Journals and creativity: Editor's Notes, July 2002
Published: May 25, 2002
|In her inspiring reflection on writer's journals ("Golden notebooks"), Alexandra Johnson looks for clues to some of the mysteries of writing: "How is creativity sustained?" How do diaries link the writer's life and work?|
Johnson, who examines writers' journals in her book The Hidden Writer: Diaries and the Creative Life, attributes the popularity of published writers' diaries to "the hunger to find literary role models, writers rooted in daily life." She finds connections between what Virginia Woolf called "this loose drifting material of life" and the printed page. Journals are where stories begin, Johnson says in her fascinating article--but it's more than a good read. Johnson and poet Miriam Sagan offer exercises that are designed to help you use journaling to tap into your creativity and improve your writing.
Reading another writer's experiences is one way to learn more about the craft--what works and doesn't work. This month we debut Breakthrough, a column devoted to writers' success stories. It's our space for shop talk, where writers can share their experiences and advice.
Howard Scott's publishing story was just right for the first column. Here's a guy who followed his bliss. He loves to write and loves beekeeping. He turned his passions into a profitable publishing endeavor that worked on several levels.
We'd like to hear your good news. (For specific submission guidelines, see page 13 of the July 2002 issue.) Your success story just might help another writer.
Contributing editor helps you boost your bottom line
Kelly James-Enger, who has raised freelancing to an art by combining her business, writing and organizational skills, joins The Writer this month as our Bottom line columnist and contributing editor. After toiling for more than five years as an attorney, she changed careers to become a full-time freelance journalist and has never regretted her decision. Since then, her nonfiction articles have appeared in more than 40 national magazines, and she frequently speaks at writers conferences. James-Enger, who has been a regular contributor to The Writer, will focus on practical, tried-and-tested advice to help writers enhance their careers and increase their income.