This tip will most likely not benefit you immediately like the first three I’ve mentioned so far but keeping separate tablets for different goals is a great aid in organizing your thoughts and archiving them for future reference. I have three main “journals.” As far as creative writing is concerned my dream diary/mind mapping journal has proved the most valuable. Journal Three is the most recent addition to my scribe notes and is powerful. You can visually identify them by moving left to right.
Journal One is for brain drain* and ordinary writing that I hold in confidence. It’s not that I want to be secretive but some areas of planned change and documented improvement are meant to be private. Nobody is really as interested in this level of self development as we are. Nor should they be. This is me talking to me and keeping myself accountable, or not. This is where I jot down my “to do list” in and daily goals like cleaning a closet, donating to charity, balancing the checkbook, daily exercise, hygiene, chores and home improvements.
Journal Two (the lighter colored one with a French, floral watermark) is my dream diary, my larger-than-life goals, love letters (which I may or may not send) and mind mapping adventures designed to achieve real life results. If you ever receive a letter from me in this distinctive watermark you will know I’m speaking to you from my heart. Many of my highest and best ideas arrive in the form of dreams and intuitions. Do you believe in telepathy? I do. This is where I record those things.
Journal Three is an abbreviated repository for story ideas. They might be fragments of something larger that has yet found shape. One hard but extremely valuable lesson I’ve learned is that original ideas never return to us in the same form we first find them. Note them as they come to you. You won’t regret it. There is some crossover between journals two and three but three is on a rudimentary/instinctive level.
I first learned about keeping journal three (a rather subtle but very powerful developmental technique) when taking a Master Class from film composer Hans Zimmer. It was in this documentary process that Zimmer “intuited” the motif for the Great White Shark in Jaws. The motif is just two consecutive notes that increase in speed and volume. You don’t even need to be able to read music to see how this worked.
Journaling, and more specifically journaling with categorical intent even when I’m not sure where it’s taking me, is a practice I can’t recommend enough. It keeps me sane. It inspires me. And it helps me build complex storytelling that I wouldn’t have likely done without it.
*Brain Drain is explained in my post One Minute Writing Tip: #2