Geek Proud, GeekOut.

Writers Corner: Keeping a Log

Recently, I’ve found myself jotting snippets down. No matter how big or small the idea, I’ve been writing words down that sound like a good sentence. Sometimes, they end up over several different documents, before finally being merged into one. No matter what, I’m going to keep this log down. If you’re getting into writing as a hobby, or even a career, why not come up with your own writers log? Here’s a few tips on how I write my log, how often I write in it, the types of things I keep and how the information gets used.

What To Log

When I’m wandering around, or when I’m at work – Sometimes when I’m playing Elder Scrolls Online – I come up with a sentence. Sometimes I come up with a concept. No matter what, I have an idea that I want to store and use in a future article, or piece of writing. This is a key moment for when I decide to boot up my log and store it. It can be as short as a couple of words, or as long as a full paragraph. Whilst it doesn’t matter what topic, or genre, or if it’s fiction or non-fiction; I write it down.

I’ve found that in doing this, I’m giving myself a lot more inspiration as of late. Sometimes I lose inspiration for when I’m writing articles – Something that I think if Joel reads this, he’ll understand the issue. You sometimes sit there with a blank screen, wondering what to write. When I get like this, I go to my log, think long and hard about why I wrote something and go from there. I also like to write when I’m in different moods – Happy, sad, angry, you name it, I put it in my log. However, I like to give myself context about when and why I wrote something.

How I Organise My Log

Tags, similar to how websites categorise their articles, are how I organise my log. I keep everything in date order, give it a brief title to describe it and then write the idea down. After this, I have a section where I write Tags: [insert], [tags], [here] (No, that’s not a typo, that’s an example). This allows me to cycle through them if I need to, with a really simple search. For instance, if I want to search for all of my angry entries, I’ll usually have a tag of “Angry”. Or, if I want something fantasy-based, I’ll have a tag for Fantasy. Each entry can have several tags.

I also keep all of my entries in a table (spreadsheet) format. This helps with organising, as I can sort my tables by date order initially, or search by tags. Every day, my table grows usually by at least one entry, but sometimes multiple entries. By having it in a spreadsheet, not only can I keep my tag system, but it makes searching for everything so much easier. Within a short space of time, my log went from just a couple of entries up to probably a couple a hundred entries.

In the future, I might do an article to point out when I used some of the snippets from my log, but in the meantime, seriously have a think about how much a writers log could help you in your writing. Do you use a writers log yourself, or do you do something different to know what to write? All you aspiring writers and pros alike, share your thoughts and opinions below, or over on Facebook and Twitter.


6 responses

  1. Phil

    I chuck it all into OneNote as separate pages, but this doesn’t mean anything actually gets finished though :( that’s the problem! There’s obviously lots of learning out there to be had around writing, such as structure and ways to keep interest, etc. Have you done any training or learning about writing out of interest?

    Liked by 1 person

    July 15, 2019 at 5:31 pm

    • Nothing in particular, at least from a professional sense. I’ve read plenty of books on writing, seen countless videos on tips and tricks. I’ve also made many mistakes, which is so important.

      Hmm, things not getting finished. Perhaps that’ll be another article? Perhaps I’ll start adding some short stories here.

      Liked by 1 person

      July 15, 2019 at 6:22 pm

      • Phil

        Haha yes things not finished and the ideas you’ve had second thoughts about? Maybe what seemed like a great topic would only be covered in a single paragraph and therefore not writing about.

        Liked by 1 person

        July 16, 2019 at 5:49 pm

      • A paragraph can have more of an impact than an epic novel. So can a sentence 😁

        Liked by 1 person

        July 16, 2019 at 6:18 pm

      • Phil

        Very true! For example: ‘k’

        Liked by 1 person

        July 17, 2019 at 9:11 am

      • K

        Liked by 1 person

        July 17, 2019 at 9:15 am

Drop us a line

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.