A journal should not be the main channel for your writing. The truism that tells us writers to write everyday doesn’t specify what kind of writing we should be exercising. Does blogging count? Journaling? Or is fiction the only kind of writing that will really put our skills to the test?
I would never speak ill of journal writing. Of course it has its value. I definitely do not think it’s a waste of time. Journal writing is an important and useful medium of expression (particularly for the introverted types). But is it an effective way to practice your writing?
When I read my diary’s past entries, I think what nonsense, what gibberish. But if I were to stop and try to edit my own journal, it wouldn’t be a journal at all.
Maybe journal writing doesn’t have all the benefits of fiction writing when it comes to feeding the creative self. So what? Journal writing is just easier and when you’re feeling like you don’t have the time for anything else, it’s the best alternative. But if I want to keep those creative muscles strong then journaling is not going to fly.
Lesson learned: Write everyday. Write everything and anything — as much as you can.