5 Tips for Starting a Journal!

Journaling for Beginners! | Attempting Authenticity

I made a post last week about cultivating inspiration so that you can decrease the number of times when you’re feeling burn out and hopefully boost your creativity! In that post I briefly mentioned journaling and why it’s a really awesome thing to incorporate into your daily life as a writer/artist/business person/student/whatever else you do.

But I know that if you don’t journal a lot (or if, like me, you’re a little inconsistent with it) you might feel like you don’t know where to start and might need some inspiration. So here are 5 tips for getting started!

Writing Tips and Book reviews! | Attempting Authenticity

  1. Find a journal you really like. Personally I gravitate towards Moleskines, leatherbound journals (like this one), and Paperblanks journals. The paper quality is really lovely and it makes writing in them an actual treat. If you don’t love the journal you’re writing in, you probably won’t use it very often.
  2. Find a pen you love! I like Pentel’s black liquid gel ink pens, or their ballpoint pens, but that’s just me. They glide like heaven across the creamy pages of a good journal ❤ Stabilo and Staedtler also make lovely pens that are super affordable.
  3. Let go of the pressure. Writing in your journal is for you. It doesn’t matter how neat or messy your handwriting is, what you write about, or how eloquent you are. It’s just your journal. Write what you want, how you want, and don’t evaluate yourself as you’re doing it.
  4. Set the stage. Make journaling a nice experience. I light a candle and have tea or hot water with lemon while I do it, and I sit in bed because it’s comfortable. Sometimes I listen to music. I don’t set a timer or anything—I just enjoy the moment and let myself totally relax into the words and into the motion of the pen sliding across the paper.
  5. If you can, do it first thing in the morning or before bed in the evening. The middle of the day is often too hectic and busy, and you might find yourself pushing it aside in lieu of “more important” things. But early in the morning or late at night you can sit, relax, and get lost in the wordage.

I’ll post some great journal prompts for you next week!

Writing Tips and Book reviews! | Attempting Authenticity

5 Tips for Inducing Inspiration

We all know that inspiration can sometimes be an elusive creature. People give you advice and say things like “Suck it up, you don’t need inspiration to write, just write, you’re a pansy” etc. Well, pardon me, Oh Wise Givers of Writing Advice, but I happen to enjoy writing (or anything creative) when I’m feeling inspired. But obviously inspiration isn’t always just there, readily available for you to tap into whenever you choose.

5 Tips for Inducing Inspiration | Attempting Authenticity

However, I’ve found that there are several things…habits, if you will…that make it much easier for me to stay in an inspiration cloud so that I can draw on it whenever I need it. I’m not saying all of these will work for everyone, but I am saying that you can actually do things to cultivate inspiration in your life rather than always just waiting for it to hit you.

  1. I start my day by journaling. It’s pretty widely accepted that writing by hand stimulates your brain and stimulates creativity: here’s a cool article on it. Even if I don’t have anything specific to journal about, I just write. But if you need some help getting started, here are a few tips that might help you!
  2. I read every day! It doesn’t matter what you read – just read. I tend to genre hop because I think it’s important for writers to read widely, and I also stick some non-fiction in there. Even if you can just squeeze in five or ten minutes of reading here and there, you’ll find that it will massively help your creative brain. If you need some suggestions, I highly recommend Kindle Unlimited for finding unlimited (ha, see what I did there) books by well-known as well as indie authors!
  3. I get outside at some point during the day. Fresh air does wonders for you, and it’s even better if you take a short walk. It’s just basic science, really! Light exercise increases blood flow, and that includes blood flow to your brain.
  4. I try new things. Part of the reason why we feel like we lack inspiration and creativity is because we get stuck in the same old pattern, the same old routine, and going to the same old places. So try a new coffee place! Take a different route to work/school! Find new music to listen to! There are countless little things you can do to change it up and kick your brain into a different gear.
  5. Find other writer-people. We’re all over the place – blogs like this one, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook…there are so many places to find fellow writers who go through the same struggles and challenges. Find your tribe, encourage each other, and draw on others for inspiration when you have none left yourself. (I find the hashtags #writerslife and #amwriting are a good start on Twitter and Instagram.)

So, those are my tips! What do you do to stay inspired?

5 Tips for Inducing Inspiration | Attempting Authenticity

What Moves You

rainy days, clouds in the sky again
my limbs protest but my fingers rage
pen and ink, feathers on the floor
find me something to live for

what pretends but never apprehends
the apathy my soul seems to bleed
pen and ink, breathe life into me
find me something to live for

can you feel me
can i even breathe
pen and ink, sink to the ocean floor
find me something to live for

poor poets crush their hearts on
cement floors, dark halls, blue ghosts
pen and ink, make my words dance
find me something to live for

Warriors: Book Two

Cover reveeeeeeaaaaal! I mean, okay, if you follow me on Instagram (@veroniquewrites) or Facebook, you’ve already seen it, but this is Warriors in its full-scale, beautiful glory! I’m working on it full steam (mostly editing at this point) and the feedback I’ve gotten for Pirates so far has been super encouraging. These characters are my characters and I’ve loved them for EVER and it’s kind of cool knowing that other people love them too.

Anyway, this is more of a reminder that you can actually totally get Warriors for free once it’s released in March (it was going to be February, but with Husband’s surgery and other life things the date was pushed back a little). Here’s how!

  1. Leave a review for Pirates on Amazon by February 28th
  2. Share your review on Facebook and tag my page in it so I know you’ve done it

That’s it! This isn’t a contest so if you do these two things you’re guaranteed to get the book.

Muuuuuuch much love
-V

Coming Back

Yesterday I wrote a post about how I was feeling disconnected from myself and feeling  a little paralyzed as a result. So although I’m never one to “go back” to things (choosing instead to always move forward), I realize that something that has helped me a lot in the past was blogging. Aside from the occasional post about writing, I haven’t been blogging very much, and I think I’d like to get back to it.

Blogging is like art journaling. It’s creativity without pressure. It’s feeling free to let my mind do its thing and not worry about what the result might look like to other people. This blog, right here, is my own little sanctuary of whatever-I-want-ness. Because as much as other people have the right to existence, the right to an opinion, the right to make decisions, so do I. And this is where that has always happened, from when I was seventeen years old. That’s right, y’all, this blog is that old.

And today I need a little bit of me again. So, in the words of Samwise, “Well…I’m back.”