Journal, and then Keep Journaling

If you’ve never journaled before, it’s time to start. Journaling—the practice of writing down your thoughts, impressions, and reactions every day—can help you become a more confident writer. Keeping a journal improves your memory and trains you to record everything you experience in a meaningful way. It’s an invaluable skill: anyone who writes anything should adopt a journaling practice and stick with it for an extended period of time. It’s one of the most reliable ways to find out more about yourself and your writing personality, something you can leverage not just in your creative work but also in order to improve your style and to pitch your books and articles.

These tools and resources can help you start journaling.

  1. One Line a Day: A Five Year Memory Book

Especially if you’ve never kept a journal before, this small, unintimidating book will make it easy for you to get started and keep going. The book is organized with five lines per page, one for each day of a year, and there’s only enough room to write one or two sentences (preferably one) per day. Once you cycle back to the page you visited in the previous year, you’ll be rewarded with a look back in time at what you were doing and saying on that day in your personal history.

  1. Journaling Techniques to Improve your Writing

Mari L. McCarthy at The Creative Penn has put together a collection of useful information on how journaling can make you a better writer, and how journaling is not writing.

  1. Why Good Writers Keep Journals

Ruth Folit at Writers Store records why “writers from Allen Ginsburg to Virginia Woolf to Victor Hugo” kept journals.

  1. 5 New Ways for Writers to Keep a Journal

If you’re ready to start journaling, Brian Klems at the Writer’s Digest has put together a useful list of modern ways to get started with a journaling practice.

  1. Creative Writing Journal Ideas

This useful page offers constructive ways to begin a journal and keep using it by finding creative ways to gather journaling ideas.

People watch: “The people around you can become fictional characters or the subjects of poems.”

Listen: “Eavesdrop in restaurants, in stores. Listen to your own family and friends — really listen. Not just to what they’re saying, but to the words they use”

“Free-write.” “This technique is especially useful as a warm-up for creative writing or as a cure for writer’s block. The way free-writing works is that you keep your pen moving on the page, normally during a set amount of time”

Read more: there’s a second part to the article that teaches you how to read actively, listen to music for writing, and take inspiration from a technique used by Italo Calvino.

Writing Prompts and Practices

One of the great things about self-publishing your work is the freedom to choose your own subjects, your book length, your hours, and pretty much everything else. But too much freedom can be stifling. It helps to have a starting point where creativity is concerned.

Most writers are familiar with the practice of using prompts. But traditional prompts can fall short for experienced authors, and for newer writers they can be at turns dull or overwhelming.

Here are some resources for writing prompts and practices that are a bit farther off the beaten path.

  1. The Daily Poet: Day-by-Day Prompts for your Writing Practice

Created by poets Martha Silano and Kelli Russell Agodon, this calendar-style book of inspiration and poetry prompts is absolutely ideal for every writer. Authors of novels, stories, poetry, nonfiction, and inspirational texts alike will find useful ideas and helpful advice for beginning to write (and beginning to think about writing) in this book.

  1. LearningExpress’s 501 Writing Prompts

For something completely different from The Daily Poet, this is a list of 501 persuasive writing prompts available for free on DePaul University’s website. These prompts challenge you to think about your preconceptions and opinions on a huge range of topics, come up with a persuasive response (or a devil’s advocate position), and then write about it.

This prompts are especially useful for learning to write and think about clichés and stale beliefs in a new way. The prompts range from contemporary issues to educational questions to philosophical questions. One, for instance, provides a good example of the insightful way we can ask ourselves about our own writing practices: “As we grow older, we take on more and more responsibility. Describe a time when you were given a responsibility that you were not ready for.”

  1. Write to Done

Write to Done may look like a time-wasting website at first glance, but

Enough Said

it’s full of useful information that can help you learn about the way you learn and write in “your” ideal way. It’s worth visiting because it aggregates so many different types of content, from articles about how to stop procrastinating to flash fiction exercises to helpful guides for email marketing.

  1. Random First Line of Dialogue

This website generates a random line of dialogue. Even if you aren’t in the mood to write dialogue, these phrases, questions, and exclamations are excellent prompts because many of them are completely unexpected, and each has a different tone than the last.


This website includes prompts, best practices, and writing tools, some of which are delightfully innovative. For instance, their article on using translation to boost creativity is a very worthwhile read.

  1. Craft Talks

There are myriad free craft talks online from distinguished writers. This list of “100 Free Lectures that will Make You a Better Writer” is a great place to start.

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Some Self Publishing Forums

Some Self-Publishing Forums

Writers understand each other. They understand what it’s like to struggle with dialogue, to fall in love with a character and to build entire worlds from scratch. These are your contemporaries. You need a community where you can get into discussions with fellow writers who struggle in the same areas you do. Fellow authors can also help pull you from the mire of despair when the going gets tough, and they’ll motivate you to write those last thousand words.

Absolute Write Water Cooler
absolute write MacAllister Stone’s forum extension of the Absolute Write Blog, this huge community of writers can offer conversation, discussion and enlightenment on many writing-related topics. The link will take you to the Self-Publishing and POD forum, where the discussion mostly involves self-publishers.

There are over 500 threaded conversations in this forum, so searching the archives can often answer your question. Check out the thread on experiences with LuLu, for an example of what you can expect.


AgentQuery Connect
AgentQuery Connect is our coolest way to help aspiring writers. It’s a free social networking site that allows our AQC members to meet and greet online—above and beyond the traditional message boards and writers’ forums.


Nathan Bransford’s Forum
A relatively new forum attached to the blog of literary agent Nathan Bransford, the All Things Publishing forum is becoming more popular every week. This link is to the part of the forum related to publishing, but other areas offer threads on writing, submissions, and other aspects of the writer’s life. Currently there are 58 threaded topics with almost 400 posts in this forum, which is only a few months old.


John Kremer’s Book Marketing Network
From indie book-marketing guru John Kremer. For book authors, self-publishers, publishers, publicists, ebook authors, and others involved in writing, publishing, and marketing e/books.

This network has over 5,000 members, and many forums and blogs where you can interact with other authors.


Self Published Authors
Self-Published Authors Helping Other Authors (formerly Self-Published Author’s Lounge) was founded by Ruth Ann Nordin and Stephannie Beman in an effort to create a website dedicated to helping the self-publisher or those thinking of self-publishing to learn about the self-publishing business. They want a supportive atmosphere for self-published authors and welcome all newcomers to subscribe to their blog through RSS feed or email subscription.


Developed by the Small Publishers Association of North America (SPAN), this new social network has over 300 members and several lively discussion forums. One of the new discussion forums focuses on Books and Blogs, and if it keeps growing, it will be a valuable resource.


The   Writer’s Workshop
An active British Writers Community. There is a forum part: Find out How To Get Published and one “Explore the best book on Getting Published”, “Self-publishing in the UK” or “Your experience with POD publishing”.

The Word Cloud is a free community where writers can read each other’s work, offer comments and get feedback. The forum allows you to discuss books, scripts and writing with fellow writers, enter regular competitions, and much more.


Writing Forums
They are a privately owned but community managed active writing forum where you can share your work, talk with other writers, and creative artists in a safe and friendly environment, exchange tips and tricks and loads more.

 Always looking for other good writer’s forums?

Just like you; I am always looking for other good writer’s forums out there that are highly populated. A place where we can read and critique others work, and get the same for our own. Any good recommendations?

Please leave the url in the comments section for each of us to find. I will keep them consolidate in the following list; [not the .com version!] [for screenwriters] [free articles,references, lists, resources, mentoring] [free writing help/mentoring]

<<Getting Your Self-Published Book Reviewed

Need anything additional? Drop me a line below because I really like questions, input and suggestions!

You can also visit me at Wealthy Affiliate on my profile page @ It is here where you can learn about me, follow me, or leave a public or private message.