Creating a Writing Bullet Journal

First Off: What is a bullet journal?

The Bullet Journal is a customizable and forgiving organization system. It can be your to-do list, sketchbook, notebook, and diary, but most likely, it will be all of the above. It will teach you to do more with less.

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Think of it as a journal for all your lists like to-watch, to-read, to-do, shopping, meal planning, activity tracker, etc. all in one notebook. I keep one. And added on top of that, I’ve made something very few have made (or at least, very few have shared over the internet). A writing bullet journal.

That’s right. Writing.

Below will be a list of things you can include in your writing bullet journal for things such as a personal novel, NaNoWriMo, and basic note-taking.

Basic Writing Bullet Journal

  1. List of Names  It’s always to have a list handy of names you like. Even make a list of surnames that strike out at you to save for future projects when you’re trying to name a character. I, personally, use three name lists. First names, surnames, and hybrid ideas of first and last names.
  2. Word Help If you have trouble with dialogue or description, it’s a good thing to have a list of word help on hand. Anything from words to use instead of “said” to different ways to describe someone’s eyes or skin tone. Here are some examples:
    1. How to Avoid “Very”
    2. Commonly Misspelled or Misused Words
    3. In Case You Needed to Find That Specific Color
    4. 100 Colorful Words to Use in Place of “Said”
    5. Feeling Wheel
  3. Inspiration Mood Board If you’re like me and you get inspired by quite a lot, it’s fun to have a few pages in my notebook set aside for paper clippings or print-outs of what inspire me to write.
  4. Inspirational Quotes When I’m feeling very sour about my own writing, it always helps me to go back on quotes that inspire me to keep writing and do my best.
  5. Book Title Ideas Naming a project can be difficult. Whenever I feel like I’ve come up with a great future title idea, I write it down on my won book title ideas list.
  6. Project Ideas Whenever I have some crazy dream that I feel has potential to be something or a movie (or book) gives me an idea for something different from it, I feel it’s very important to write it down in fear of forgetting about it. I used to not write things like that down, and I’ve lost out on so many ideas I knew could have been good.
  7. Monthly Log I always make a minimalist log to plan time for writing. I usually include my work schedule and if I have any plans with friends.
  8. Writing Playlists Some people work best with music playing in the background. I like to include specific playlists for certain parts of a project I’m working on. Here are some examples:
    1. Instrumental
    2. Romance
    3. Battle & Aftermath
    4. Heartbreak
    5. Love/Hate
    6. Girl Power
    7. Death
  9. Books to Read If you’re a reader, than it’s good to take some time to read and refresh your mind.

NaNoWriMo

NaNoWriMo is an event that happens every November where you’re given a goal of 50k words to write within one month. The fun of it is competing with others, meeting other writers, finding help, giving help, and if you win, you get some prizes! You can find out more about it at nanowrimo.org

  1. #preptober A list a lot of NaNoWriMo people like to make during October consisting of things they’d like to have or have done before NaNoWriMo starts the following year. I tend to include things like, “stock up on coffee” or “have a new notebook by november 1st” or even “update nanowrimo.org profile.”
  2. Word Tracker It’s always a good idea to create some form of a chart to track your word count and to help push yourself to that 50k. Some like to use line charts to compare what word count they should be at with what they are actually at while others enjoy creating fun visual flow charts.
  3. Future Notes While it’s not always the best time and place to go back and fix mistakes during NaNoWriMo, it’s always a good idea to make a list of all you want to look into changing once NaNoWriMo is over and you get to go back and revise.
  4. Outlining It always helps to have a full plot planned out.

Personal Project

  1. Basics Working/Chosen Title, a thorough list of the names of the main character, secondary characters, minors, and even the pro/antagonist. I also include genre and targeted audience. Pretty much anything basic about the story I like to have on the first page of the section of my bujo I’m using for the personal project stuff. You can even add in a word goal, setting, and mood.
  2. Working Summary Play around with summary ideas for your project, that way if someone asks what your story is about, you can just word it like your summary. I even keep it for personal use to keep me going every now and then.
  3. Character Tree This always helps me keep track of all the characters and what their relationship is with each other.
  4. Soundtrack Create a playlist to listen to when working on your project to help stay in the mood you have chosen.
  5. Outline I use this to keep track of the most important key points of my story, writing out a small description of what all goes down in the five major plot points:
    1. Introduction
    2. Rising Action
    3. Climax
    4. Falling Action
    5. Conclusion
  6. Character Analysis I use this for my main and secondary characters. It helps me learn about them and truly know how I’m going to write them. Some people like to create a full outline to fill out full name, age, date of birth, physical features, etc. but I like to write out long paragraphs explaining their personality and talking about their background, even including small clippings of actors that make me think of that character.
  7. Inspiration List A list to help keep track of everything that helps you feel inspired to write a scene/chapter, etc. in your project. I include character relationships from movies/tv shows/books and even certain scenes that really inspired me.

NaNoWriM0 2k16 Update #2: Change

Sitting at 8,286 words on day #8 of NaNoWriMo when I should be at 13,333 words…I’m not feeling too great about myself. I tried all I could to get myself going to write more and mgiphy7ore of Aerials, but found myself just angry with myself for jumping into such a random story idea with a genre I wasn’t comfortable with. I thought I could push myself to finish this novel. I thought I could try out and test the waters of a genre I’ve never written before. The more negative I feel about all of this, the more angrier I get with myself, and that’s not something I’d like to feel for the rest of this month. I don’t wanna make myself stressed over something that’s not important to me nor my life. You get what I’m saying?

So here it comes: change.

Yes, change. As in change-in-my-NaNoWriMo-subject, and change-in-my-novel-for-NaNoWriMo.

After having a crazy, random dream last night, a friend gave me the idea of flash fiction. So scrapping Aerials, I’m going to be doing a Flash Fiction series for all of my crazy dreams and my plot ideas. It might not all be just flash fiction. Some of it will be 2k+ word scenes and whatnot.

Will this get me to 50k words? Probably not. But it’s what I know I can write without a problem, it’s what I’m comfortable with. And most importantly, it’s something I’ve been thinking about doing for months (but haven’t realized until today). I have a blank notebook with my name on it on my bookshelf.

I know I can do this.

Now I’m just going to leave this gif here because it’s how I feel.

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NaNoWriMo 2k16 Update #1: 4AM Negativity

I just spent the last few hours tossing and turning just when I thought I was tired enough to sleep, I found myself plagued with thinking about…you guessed it. Hecking NaNoWriMo. What a shocker, I know. And while most other people around thgiphy5e world are all excited about being able to write next, (day)dreaming about their characters and what not, I have a different feeling.

After a night of getting myself 500 words ahead of scheduled (I mean, it’s nothing oh-em-gee, but it’s 500 words more than my usual daily goal), I found myself getting into bed and thinking something rather sour towards NaNoWriMo.

“That writing session…wasn’t exciting.”

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“In fact, none of my writing sessions have been exciting…”

And now here I sit, typing up this post, and I can’t help but wonder, is there something wrong with me? Have I lost my true passion for writing? Because in all honesty, I think I’d have more pleasure in finishing the novel I didn’t finish last year (which was the second draft for my 2014 winner).

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Aerials (cover created by Mellanie Young from nanowrimo.org) is a steampunk romance where this character named Joule is the head mechanic on a skyship called Kairos. She’s best friends with the captain, Oswald Rith, and has been ever since his father had taken Joule and her younger sister Isoline in. After securing new machines for the ship after months of trying to keep the old ones from ruining the ship, shit goes down and Joule and Isoline have to escape the ship before Joule gets blamed for something she would never ever think of doing. A mysterious family takes them in, their son Edric falls in love with Joule, and eventually Joule and Isoline find out they’re not exactly orphans, that a family member is still alive and has strategically kept an eye on them ever since they were given away. Isoline gets kidnapped, Joule finds out what true love feels like, and a mystery villain is behind a massive amount of unhappy events, and the family member comes to save the day…

Yeah, I have the entire plot planned out, outlined. Created the characters and got to know them. It was all sunshine and chocolate until I realized tonight it was all, in fact, just a bag of poop. I’ve tried to get to know the characters. I tried to bond with them, get excited for them. But they’rgiphy4e not Addison and Drew (characters from past novel). I’m not excited for the ensued sexual tension. I’m not jumping for joy for two characters I totally ship being in the same breathing distance. Because it’s not said past novel.

I went from first being horrified at realizing how much I regretted the decision of trying to try something new to being head to toe with regret, to now just feeling impatient for NaNoWriMo to end. All I can think about right now is how much I just want to get the novel done and over with.

Now, to make things clear, this doesn’t mean I’m going to give up on the novel and on giphy6NaNoWriMo. No, this means something a lot of authors frown upon. I’m going to poop out this novel without a single care (and ounce of passion, from what it seems) because I refuse to think about wasting my entire October planning a novel just to give up on it.

I refuse to give up.

A part of me hopes that somewhere among the writing I’ll finally click with the story. Maybe I’m just tired and need a yummy cup of coffee to get my passion flowing again. Maybe I’m just hungry. Who knows.

I think I’ve been so worried about my past novel Forgiven for the longest time that I’m having trouble learning to worry about anything else that’s not Forgiven.

Writing is hard…

This depression NaNoWriMo message was brought to you by Shiverpass. Because…yeah.

NaNoWriMo has begun!

4AM into NaNoWriMo for me and I’m filled with so much mighty need for writing. Are you all feeling the same way as me? (Well, I mean, the few of you who are still just as awake at this time as I am, anyway…)

Lots of new changes this year have been undergone such as a NaNoWriMo Bullet Jogiphyurnal, full-on month-long planning for the very first time in my life, and now I have decided to use my Google Drive for writing as opposed to a notebook. I have a feeling this month will consist a lot of coffee when possible. Last year I was good about it, not too sure about this year…

NaNoWriMo didn’t start off as I had hoped. I spent the first four hours of it pretty much juggling to update my Bullet Journal, and write up my wordcount tracker I almost forgot for my NaNoWriMo Bullet Journal. And then right when I was about to crack my knuckles, my upper back gives me a hard time and I have to lay down and…ugh.

I’m not letting that stop me, however. I’m very determined to get the first part of the first chapter written. I feel like I’ve been waiting for forever just to sit down and finally write out the opening scene that has been dancing around my head since the beginning of October.giphy1

I’m prepared to go batshit crazy on on my laptop. During the final moments of planning for my new novel, I had, of course, run into some plot issues, but now that NaNo has begun, I’m going to push through it and whether it’s fixed or not when I actually write it out — who the hell cares. All that matters is that I poop out those words and worry about the editing after the 30th.

A part of me wants to puke out an all-nighter and write as much as I possibly can, but the other part of me knows that I’ll just burn myself out. I have self-control!

Somehow I’ve only just discovered Night of Writing Dangerously and it has been officially added to my bucket list. It would be nice to go out and attend it one year. Hell, it would be nice to attend any write-in at this point, but thanks to personal reasons, I’m unable to this year. I’m hopeful for next year though! (And besides, it would be nice to go to the Night of Writing Dangerously with a writing friend but alas, I don’t have a friend who’s as much of a writer as I am when it comes to the subject of NaNoWriMo.)

So I want to wish you all good luck on reaching your goal, now wish me good luck as I go try and write some words before bed.

44 Bullet Journal Ideas

The bullet journal, or as some would call “bujo”, is meant to be your best friend, the keeper of all of your lists, to help push you towards that certain goal. And as you may be able to guess, there are hundreds of different things to track out there (probably not literally, but you never know). Here’s a list of things you could possibly track in your bullet journal I’ve created based on what I’ve seen so far in the bullet journal world.

Continue reading “44 Bullet Journal Ideas”