I am a big proponent of journaling – especially using journals to chronicle special events, vacations or things that just might be story-worthy.
The next time you take a trip, consider taking along a notebook specifically for that journey. Write down anything and everything that strikes you – the man with the plastic blinking bow tie, or the mountain lion that decides to take in after you on a state park trail. Use a camera phone, digital camera – or use a cheapie disposable – to photograph things that are hard to describe or that you don’t have time to jot down, but do have the seconds to snap a quick shot.
When the dust settles – preferably within the next few days – set pen to paper, develop the photographs and relive the memories. Organize your thoughts. File them away in your writing drawer (if you don’t have one already, then we need to talk). Pull out your notebooks at least once a year and see what you’ve written. Keep a log so you can quickly refer back to specific events or locations that might be pertinent to future works. Purge when necessary. (We all hate that word, I know, but sometimes it’s necessary to keep the paper from overtaking the house!)
What could be better? You flex your writing muscle while recording memories that yourself, your children or grandchildren can later enjoy.0