Daily Journal: Creative Boost or Brain Drain?

Lots of folks recommend writing daily in a journal or other non-work-related form to get the juices flowing.  Here’s a whole blog about famous writers’ daily routines.  For a while I maintained a daily humor blog  (List of Sucky Things) and had a great time for the first couple of months. But, soon I felt like all my creativity was going just into the blog.  When I had spare time, I only thought about new posts instead of other writing.

I believe that journaling daily works for some because it uses ritual to promote discipline. I see the advantage of daily writing for those of you working from home. Scheduling a time to sit and write is one of those nice concrete goals we psychologists always emphasize.

But let’s be honest about how we spend our time. I know I’m not the only one out there with a household of young mammals who require constant attention and a full-time job on the side. If I have 10 extra minutes in my day, the first five minutes will be spent cleaning up poop (and the last five hopefully with FaceBook and a glass of wine).

Not every method works for every writer. Try out a few techniques and see what works best for you. If you find that spending a few minutes on purely creative writing prompts you to then write academically, clearly a daily journal is a good fit. For me, I know I can easily get wrapped up in something extra-curricular (especially if it’s a shiny and new), so I am most productive when I force myself to just sit down and get to work. No delays allowed.

What works for you? How do you get yourself writing? Hoping to hear from some of your successful daily journal folks 🙂