Tag Archives: writing ideas

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Have you been wanting to start journaling but can’t seem to take the first step? Maybe you’re worried you don’t have anything to write about or you won’t remember to do it every day or you’ll be lousy at it. Well here’s some good news: when it comes to journaling, there’s nothing to fear! In fact, journal writing is about the most laid-back, carefree activity around. It’s also one of the most rewarding.

But don’t just listen to me. Follow these tips for getting started journaling and see for yourself how fearless and fun writing in a journal can be.

Take a No-Pressure Attitude

Simply put, journal writing is a way to explore your creativity and just be yourself. No one but you has to see your journal, which should take the pressure off when it comes to rules and expectations. Don’t worry about grammar, sentence structure, neatness, or tone; journals are no place for perfectionism. Dismiss the notion that you have to write daily, too. Think of your journal as a whatever-you-want-it-to-be book, a place to do your thing however you wish anytime you choose.

Get Some Ideas

Don’t worry if you can’t come up with something to write about. Many others have and they like to share their ideas. In fact, there’s a whole world of journaling topics out there, and a quick search will reveal them. Check out this post of 33 journal writing ideas for starters. Or, come up with ideas on your own. Jot down a list of places, people, foods, animals, seasons, emotions, colors, books, you name it. Then choose a subtopic and get writing. It’s as simple as that!

Be Choosy About Your Journal

Since your journal is something you’re going to use regularly, make sure it’s a size, style, and format that’s attractive—to you. Everyone has different preferences on details, so take the time to look at many journal options and decide which is the most appealing. Some writers prefer lined pages, for example, while others like them blank. You might favor a small journal that fits in your purse or a larger one for your briefcase or gym bag. Be choosy and find a journal that's welcoming and functional to use.

Consider a Bullet Journal

Many writers are turning to the bullet-style journal for journaling. If you’re just getting started journaling, this can be a great option. Bullet journals serve multiple purposes. They’re a place to record writing activity, sketch out goals, manage submissions, brainstorm for writing ideas, take notes, store research, doodle, and of course journal. To learn more about bullet journaling, see The Complete Guide to Bullet Journaling for Writers by Writer's Edit.

Do a Practice Run

If you're afraid to open that crisp, new journal you bought or got as a gift, why not ease into it. Grab a sheet of scratch paper and do some practice journaling. It doesn’t matter what you write—a description of your mood, a short acrostic poem, or a paragraph discussing your writing goals for the month—just start writing. A practice run will confirm how easy writing a journal entry is. Once you get comfy with this new activity, open the first page of your journal and let the words flow.

Excited to get started journaling? You should be. Take the fearless approach, and enjoy the fun, fulfillment, and productivity that await you.

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If you’re thinking about doing some charitable giving this holiday season, why not give the gift you know best—writing? There are many ways to put your talents to work for others, and doing it for free actually benefits you too. Volunteer work not only teaches new skills, it improves self-worth and confidence and provides an outlet for networking. You might even land some paying gigs in the process!

Ready to give a little year-end writing for free? Here are 12 ideas to get you started:

1. Write Grants for Nonprofits

If you’ve never done grant writing in the past, it’s never too late to start. Seminars and courses on grant writing are widely available, but you might also find a grant writing mentor to guide you through the process. Check with your favorite nonprofit for volunteer grant writing opportunities or go to volunteermatch.org for ideas.

2. Volunteer Your Editing Skills to Schools

Students of all ages and backgrounds could use a little writing help, and many teachers welcome writers to share their expertise. See how you can help a school in your community by volunteering your writing and editing skills—or just visiting to discuss your profession.

3. Guest Blog for a Website

Whether you get a link back to your website or not, guest blogging is a great way to volunteer your talents to another writing professional or startup business. Be willing to blog about whatever would help the website gain exposure and readers.

4. Write for a Community Newsletter

Newsletters contain valuable information for the community. If you have a newsletter you like to read, why not contribute to it? Animal rescue groups, arts councils, chambers of commerce, and other local organizations put out newsletters regularly. Find one that interests you and get crafting!

5. Write a Letter to an Inmate

Check with local and regional prison and correctional facilities for direction on writing letters to inmates. Or, see if a local church has a prison outreach program that encourages inspirational letter writing.

6. Draft a Response to a Newspaper Editorial

Did you read an article recently that got you thinking? Newspapers like to print responses to their editorial pieces from readers. You won’t get paid, but you will get noticed—and read.

7. Contribute to a Nonpaying Magazine

Nonpaying magazines may not be your first choice when it comes to submitting your work, but your contribution can pay off in more ways than monetary reward. You’ll help the editors fill their calendar, support your peers, and give readers the gift of the written word. Submit to a nonpaying children’s magazine or e-zine, and impart your knowledge for the benefit of the next generation of readers and writers.

8. Host a Writing Workshop

Got kids in the neighborhood who like to write? Invite them over for a fun day of writing activities. Play word games, write stories based on a popular theme, or have the kids rewrite a favorite fairy tale. You might also volunteer to host a writer’s workshop at your public library or other venue.

9. Help Fundraise with Free Content

Fundraisers help a worthy cause or an individual in need. Write content to help fundraise, and see how your writing can bring in money to improve the lives of others. If you don’t know where to fundraise, look online for fundraising options where you’re work might be needed.

10. Write a Review

Holiday books and movies are popular this time of year. Volunteering to write a review helps people decide which one to pick. When writing a review, avoid going on a rant. Try to find the positive in everything, but be honest about your opinions and experience. You might also write a review on a new restaurant in town.

11. Tutor for Adult Learners

Want to help adult learners become better writers? Sign up to offer tutoring help. Check with the library or a community center for information on volunteer tutoring work.

12. Volunteer with Distributed Proofreaders

If you like to proofread, volunteering with Distributed Proofreaders might be just the ticket. Distributed Proofreaders welcomes help from anyone who enjoys working with words. You’ll help proofread public domain e-books as part of Project Gutenberg and can do it a page at a time or whatever fits your schedule. For more information, go to https://www.pgdp.net/c/.

Image by Shayla