Monday, June 1, 2009

My Emotional Journal

I am going to begin a new type of journal to use as a resource in my writing. It will be called my Emotional Journal.

In my Emotional Journal, I will write about my feelings as they are happening so I can catalogue them and then later when my character experiences that emotion, hopefully, it will help me avoid cliches.

Let's take a look at one shall we... how about uneasiness? All weekend, I had this sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach that I had done something wrong, that I had forgotten to do something that others were counting on me to do. It made me remember what it was like to be a young kid or teen when say you got an "F" on a test and the whole walk or bus ride home, your stomach churned with the knowing you were about to get in trouble.

Later this weekend, when I called this friend I thought might be mad at me, I learned she was just busy and couldn't call me back. I felt such a powerful rush of relief, it almost made me cry. I, then, thought of my MC's father and how I can use the entry from my emotional journal to help solidify for readers the worry a parent feels and the release that comes when we know our kids are safe and sound.

My intent for my journal is to just free-write these emotions and situations and to underline all the cliches. For example, in my first emotion above, I wrote about a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach. This is so cliche. So, the next part of my journal will be to try to brainstorm ways to write that feeling in a new, fresh way. That's not easy.

Cliches have become cliches because someone once said it the first time. And it was so succinctly stated that it stuck and became a thread in the fabric of our society. We all know what that sinking feeling in the pit of our stomach feels like. We've all felt it. How else can that be described without being over described. THIS is what I hope to discover in my journal.

Discussion Topic: Let's give it a try, shall we? How might you describe that sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach?


Amy Tate said...

That's a wonderful idea. I journal in the traditional way - pen & paper. I've never thought about looking for writing habits.

Rebecca said...

Sounds like a great idea, Sheri!

Sheri said...

Thanks, Amy and Becky. Well, see how useful it turns out to be. Even if nothing more than an exercise in trying to describe emotions without the cliches.

Kelly H-Y said...

What a fabulous idea! I bet it's going to be really helpful.

Chris Eldin said...

I LOVE this idea. And even better you're sharing with all of us so we can copy and paste...
I do think this is a terrific idea.

Zeba Talkhani said...

Thats an amazing idea. i am going to try it as well.

Sheri said...

Thanks everyone! Sometimes they happen - amazing ideas that is.

What's the sense of experiencing all this angst and other fun-filled emotions if we can't use them to our benefit!

“Personal limitation exists only in our ideas of who we are. Give up all notions of who you are and your limitations will vanish.”

- Anonymous