Keeping A Journal Is Proof You Can Write A Book

What a great feeling it is to have completed a journal. If you think about it, you’ve just written an entire book of your own!


Blue Lagoon Ecosystems Journal
Blue Lagoon Ecosystems Journal

Excerpted from the final page of my lagoon blue “Ecosystems” journal on October 22, 2015.

For your enjoyment, here are the stats I listed at the end of one of my favorite personal journals, my Ecosystems journal. Consider these the next time you have a burning desire to write a book of your own.

Front & End Page Quotes

A writer’s notebook is a way of keeping in touch with your inner life in the midst of the rush of daily preoccupations.

- denise levertov

If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.

- Henry David Thoreau

There are stories that only I can tell, and if I don’t write them, they won’t exist.

- todd mitchell (from seize the story by victoria hanley)

If you’re patient, if you keep writing rather than merely dashing off the first thing that comes to your mind, your deeper thoughts will have time to rise to the surface, join with other thoughts or [ideas], and perhaps even change their course as you discover and reevaluate what it is you really need to say.

- rebecca mcclanahan (from her book write your heart out)

Everything in life worth achieving requires practice. In fact, life itself is nothing more than one long practice session, and endless effort of refining our motions. When the paper mechanics of practicing are understood, the task of learning something new becomes a stress-free experience of joy and calmness, a process which settles all areas in your life and promotes proper perspective on all life’s difficulties. (Emphasis mine)

- thomas sterner (intro to getting things done by david allen)

As to methods there may be a million and then some, but principles are few. The man who grasps principles can successfully select his own methods. The man who tries methods, ignoring principles, is sure to have trouble.

- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Creative Stats for My Ecosystems “Whatever Happens Happens” Journal

  • Roughly 192 pages
  • Approximately 64 entries
  • At least 17 different pens used
  • Written from August 7, 2014–October 22, 2015
  • Webinars recorded: Approximately 6 (including for YouTube vids)
  • Approximately 11 words per line, 33 lines per page, 363 words per page, at 192 pages = 69,696 words!!! (+/- sketches, doodles, skipped lines, titles, etc.) [Compared to 50,000 words for an official NaNoWriMo novel.]
  • Longest Entry (excluding webinars): 7 pages, “Bestseller Interview.” Runner up: 6 pages, “The Quest for Order Out of Chaos.”
  • Shortest Entry: “Description of a Storm (A Poem).” (Also the only poem in this journal.)
  • Average Entry length: Approximately 3 pages
  • Number of unused pages: 2 - Before and after one of the webinar’s notes

Milestones for 2015

  • Began work on 2009 NaNoWriMo novel again in October 2014 and wrote the words “The End” (before edits) on June 24, 2015. [Author’s Note: Little did I know it, after using a method from a book entitled Blueprint Your Bestseller by Stuart Horwitz in 2018—three years later—I still had a few missing scenes to write before actually considering the novel completely written.]
  • Began writing “Goals” ebook on July 2, 2015; finished writing on September 24, 2015. [This would eventually become my SMART FOCUS three-book series.]
  • Began using Scrivener—the catalyst for completing my 2009 novel—in October 2014. I’ve been using for a year this month. [And ever since. I actually use it to write these blog posts.]
  • Completed this journal in a little over a year (between writing in my gray mini notebook, spiral-bound idea notebooks, Morning Pages notebook, and other forms of writing).
  • Completed Bluegrass Guitar Essentials while writing this journal. (Launched the DVD version just 6 days after finishing writing my 2009 novel!)
  • Completed and self-published several short stories.
  • Joined 2 writing groups
  • Entered as a participant in NaNoWriMo 2015, thus coming full-circle—and winning with 50,501 words!
  • Bought my first Macbook Air
  • Bought my first truck, a 2004 Chevy Colorado, King Cab. [And I still have it today, it’s been an awesome truck!]

Have You Written A Book Lately?

So the next time you have the itch to write a book of your own, get a journal and start writing. Who knows? You may end up writing the book you’ve always wanted to read.

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