I've always kept a journal, or a diary, as I prefer to call it. Especially when I was growing up I couldn't wait to transfer my emotions onto the four lined section I had for that day. Telling my diary just what fun, exciting times I had during my teenage years. Writing how much I loved my life on every single page. That's a complete lie by the way - growing up I hated pretty much everything about life.
But I always found that writing down my feelings helped me a great deal to process them and to put my emotions into some kind of logical order. I had a better insight to why I felt how I felt, instead of just trying to work out the thoughts in my head.
It's no wonder I felt better because countless pieces of research have proven that writing down your problems does actually help you to solve them. Your brain can see the physical evidence through your writing that there's a difficulty which needs to be solved and it quickly goes about finding potential solutions to the problem.
I had a huge diary when I was travelling. I went out and bought a A4 one to keep a record of my experiences throughout the year. And I wrote in it every day, something which most of my fellow travellers could not understand.
But I am so glad I did because it was these diaries that gave me the inspiration to write my first two books. I wouldn't have had this inspiration if it wasn't for them.
So the pivotal question of this blog is does keeping a diary make you a better writer?
I believe it does, even if you're writing pure fiction books. You don't have to write memoirs for it to be helpful. Keeping a diary helps you process your thoughts, condensing them into succinct notes. It forces you to cut the bull and focus on the main points. And this tool is invaluable to all writers. When you're faced with writing out plotlines I believe if you're used to keeping a diary you'll find the process easier.
So, what about you? Do you keep a regular diary of day to day life? Do you find it helps when you're writing?