“Why should I fill my brain with facts I can find in two minutes in any standard reference book?” – Einstein
Our memories fade. Sorry to tell you that. We get busy. We age (again, sorry). We don’t stop to pay attention. Subtle nuances of our daily lives, of events we’re sure we’ll remember forever, can escape us.
A journal can help us slow down, pay attention to details that get lost in our memories. And details are what make the scene. A story based in New Orleans becomes that much richer when sprinkled with tiny details.
Write down your nightly dreams, or something that sparks a memory within you (like a shadow against the sidewalk) or your diet for the day. Anything. Just write in it.
I didn’t believe in journals for a long time. Then I had a teacher require one and I discovered how much richer my writing became from having a constant source to draw from and refer back to. I’d say a good one-third to one-fourth of my notebooks are filled with taped in scraps: scribblings on napkins, pictures that grab my imagination, printed newsletters, and tons of newspaper clippings.
Why should we clog our creative centers in our brains trying to remember things that we can just jot down?
Like a pitcher of water that is emptied and then refilled, so your creative juices will refill your mind as you move the most important ones onto paper.