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I signed up to National Journal Writing Month – or NaJoWriMo as it’s known for short – after seeing a tweet from a fellow librarian. As with other month challenges – such as the most famous NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) – it is designed to help the individual develop good habits of journal writing: this practice has been said to be therapeutic, creative and a powerful way to document your life. The challenge is the brainchild of freelance writer Bakari Chavanu, and the website has information about the project, blog posts, and resources.

I used to keep a journal regularly when I was younger, although I used to call it a diary – perhaps “journal” is more of an American term. Whatever it’s called, I find that I do miss it – I still write regularly, but writing publicly for this blog isn’t the same as writing privately in a journal. I hope that taking part in this project will encourage me to start writing for myself again.

The theme for April 2016 is Personal Renewal. If you sign up, you get a daily email with a journal writing prompt to ensure you aren’t stuck for something to write about. Alternatively, you can go your own way and write about whatever you want. The challenge has different levels: Beginner (which I’ve chosen), in which you simply write one journal entry per day; Advanced, in which you aim to write 5,000 words for the month; and Thematic, in which you pick a theme and focus on that for the thirty days.

You can use a traditional paper journal or a digital journal for the project. I’ve decided to use a pretty notebook I’ve had sitting empty for a long time. It’s a good size and I love the cover design. Some digital journal apps looks really appealing – I especially like the look of Day One but unfortunately it’s only available on the Apple Store, and I’m an Android girl.

Have you taken part in NaJoWriMo? Would you like to?


My NaJoWriMo journal