All posts tagged: writers

One Writer’s Little Bag of Writing Tricks

My Little Bag of Writing Tricks By Rachel Toor     How I translate grammar directives into moves I can use to make my sentences better                                           illustration by Brian Taylor In the progressive campus lab school I attended until sixth grade, my friends and I wrote poetry, celebrated the passage of Title IX, and did “new” math. The boys sewed and cooked in home economics, and the girls sawed and drilled their way through shop class.   read more

When Writing, Ask Yourself: “What do I want?”

Shawn Coyne explores the process of finding the theme for the stories we want to write in a guest post featured in Stephen Pressfield Online:  What Do You Want? When thinking about the kind of story you’d like to tell, what do I want? is a great question to ask yourself.   What’s the theme of this book? Obviously you want to write a successful work of art, which will bring you recognition and ultimately enough of a living wage for you to write another one. read more…

Writers and their Writing Spaces

When work takes most of my time, I write on my journal wherever I am, whenever I can. In the house, I have a table for writing on notebooks, and a computer table. It’s that simple, but then, I am not a well-known writer. It’s always interesting to know how writers write… here are some glimpses into the writing spaces of some writers: Amy Tan describes her writing space as “womblike.” In New York, she has an office which was once a closet; and in San Francisco, her writing space has a window covered with drapes: “I cannot deal with distractions,” she says, so the curtains are there to block the view. American novelist and young-adult and children’s writer Alice Hoffman paints her writing space, her office, a different color each time she begins working on a new book. She also decorates the room with items that reminds her of the book she’s working on. Sherman Joseph Alexie, Jr., a poet, writer, and filmmaker, writes mostly at 3 a.m. at one of the branches of …

Words of Wisdom from Writers

We…write to heighten our own awareness of life…We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospection…We write to be able to transcend our life, to reach beyond it…to teach ourselves to speak with others, to record the journey into the labyrinth…to expand our world, when we feel strangled, constricted, lonely…When I don’t write I feel my world shrinking. I feel I lose my fire, my color. -Anais Nin  Writing itself is one of the great free human activities. There is scope for individuality, and elation, and discovery. In writing for the person who follows with trust and forgiveness what occurs to him, the world remains always ready and deep, an inexhaustible environment, with the combined vividness of an actuality and flexibility of a dream. Working back and forth between experience and thought, writers have more than space and time can offer. They have the whole unexplored realm of human vision. -William Stafford People often lack any voice at all in their writing because they stop so often in the act of writing …

A Peek into the Writing Habits of Famous Writers

Writers are an odd group of people – indeed, it does take a certain kind of mentality and character to be able to use words to create stories that people would want to read. If you ever find yourself doing strange things just to be able to write, take heart – famous writers have and do go to great lengths to summon the muse: -Ernest Hemingway wrote from 5:00 a.m. to 10 a.m. He would first write standing up and would sit down and type only when he felt his creativity flowing. -Because of his intense need to listen to his muse, Rainer Maria Rilke left his wife and baby. -Before sitting down to write, Thomas Wilder took long walks. -Willa Carther invited the muse by reading a page from the Bible everyday before writing. -“Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” was written on different hotel stationery.  When he was done writing it, Tennessee Williams sent the one and only copy to his agent by ordinary mail. -Toni Morrison uses a number two pencil to …

Sunday’s Blessings: Writers’ Thoughts on Christmas

“I have always thought of Christmas time, when it has come round, as a good time; a kind, forgiving, charitable time; the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people below them as if they really were fellow passengers to the grave, and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys.” -Charles Dickens “There’s nothing sadder in this world than to awake Christmas morning and not be a child.” – Erma Bombeck “Christmas is the season for kindling the fire of hospitality in the hall, the genial flame of charity in the heart.” – Washington Irving “I heard the bells on Christmas Day Their old, familiar carols play, And wild and sweet The words repeat Of peace on earth, good-will to men!” – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow “Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and …

Precious Words from Writers

“You’re a writer. And that’s something better than being a millionaire. Because it’s something holy.” -Harlan Ellison “There are significant moments in everyone’s day that can make good literature. That’s what you write about.” -Raymond Carver “You just have to sit down and write. I never saw myself as a literary figure. The phrase, “writer’s block” would sound a little pretentious in my mouth.” -Red Smith “If you write a hundred short stories and they’re all bad, that doesn’t mean you’ve failed. You fail only if you stop writing.” –Ray Bradbury “When I sit down on my writing desk, time seems to vanish. I think it’s a wonderful way to spend one’s life.” -Erica Jong “Watch children at play. They are terribly serious. The same is true with writing: you get caught up in the rhythm. That’s when it really gets to be complete play.” -Madeleine L’engle  

Digging Through My Journals: Lessons on Choosing the Right Journal

After journaling for decades, I recently hit a plateau and could not get the pen to move on the paper as fast as I used to. After a few months of touch and go, I decided it was time to take a closer look at my journaling habits and perhaps incorporate a few changes here and there. To do that, I thought of going through all my journals – those that I hadn’t burned. I had burned many journals simply because I felt they had served their purpose. The remaining ones were written during the past eight years.  I hadn’t decided what to do with them – it’s not yet their time to get burned, apparently. The notebooks had been stored in a cabinet in my room and it’s been a few years since I’ve looked at them closely. It was surprising to see that through the years I had written on spiral notebooks in different colors but all of the same size. I had forgotten about these notebooks, but upon seeing them again, I …

Free Online Writing Courses

Several institutions are offering free online writing courses and the great thing about these courses is that they are self-paced. So, no pressure and lots of learning. What is good writing? If the idea of writing an essay intimidates you, this unit offered by The Open University  will help you realize that there’s no reason to fear essays. Writing what you know If you want to improve your skills in descriptive writing, this unit will help you “to develop your perception of the world about you and enable you to see the familiar things in everyday life in a new light. You will also learn how authors use their own personal histories to form the basis of their work.” Start writing fiction This unit will help you learn how characters might be drawn, as well as how setting is established. The course description says the unit “works on the different levels of characterisation, from flat to round, and how character and place interact. It also works on the effect of genre and how genre can …

The Journal as a Stepping Stone

The notebook – no matter what size or shape; whether it’ cheap or expensive – holds many promises for any writer. It can be called a journal or simply a writer’s notebook, but those blank pages can serve a variety of purposes. A journal need not be a mere diary – actually, a journal should not be a mere diary. Writer James Brown uses his journal as a stepping stone, where he explores his ideas and characters for whatever he’s writing. It is, so to speak his “drawing board.”   When writing non-fiction, he writes short biographical sketches of his characters in his notebook and workouts the scenes in the pages of his journals. “What matters is how journaling can help the writer come up with ideas, kind of a warm-up to a bigger process. The next step is building on those ideas, discarding some and fleshing out others, developing characters and motives, and arranging the scenes in a logical, meaningful sequence with a firm sense of a beginning, middle and end,” Brown explained. Brown …

Gear Up for Read Tuesday

Chris Mcmullen has organized a special day for writers and readers.  “Read Tuesday,” which is set for December 10 will give people the opportunity to buy books at low prices.  McMullen says Read Tuesday will be a huge affair, akin to Black Friday (interesting trivia: in the Philippines, Black Friday is commemorated as the day when Jesus was crucified). In his website, McMullen says “Read Tuesday will be a huge day like Black Friday, but for buying and gifting books at amazing sale prices. It will also be a great way to help improve literacy. Encourage someone—especially, a child—who doesn’t read much to read more.” He has invited authors to participate and offer their books at huge discounts as a way of promoting their products. The public is invited to buy the discounted books, and McMullen suggests giving the books away as Christmas gifts.  Several famous authors have signed up for the event. This year, Read Tuesday will be held on Tuesday, December 10 – mark your calendars! If you want to participate you may …

Why Writers Keep Journals

  I don’t remember exactly when I began writing on a journal. Unlike some writers who remember the precise time and day when they first wrote on their first journal, journal writing crept into my life slowly and unceremoniously. But if I am ever to lay claim to the title “Writer,” the only viable reason I can give is that I have been a journal writer most of my life.  It is the only writing activity that I have constantly practiced since I was young. In my younger years, journal writing had been a venting place where I could write without abandon about things that confused, saddened and angered me.  Later on, it became a safe place where I could write about the deep secrets that I could not share with anyone. In my adult years, when I worked as a photojournalist, then as a journalist, the journal was my constant companion through my travels to the jungles, the mountains, and into other people’s lives. I wrote in hotel rooms, at tiny eateries in the …

Give Yourself Permission

One of the best, easiest, yet highly effective and extremely liberating writing advice I have followed and integrated in my life is Peter Levitt’s recommendation to make a sign that reads, “PERMISSION GRANTED.” I still remember how I felt when I first read those two words – it was as though shackles were removed from my mind and the doors to the chambers of my heart opened and a waft of fresh air pushed out constraints that had been deposited there through the years. “There is room. Room for every part of life. Even room enough for me.” This realization came to Levitt one day and it led him to understand that each one of us, and every thing in this world possesses what he calls “an inherent permission to exist.” Levitt explains, “No matter how many obstructions are thrown up in an attempt by some fearful part of ourselves to disrupt the natural flow of our expressive lives, no fear, no writer’s block, no personal history, no internal conflict or neurosis changes this fact …

Lessons About Writing From Doris Lessing

Doris Lessing instructs us on the craft of writing -You can only learn to be a better writer by actually writing. I don’t know much about creative writing programs. But they’re not telling the truth if they don’t teach, one, that writing is hard work and, two, that you have to give up a great deal of life, your personal life, to be a writer. -Words. Words. I play with words, hoping that some combination, even a chance combination, will say what I want. -What I had that others didn’t was a capacity for sticking to it. -I’m very unhappy when I’m not writing. I need to write. I think it’s possibly some kind of psychological balancing mechanism—but that’s not only true for writers … anybody. I think that we’re always … just a step away from lunacy anyway, and we need something to keep us balanced. -The story dictates the means of telling it. -Well, it’s certainly true that I’m driven myself, about writing. But you know I don’t do anything else. I don’t …

How to Be A Good Writer

  Matthew Arnold said that the only secret to good writing is to “Have something to say, and say it as clearly as you can.  Every successful writer has his or her own success formula. Here are some writers and their advice on how we can all become good writers: Elizabeth Gilbert: “I believe that if you are serious about a life of writing, or indeed about any creative form of expression – you should take on this work like a holy calling. I became a writer the way other people become monks or nuns…I was writing’s most devotional handmaiden. I bult my entire life around writing.” Doris Lessing: “The essential question is, “Have you found a space, that empty space, which should surround you when you write?” Into that space, which like a form of listening, of attention, will come the words your characters will speak, ideas – inspiration.” Jane Yolen: “Exercise the writing muscle every day, even if it is only a letter, notes, a title list, a character sketch, a journal entry. …

Insights from Writers

On the need for silence and solitude – from Doris Lesing: “To write takes dreaming and remembering and thinking and imagining –and very often that feels like wasting time.  It takes silence and solitude. It takes being okay with making a huge mess and not knowing what you’re doing. Then it takes rewriting and struggling to find your story and the truth of the story, and then the meaning of the story. It takes being comfortable with your own doubts and fears and questions. And there’s just no fast and easy way around it.” On loving the reader – from Ellen GilChrist: “The first thing a writer must do is love the reader and wish the reader well…Only in such well wishing and trust, only when the writer feels he is writing a letter to a good friend, only then will the magic happen.” On trusting one’s voice – from Natalie Goldberg “Once you have learned to trust your own voice and allowed that creative force inside you to come out, you can direct it …

Generate 10 Blog Posts Through Mind Mapping

Over at yeah write‘s 31 dbbb, we learned how to come up with 10 blog posts through mind mapping, a technique  that allows the brain to open up and freely explore. By using Tony Buzan’s mind mapping technique, you will allow your mind to enjoy the freedom to explore heretofore undiscovered areas of your brain.  Buzan says mind mapping “harnesses the full range of cortical skills – word, image, number, logic, rhythm, color and spatial awareness – in a single, uniquely powerful manner.” No to outlines, yes to branching The sequential linear outline is out, mainly because it’s left-brained thinking.  What’s in is using both sides of our brain through mind mapping.  During mind mapping,  ideas come from the center—a main source, or focal point—and radiates outwards with as many rays as our minds can conceive. This is whole-brain thinking. In 31 Days to Build a Better Blog, Darren Rowse shows us how he came up with so many blog post ideas from a single blog post he had previously written.  Copying his style of mind mapping, …

Sunday’ Blessings…in a Word Cloud

“Ideas don’t respond to the force of our wills – damn them. We can’t make them appear. That’s why when we’re feeling blocked it does little good to pound our way through. It won’t work. We’ll grow even more frustrated and further away from where we need to be to find ideas…Getting ideas requires allowing our minds to yield. The ideas are there, but we have to wait for them quietly. Poet William Stafford compared the creative process to fishing…Maintaining this mindset is not easy. We live in a results-oriented society. We learn to be productive, to have something to show for our efforts. We want proof we are making progress, getting better.  As writers, we ant finished pieces and each piece should be better than the one before it. If we’re going to the trouble of rising at the crack of dawn, we’d better get something out of it. “To be more creative, you need to resist these impulses. Some days will be effortless. Some days will be impossible, just as some days the …

Fear as a Writing Prompt

As a feature writer and blogger, I’ve written articles and posts about many things under the sun, but I have never publicly written about my fears.  Of course, my journal pages are peppered with entries about the fears I’ve had to face through the decades, but those pages are meant for my eyes only.  I haven’t been able to use those experiences in my writing life. In an article that was published in the New York Times, journalist and author Sarah Jio writes about how she uses fear as a writing prompt: “Here’s the thing: Everyone tells you to write what you know. It’s the tried-and-true advice every writer hears at some point in her career. But to take my writing to a deeper level, I’ve found that a better practice is to simply write what frightens you, haunts you, even.” “I now keep a sign on the bulletin board in my office that reads: “Write What Scares You.” I’ve learned that tapping into the hard stuff — whether it’s the fear of loss or …

Give Yourself Permission to Write Garbage!

During those days when the words won’t flow, and ideas simply won’t come – don’t pack up your writing tools.  Instead, allow yourself to write garbage!  It could just be what you need! Make it fun!  I have a “garbage writing” notebook where I write as I please.  It’s more than just freewriting, it’s funwriting.  It’s my writer’s playground where there are absolutely no rules. I allow myself to write in any fashion and form – big letters are allowed. The notebook is also where I do brainstorming for my articles, posts and would-be books. Possible titles and story ideas are written in big, bold letters – sometimes with lots of curls on the tips of the letters. It’s a fine, fun way to give the writer in you a break from all the serious writing.  In “Writing on Both Sides of the Brain,” Henriette Anne Klauser wrote: “Giving yourself permission to write garbage is like having a compost pile in the backyard. It might smell a little and even look yucky, but it provides …

Five Great E-Courses with Bendy Pricing

I first learned about Satya and Kaspalita last year when I read about their mindful writing practice of “Writing Small Stones.”  That was about two years ago, and the couple’s blog, “Writing Our Way Home,” was a very busy site, and Satya’s name was still Fiona Robyn.  Much has changed in the Buddhist couple’s blog – they now concentrate on giving online courses, and after being ordained as a Buddhist priest, Fiona changed her name to Satya. Now, Satya and Kaspalita are generously offering their E-courses with a “pay as you like” option.  Last year, I enrolled in Kaspa’s  Eastern Therapeutic Writing course, which cost US$70.  It was well worth the money: I was introduced to a few Japanese theories such as Naikan, Waka  and Morita journaling  (I was already familiar with the koan); there were plenty of reading resources and each day an email arrived with the day’s work.  The discussion forum was not very active though, but I think it was because the structure of their E-courses require individual work and much introspection.  This …

Where to Get Pictures for Your Blog Posts

I have a blog theme that requires a picture for every blog post – otherwise I’ll have empty squares on my homepage. I honestly feel that a page full of text is a thing of beauty, but I happen to like the theme for this blog, and so I willingly undertake the search for the perfect picture every time I post. I use royalty-free pictures which oftentimes do not require attribution, but I always try to give credit to the source of the photos.  It only takes a few minutes to type the name of the website and add a link, so why not give credit where credit is due?  Afterall, the photos do lend color and texture to my blog posts. Here is a list of photo sources on the web.  These sites will provide you with a wide selection of images.  There’s no need to log in, no complicated matters such as credits and points, and best of all – the photos can be used for free! But please attribute! Morguefile  “The morguefile was …

MSU Offers Free Online Writing Course

Two faculty members of Michigan State University will teach a free online non-credit course which will focus on improving writing skills.  “Thinking Like a Writer,” will be offered this summer by Dr. Jeff Grabill, professor and chair of the Michigan State University Department of Writing, Rhetoric and American Culture, and Dr. Julie Lindquist, Director of First-Year Writing at Michigan State. The pair of Michigan State University faculty members are on a mission: They want to know whether it is possible to keep the high level of engagement that is characteristic of face-to-face interaction in an online setting. The course is open to students who want to prepare for college-level writing, international students intent on improving their English writing skills, professionals who want to sharpen their writing abilities and anyone who wants to learn about the craft of writing. The course, which will run from July 1 through August 31 will focus on the process of review and revision.  It is designed to help students develop skills in persuasive writing and narrative writing; participants will  also learn how to …

Haiku

A haiku is a short poem, that is unrhymed and syllabic in form – the poem consists of only three lines with 5 syllables on the first line, 7 on the second and 5 again on the last line. This form of poetry first appeared in Japan some 700 years ago, and reached the Western hemisphere in the 19th century, with the reopening of Japan’s harbors to American and European trade and travel. Haiku contains two juxtaposed ideas but the two are grammatically independent and usually are also imagistically distinct. Although Japanese haiku are often written in one straight line,  English haiku is written in three lines. Either way, the objective is to create a “leap” between the two juxtaposed ideas.  The meaning of the poem is heightened by providing an “internal comparison.”  When writing haiku, the challenge is to avoid an obvious connection between the two ideas, and at the same time  avoid a great disassociation. Most haikus are about nature, and traditionally, the focus is on the details in the environment as they …

Sunday’s Blessings

“I think that creativity is about reaching to the soul, connecting to the inner Self so totally that no difference exists between inner and outer, good and bad, reality and fiction, past and future. Everything rests in the utter and magnificent I AM. “I remember once working at my typewriter, deep in thought, when I glanced up at the tree outside my window, and for a startling moment I was the tree – no separation – and also the air between the tree and me, the glass of the windowpane, the story I was writing, paper, typewriter, and myself. “Satori, I thought, and with the naming, which constitutes a movement back into conscious Mind, I wrenched our of that sweet stated, and I was looking at the page again, marveling at what had happened, and how to reach that suspension of time and Self again…” –Sophy Burnham, For Writers Only Photo: Morguefile

My Writer’s Altar

  My writer’s altar is up – creating it was actually a simple affair.  There were no singing angels, no chiming bells – just something short of spring cleaning. What happened was, I decided to surf the internet for a quick look on what other writer’s altars look like. I found only one site with a picture on it – the writer built an altar on the window sill in front of the computer.  Not for me – I don’t have a window sill anywhere near my computer.  So I decided to pull out my books on writing (a good number of which, I have not yet read) to look for ideas on how to build  a writer’s altar. It was then that I realized that the books on writing were mixed up with the books on energy healing, art, spirituality, crafts, gardening…and all others. Of course it had been that way for a long time, but it didn’t seem to matter nor bother me before. The decision came quickly – I knew that if I …

Of Synchronicity, Altars, Rituals and Writers

Carl Gustav Jung  coined the term synchronicity  to refer to two or more events that do not seem to be causally related but occur within the same time frame; events that do not seem to have occurred by chance, but when experienced together, create a deep impact on the one experiencing the events. Jung said that synchronistic events are more likely to occur when a person is in a highly charged state of emotional and mental awareness. He used the phrases “acausal connecting principle”, “meaningful coincidence” and “acausal parallelism” to describe synchronicity. As an energy therapist, I am always on the look out for synchronicities.  It was thus no surprise when, after posting my last entry,” A Writer’s Altar,” I opened my email and found the 56th issue of WOW (Women on Writing), waiting to be read. In my previous blog entry, I wrote about being at a crossroads in my life as a writer, of the persistent “call” to create a writer’s altar, and the desire to find the writing path that would fulfill my new-found purpose …

A Writer’s Altar

I’ve decided to build a writer’s altar – perhaps because I am at a crossroads in my writing life.  Whatever the reason, the call to build an altar has been floating around in my head lately, and I’ve decided it’s time to build one – a first step towards re-creating my writing space. As a Catholic, I know about altars. I’ve created altars in my room in various places, with numerous symbolic objects.  My altars changed as my spiritual life changed.  Finally, when my spirit calmed down (after many years), the altar settled in a space up above a big cabinet in my bedroom.  It is sparse compared to all the altars that I’ve built-in my lifetime – a crucifix made of capiz shell with a simple filigree design in the middle, a small capiz angel, a silver candle snuffer and a two-sided picture frame with the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe on one side, and my own personal spiritual symbol on the other side. Why build a writer’s altar? Andy Couturier in, Writing …

Lessons from Ray Bradbury

I own only one book written by Ray Bradbury – Zen in the Art of Writing.  The small book’s cover is torn, and the pages have yellow speckles – signs of aging, as well as wear and tear.  For indeed, the book had been read over and over.  For almost a decade, it was the one book that could be found at different places in my bedroom. From Ray Bradbury’s book, I learned how important poetry is to a writer. “Read poetry every day of your life.  Poetry is good because it flexes muscles you don’t use often enough. Poetry expands the senses and keeps them in prime condition. It keeps you aware of your nose, your eye, your car, your tongue, your hand.  And, above all, poetry is compacted metaphor or simile.  Such metaphors, like Japanese paper flowers, may expand outward into gigantic shapes.  Ideas  lie everywhere through the poetry books, yet how rarely have I heard short story teachers recommending them for browsing.” Although Bradbury’s personality was so un-Zen, many of the things …

Limericks – Precision, Rhymes and Fun!

A few years ago I used to regularly host the “Carnival of Healing,” which was begun by Philameana Lila Desy. During one of the carnivals, Madeleine Begun Kane submitted her blog for consideration. Madeleine’s “MAD KANE’S HUMOR BLOG Humor Columns, Limericks, Light Verse & Satirical Poems“ wasn’t a blog about healing  but I included it in the carnival anyway because it spelled FUN, and anything that brings fun brings about healing. On Mondays, MAD KANE ‘s theme is Limerick-Off Monday, and everyone is invited to create and post a limerick based on several choices for the first lines provided by Madeleine.  The best submission is declared “Limerick of the week.” I often submit my limericks to MAD KANE.  I enjoy creating limericks as well as reading the limericks other bloggers post on her blog. Wikipedia defines a limerick as “a short, humorous, often ribald or nonsense poem,[1] especially one in five-line anapestic or amphibrachic meter with a strict rhyme scheme (AABBA), which is sometimes obscene with humorous intent. The form can be found in England as of the early years of the 18th century.[2] It was popularized by Edward Lear in the …

The Writing Life

Here are some powerful quotes from several writers: “The hardest trade in the world is the writing of straight, honest prose about human beings.” –Ernest Hemingway “There are significant moments in everyone’s day that can make literature. That’s what you ought to write about.” –Raymond Carver “I have known writers who paid no damn attention whatever to rules of grammar and rhetoric and somehow made the language behave for them.” —Red Smith My advice to an aspiring sportswriter would be: don’t be a sportswriter. Learn what the newspaper business is about before you become a specialist. —Red Smith Watch children at play.  They are terribly serious. The same is true with writing: you get caught up in the rhythm. That’s when it really gets to be complete play. –-Madeleine L’Engle

Advice on Writing a Book

Once again, I join the writers in this world who are being hounded by the dream, the thought and the calling to write a book.  I say “once again” because I felt the need to write a book twice in the past, and since it was such a persistent call, I wrote two books. Way back then I was involved in publishing a magazine for children, and the book the I felt “called” to write were children’s books.  I won’t say it was easy, but it certainly wasn’t daunting.  And that was probably because I was already in the business of publishing materials for children. I left that industry a long, long time ago and delved into the healing arts, which was by far a calling that I grudgingly went into.  Almost more than a decade later, I not only love being an energy transformational therapist – I am so grateful for having been given this gift to help others heal. Has someone ever said that once a writer always a writer?  In my case, …

Journaling: A habit worth forming

For the month of June, I will be participating for the first time in the Wordcount Blogathon 2013.  I have participated in blogathons through my other blog, Writing Prompts from Life.  Blogathons are fun and help instill the daily writing habit. For this blogathon, I will be posting about writing practices, tools and exercises. “I really feel lazy to write here but it’s good that I started.”  This was how I began my journal entry last night, before I went to bed.  Could I have gone to bed without writing on my journal?  Yes, but I know it wouldn’t have felt good. Habits are hard to break. I have been journaling for many decades now, but unlike many journal writers, I have no clear memory of the time when I first wrote on a journal.  And I didn’t realize until a few years ago that the habit I had formed through the years offers many benefits other than being a friend when it was hard to find one; listening to my woes at any time of …