On Getting Journally

I’ve devoted a good chunk of the day, when I wasn’t doing laundry or last-minute shopping, to setting up a new blog. Meet Journally. It’s a blog of journal prompts for students in composition and creative writing classes, or for anyone I suppose who wants to keep a personal journal.

I still have quite a bit to do to shape it up, but I hope before the holiday break is over to have a fairly robust collection of prompts built up. Okay, my goal is to have at least 50 prompts posted before I start back to school in January. Judge for yourself whether you’d call that robust. It’s a start anyway.

I hope people will send their students to this blog, not only to find journaling ideas, but also to post pieces of their work in the comments. We’ll see if that ever takes off.

I’ve dreamed for years of putting together a creative writing exercise book, and at one time I had hundreds of those one-liner writing prompts saved. I don’t even know if I still have them. If I do, they are on my office computer. Everything posted to the Journally blog so far, I wrote last night. On a whim.

I’m basically building my book online, or at least the journal prompt part of it. That hit me as the thing to do last night when I was too buzzed to sleep from too much Diet Coke. The thought had barely brushed through my mind before I was setting up a new WordPress installation.

In other words, this is absolutely a whim. To justify deciding on the spot to blog instead of putting together a book, I’ll just say this:

(1) Books are too expensive for students. They can’t afford to buy a supplementary exercise book. They need to spend their money on the books about craft and the anthologies of writers worth emulating.
(2) I’m too inconsistent (Haphazard as it were) on writing projects to actually finish a book in a timely fashion. I start projects all the time, but reality always sets in before I can finish, and I remember I’m teaching seven sections of students who want their papers graded and returned.

I could go on and on, though thank goodness I do have enough impulse control left to spare you that. Essentially, I’m thinking that more and more “textbooks” are going to show up online in open formats. Why not make mine one of them? At least this way I’ll find out whether I’m writing anything people can use.

**Cross-posted to Writerly Haphazardry.

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