I’ve started to keep a journal of my writing. More specifically, I’ve dedicated a paragraph-long section of my daily journal to writing about my writing, detailing the progress I’m making in a novel-length project I hope to finish the rough draft of in the coming months. I’m leaving myself notes, talking about the progress I’m making and what I need to do.
It’s damn useful, and I highly recommend the practice for anyone who is serious about finishing a sustained project, especially one that requires some sense of cohesion or deliberate building to a point, whether that point be narrative in nature or something else entirely. It’s forcing me to contextualize a day’s writing within everything I have written up to that point, as well as what I’m anticipating writing next.
This idea was shamelessly stolen from John Steinbeck, whose journal “Working Days” was kept throughout the duration of his work on “The Grapes of Wrath” and stuck me as an instrumental tool in the creation of that novel.