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Journaling for Creativity.

Personal dialogue entry: Letter to a friend

This post forms part of a serialisation eventually building into a complete reference on Journaling for Creativity and the writer's notebook. One that will demonstrate how to journal in order to improve creativity and effectiveness of artists, writers or anyone needing to be creative.

Introduction Contents Types of Entry The Personal Dialogue Entry Letter to a Friend


Journaling for Creativity: Types of Entry: Personal Dialogue Similar to the personal dialogue entry is the 'letter' style of entry.

Here though, instead of attempting to have an ongoing conversation, the entry takes the form of a letter about a particular point written to another person. Normally either to you or to your journal.

You can address questions directly to the journal as if it was an actual person, and if you have given your journal a name then make the letter more peronal by using its name in the letter.

Such a letter could be about a point needing exploring, something that is driving you mad or anything else that you would include in a letter to someone else (and some things you probably wouldn’t.)

Once the outbound letter is drafted, wait twenty-four hours and then set about drafting a reply.

Then, whilst drafting the reply, attempt to solely adopt the mindset of the other party, answering your points and raising points of their own. Sometimes there will be no need to draft the reply since issues and solutions become clear whilst writing the initial letter.


Letters to your characters

A letter entry can also be sent to the characters in your project, or to a fictitious organisation based in your project, in order to gain insights into their behaviour.

You can even try writing letters between the characters, whilst you act as an invisible voyeur.

Such letters are useful to 'capture' the essence of an emotion or lay out issues for later use.

There are also times when you can use this technique in the ‘real world’, maybe a letter to a real person or organisation that is causing you difficulties. These letters should never get posted, and if you read them again some days later the reasons why you shouldn’t ever post them will be blindingly obvious.

However, at the time of writing, the emotions and issues of the moment create a surge of creative energy and parallel thinking from your creative-mind, produces a positive outlook whilst releasing some of the negative energy from the problem.



Think about a letter you would send to one of your books characters. Who would you send it to? What would it be about? Let us know in the comments area below how the exercise worked for you.

Photo credit: 45,365 Strange Conditions, by Josh McGinn.

"Personal dialogue entry: Letter to a friend" by Andy Shackcloth is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

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