Why I Journal + A Peek Into My Journal

Hey, warriors! How are you doing today? I’m excited, since I get to talk about a big change I recently made in my life in today’s post! I’m going to tell you the reasons I journal, show you my journal, and give you my best journaling tips. Let’s dive in!

Why I Journal

On May 18 this year, I made a choice. I was already planning on launching my blog on May 20th, the nine year anniversary of the tornado that changed my young life, so, after reading an inspirational magazine(don’t judge ok? Magnolia Journal is helpful) I decided to call the day my new year. Kaley’s New Year. You may already know the details of that from this post on my private blog (sorry if I don’t let you in; it’s private for a reason. Still, I might if you request it.) but one of the changes I decided to make was to start journaling.
So I did; on May 19th I was so excited I wrote an introduction and from May 20th on I’ve written an entry every day possible. I try to start each day with the date, a word of the day, and the time my first entry starts. Inside I list what needs done and, at the end of my day, I recap just a little and rate my day. Some days I’ve had insanely short entries and skipped several parts but I’ve tried my best to write one every day. I’ve only missed two days this far and I’m at over 50 pages.
But why do I journal? Because I need to be freely confined. I need a plan each day, but I also love to be creative and able to do whatever I feel like doing. I have certain things that need done, but I also try to have fun and chill time. I journal to remember, to mark my growth. I journal to process what’s happening to me and I journal to vent feelings and thoughts I just don’t need in my way. I journal to figure out why I’m doing what I’m doing and I journal to figure myself out. It’s been amazing.

A Peek in My Journal

Here’s a snippet of my journal…. It might not all make sense and it might be a little weird but it’s who I am. I like it. (Click on the pictures to see them better.)

So You Want To Journal?

  • Here are some things to keep in mind if you journal or want to start journaling:
  • Journaling isn’t hard! You don’t need to write five pages every day. Last night I wrote less than five sentences. That’s fine! If you need to skip a day, don’t beat yourself up. It’s okay.
  • You don’t need a fancy journal. I’m using a fairly small one that fits in my back pack by Soul Scripts, my favorite journal brand, but it was a gift. Any journal works fine!
  • Try and make a set time to journal each morning and evening if you can. It’s good to start the day with goals and end with reflection time. But if you only have ten minutes to journal a day and it’s at lunch time, that’s still fine!
  • If you didn’t notice, journaling is forgiving. Why? Because a book can’t talk back and it’s whole job is to help you learn and grow into a healthier, stronger, wiser person. It isn’t very healthy or wise to beat yourself up.
  • I love to start each entry with a word and its definition when possible because it gives me something to think about as I dive into my day.
  • I also love to end the day with a rating and a short bit about why I rated it that way. It shows me what I like and what I don’t like and I get to know myself even better.
  • A journal with blank spaces for page numbers is amazing because you can fill them in as you reach them. It’s so thrilling to realize, “hey! I’ve written twenty pages!”
  • Be honest with yourself. Some days aren’t good days and you don’t need to pretend they were. But often, bad days have some highlights. Don’t drop the good all together, but know that there’s a little light even in the rain and that it’s going to rain sometimes.
  • I took notes from a conference in my journal at one point and wrote twenty pages in two days. Your journal doesn’t just have to be for to-do lists and reflections. It holds anything and everything!
  • I try to bring my journal with me when I go places because sometimes you need to calm down even in public and a journal is a place for silent ranting. It’s also a continuous check-list with things you need to do and things you want to do, as well as dates of when things happened. It’s a great thing to have on hand at any time.
  • A journal is great inspiration and practice for authors, too! If you keep one, don’t slack on your writing skills because this is a place where you want to put words on a page daily. Make it worth it!

I hope this post was helpful! Do you journal? Do you want to try? What journals do you like? How do you journal? Let me know in the comments!

Why Teens Should Write: An Introduction to This Blog

Hey, friends! Welcome or welcome back to Words! If you came over from one of the blog tour posts, I’m so happy you were intrigued! Thank you for checking out my blog! If you want to see more of the blog tour posts, I’ll be adding them as they’re written to the bottom of this post so you can read them all.

You may have figured out already or you may be confused: what is this blog about? What can you expect from me? This post is here to answer those questions and tell you even more! Let’s dive in.

What is this blog about?

This blog is about the passion I have for words and how you should use them. It’s about the many kinds of writing, the people affected by writing, and how to most affect them. But most importantly it’s about the power of a word. One single word can mean so much, and more can be stronger if woven correctly. This blog is to help people, especially teens, learn how to weave words. It isn’t just a boring thing nerds do; it’s powerful. Every successful adult has learned this. Look at marketing: it combines images and words to make you desire and remember a product or service. Look at politics: words are used to change minds, send a message, and speak a thought as clearly as possible. Look at the news: they use words to help us understand both what’s happening and their perspective on what’s happening. Everywhere you look, there are words. Spoken, written, or sung, they’re etched into your life. You might as well learn to use them. I primarily focus on books and writing, but expect posts on all kinds of ways to weave words. Any post you want, you can always ask for in a comment section or in the contact page. I love words and love reading them as much as writing them.

What will be posted about?

I hope to post about anything and everything words. It might sound silly, but it really is the theme. I will post about my writing, share my writing, teach how I write, talk about why I wrote, review books, adventure through more books, and brag about how proud I am of all the authors I know who are doing and will do amazing things (pssst! You can be one of them! If you want to talk about your project, you could reach out through my contact page! If your email doesn’t get lost in the massive heap of junk I get, I will gladly talk about writing with you). I also will host reviews on writing programs, share experiences from writing events, and let you guys in on my book writing process. As I write this, I’m getting ready to start a new project and I’ll likely do a series on that. Speaking of series, I launched a series on book writing on another blog that will be moved here. Hopefully you’ll enjoy and learn from reading my How I Write posts as much as I have writing them! Of course, once in a while I may drift off topic with a random post, but this blog will be all-in-all about words.

Why should teens specifically care about words?

This question seems somewhat silly to me, but it’s a genuine question worth answering. Teens should care about words because words are what shape them and those around them. If we pay attention to what words attract us we can safeguard ourselves from being persuaded. We can also learn how to help others see our perspective and give other teens and kids stories that are more realistic to them. Teens are the future, the next generation. If the next generation is lazy, this world will only get worse. And while that’s somewhat inevitable, why make it your fault when you can change lives and speak truth today? If you offer others a peek into your mind and listen to their hearts, we all understand each other better and appreciate each other more. Teens are also role models to kids, and we hold a different power over kids that adults don’t have as well as recent experience of everything they are facing or may soon face. Teens are the in-between group that can bring in the new as well as establishing the truth and relate to those who are learning where they’re going.

Does the author know what she’s doing?

*coughs* Short answer? Sort of. Long answer? *deep breath*

I have been creating worlds and characters since I could comprehend reality and pretend. Some kids have an imaginary friend. I had about seven. Some kids play in the real world or a show or book’s world. I lived in Pretend Land where I was, on occasion, the queen and/or a citizen. When I wasn’t creating, my mom and I were reading. My amazing mother quit her job when I was born to raise me and we talked, read, and played all day everyday for a good amount of my child hood.

I learned to read when I was about six. I was reading Junie B. Jones before I entered first grade and I was reading at a sixth grade reading level in second grade. I started writing books not long after I started reading them, and I finally finished writing a full length book when I was twelve. After multiple frustrating drafts, two things happened: I joined the Young Writers Workshop and I participated in NaNoWriMo for the first time. These two things shook the foundations of writing as I knew it and before I knew it I’d written 53,000 words, from idea to revising, in less than half a year. While I didn’t win NaNoWriMo that time, I grew in leaps and bounds and discovered that I can actually write words in large amounts quickly, and not only quickly but better than I had ever written before. This discovery was amazing, exciting, and changed my view toward so many things that I want to share all that I learned with you.

Thank you for visiting my site and thank you for reading! If you have any more questions or a post you want to see, go ahead and leave a comment or contact me. Hit that follow button if you want to see more or check out my blog for my previous posts. I hope to see you next time!

Posts from the blog tour:

Q&A and Giveaway Results – Sketch Scribble Scribe

Character Conversation – I Have 12% of a Plan

Bookish Would You Rather – Rambling Reviews

Why Words Matter (Guest Post) – Maggie’s Doodles

Bookish Q&A – A Curly Sue’s Ramblings

Interview About Writing – Jenna Terese

Interview About Writing – The Homeschooled Girl

Plotting a Character’s Life – Teen Writers Nook

Writing Health and Mental Health Problems – Daughter of the Light

Writing Villain Motivation – Pen & Ink

A Fantasy Interview – Above the Clouds

A Harry Potter Debate – Sword of the Penmaiden

Words – Random Specific Thoughts

How I Write: My Journey + Why I Write

Hello there! Welcome or welcome back to Words! This post is the first of many about How I Write. Every author writes slightly differently, but most authors start out feeling at least a little lost, hopeful, and/or curious. Writing is a safari, and they don’t really know the jungle yet. Of course, that’s ok, and you have to explore on your own. But do you want to come face to face with a lion because you didn’t know they were there? I’m guessing the answer is no. That’s why those of us who have been through the vicious attacks of the writer’s journey are here to help. This post is my story.

My Writer’s Journey

I’ve told stories, living in another world, for as long as I can remember. When I was little, the few moments when I wasn’t creating I was listening to my mom read stories. My world wasn’t really Earth when I was little; it was Pretend Land. And as I got older… well, I’ll explain that later. Anyway, I’ve created stories forever. I learned to read in kindergarten, getting from picture books to Junie B. Jones by the end of the year. Then, when I was in 1st grade, I discovered writing.

I don’t remember much about that time, but I do remember some of my first stories: a story suspiciously reminiscent of Clifford Picks Apples, a stack of index cards taped into a story I never wrote about a witch, a story about a girl who moves a lot titled “Houses,” and one based on a writing prompt about waking up as the president of the United States. Needless to say, they weren’t really unique. But that’s what new writers do: they imitate, and I did it quite decently. Then in 2nd grade my teacher introduced me to reports and poetry. I loved them both, and I’m so thankful for that year even though I didn’t love my teacher. Also in 2nd grade, I reached a 6th-grade reading level. I read ALL the time, which most authors would tell you is the best way to learn to write. 

My sisters and I started playing with AG dolls and with legos when I was about 8-9. Both things revolutionized how I created. I could build any place I wanted with legos, and with dolls, I could watch “characters” interact. I wrote newspapers for our stuffed animals and for our dolls. I began writing small books for the dolls and ended up creating a short series of mysteries without almost no plot. But I was noticing the key elements of stories more. In 5th grade I wrote poetry and essays for school and I started a blog on The Little Novelist.

Also in 5th grade, I created a way to pretend without toys and to write without paper. I started to act out scenes in my room, playing multiple characters. It started with Melody Hardy, the Hardy Boys’ little sister that I made up one night when I finished a Hardy Boys mystery that I didn’t want to end. Then it expanded to adding characters to all of my favorite books. And then I added to Melody’s world, suddenly making it my own. I took Frank, Joe, their parents, and their aunt and totally made them my own, giving them different stories. But they weren’t even the focus anymore. A group of girls I called V Crew was. Their names were Victoria, Virginia, Viola, and Vanessa (quite creative indeed and totally not straight out of the girl V names section of my baby name book I’d just gotten). They grew, and soon I’d reached about 50 characters in their world. I would go through phases of creating stories, focusing on one character for a period of time, then moving to another. But soon V Crew and the Hardys were overwhelming. So I changed worlds. Since then, I think I’m on my 5th world of my own. And yes. I still act out stories in my room like a child. But the way I see it, I’m an actress/playwright in hiding. And yes I’m weird but weird with a purpose. Besides, that’s not what matters. What matters is that as my characters grew, I grew. I learned what makes characters seem believable. I learned how to create dialogue.

Somewhere within there, I wrote an article about my tornado story (more on that some other time) that was published in Clubhouse Magazine when I was 12. Then I wrote The Pony Revenge, my first finished story, and Universe, my first full book. The Pony Revenge made me think I could actually write stories, and Universe made me think I could actually write books. Since then, I’ve never looked back. I have created an estimated 300 characters in total since I was 9. can. I know it. And that’s what makes me come back. But why do I write? Why do I tell stories?

Why I Write

I can’t remember a time in my life when I wasn’t caught up in some story in my brain. I write because it takes me out of reality for a moment. I write because it helps me process things. I write because it can speak my passion to more than just me. I write because, in teaching others, I learn. I’ve figured out so many important lessons from books and creating worlds in my room. Words are daggers. They can have many kinds of blades, and they pierce the heart only when used properly, with good aim and a strong hand. You have to judge, based on circumstances, which daggers to use and how to throw it (You’ll probably hear me mention this multiple times, although I’ll try to find unique ways to convince you too). If I can artfully arrange my weapons so that they have the most effect, changing a life, then I want to take that chance. So I’m learning to do that. And I’m here to teach you. 

As I dive into this blog and grow, I hope that you’ll join me. And as we both learn more about words and the power they have, I’d like to say that both of us will change. This place will be a community of growth. You may have read about mushrooms in biology or you might not have. But my favorite this about mushrooms is that they’re the perfect picture of a strong, growing community: their root systems, the way the get nutrients to grow, intertwine to provide for each other and plants around them. They share what they gain so that they all benefit. That’s my vision for this blog, and I hope you’ll see it too.

Thanks for reading! I hope you enjoyed my story and maybe even learned something. Do you have any questions? What do you hope to learn from this blog? Let me know in the comments!