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When I first started writing my first novel, Haven River, a little voice inside my head suggested it might be a good idea to keep a journal at the same time.

I knew writing my novel would begin a journey that no doubt would have ups and downs and it made sense to keep some kind of record but the reason why wasn’t particularly clear to me.

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While I had visions of my journal looking all romantic and pretty like the one above, it ended up being much more practical – an A4 spiral-bound notebook with a cool almost-Kermit green cover! And it was lined. I don’t know why, but I need to write on something that has lines on it.

My first journal entry was:

12 January 2013 – Today is the day where up until now I’ve spent researching genres, how to get published, creative writing classes (shall or I or shan’t I?) and the repetitive theme of must having to write for at least ten minutes once a day.

Part of the reluctance to start writing is – what if I fail? But my biggest regret would be leaving this life and not have made the best attempt possible to write a book.

Looking back I find it interesting that I was doubting myself before I even started, but this is a big fear for all writers.

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I tried to write in my journal every day and after a while it became a great sounding board to get down my doubts, fears, thoughts, wins, frustrations and decisions I made (and why I decided to head down a particular path).

Soon I was covering lots of topics as the journey began and I was on my way. I also started to stick articles, quotes, pictures into my journal and it evolved into both a writing and pictorial record.

My journal became my friend and three years on I do go back and look (and laugh!) at things I wrote.

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When I decided to start blogging this year, it became a great resource and inspiration to glean ideas for posts. And since I’ve started blogging I’ve realised I don’t write in my journal any more. My journal has moved into cyberspace and is out there for all to see. I kind of miss picking up an actual pen and sharing with my friend.

Do you keep a journal and, if so, why? Is it one you write in or is it on-line? Which do you prefer?

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