Use Your Words is the final book I read of the three featured today, but the first I want to discuss because it covered a more specific form of journal writing -- parenting and children. It covers how to focus your journaling on preserving those precious moments in your child's life or even a snapshot of your child during a specific time in her life. Despite the fact that this book focuses on a specific kind of writing, I believe that it has some useful tips for writing in general. It also has some wonderful essays and stories featured by parents scattered throughout as examples. One essay, "The Line is White, and It is Narrow" by Beth Kephart stood out in particular. This alone is worth the read, for both parents and writers.
Creative Journal Writing is a practical guide to beginning or continuing your journal writing. It is more of a how-to guide with lots of "practical suggestions" and lots of prompts to kick off and improve your writing. I enjoyed the practical side to this book and the discoveries that can be a results of your writing. As the author asks and answers . . .
"Can writing a journal change your mind and life?
Only if you let it." (p. 239)
Leaving a Trace was my favorite of the books. I took pages of notes with quotes and ideas, and would love to own a copy of this book someday to refer to on a regular basis. I even took down ideas for stories, developing characters, and what even has become my summer travel journal from my month on the road. I got all of this on my first read. Can you imagine what I could discover and absorb on a re-read?
I leave you with one of my favorite quotes from Leaving a Trace . . .
If you're just beginning a journal, with three memories would you never forgive yourself for not setting down?" (p.78)
Do you journal? What techniques do you use in your own journaling? Do you have any recommendations on more books on this subject?