomplishment of more than one goal and wrote a mantra:

Rather than starting a new project, look at the old project in a new way.

I am proud to announce this morning, three weeks since I finished the program, that I have read the latest printout of my essay and pronounced it ready for submission.

I found Journal Magic for Writers motivational and inspirational and do not hesitate to recommend it.  I believe the design of the exercises can help others, as it helped me, to discover their stories, develop practices for reaching their goals, and define and accept who they are as writers.  For example, I will tell people that I write but hesitate to call myself a writer because I don’t depend on it for my living.  During the course of this program, I acknowledged it wouldn’t be as much fun for me if I did, and that entertaining my friends and family with my work is compensation enough.

However, I really would like to win that contest.

Author Kay Butzin - Shares Thought on Journaling for Writers.jpg

Author Bio

Kay Butzin sets her cellphone timer for thirty minutes before she begins to write morning pages. If she meets the three-page goal in that length of time, it means she has succeeded in keeping her eyes on the page rather than staring out the window for inspiration.

Kay has also written articles for the CreateWriteNow blog in the past including Morning Pages: Keeping My Word and How I Remodeled My Journaling Practice: Write-On!





Topics: morning pages, journaling for writers

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Journal Writing Benefits

I started journaling over 18 years ago and soon realized the wonderful benefits journal writing can have.  When I started this blog, it was with the intent to share my own experiences and the incredible health benefits I was experiecing through my journal writing practice.

As things have evolved and I've continued to experience the impact journaling can have on overall  health -  including physical, mental, emotional aspects -  the content here has expanded to cover all the ways individuals can benefit from their own journal writing.  

In addition to sharing my own experiences with journaling, this blog now includes guest articles from other writers - including health practitioners, coaches, psychotherapists and others.

Whether you are an exerienced journaler or new to the practice of journal writing, this blog will provide you with many different voices, insights and ideas to inspire your journaling journey.  

In addition to the personal stories of other journalers and contributors, you'll also find journaling writing tips, prompts, videos and more. 

We publish blog articles throughout the week!   So come back often!