One Week Into Journal Writing #MondayBlogs

Last Monday I talked about my new adventure into on-line journal writing, and after one week of playing around with it, I have to say I love it. I’m using the One Day app.

Today’s entry in what I call my Nothing Special journal, the place where I just dump stuff.

It’s a gorgeous day in paradise. The sun is beating on my back as I write my journal on the balcony, and my hair, soggy from my morning swim, is drying. The birds are singing. It’s a wonderful Monday.

I listened to Kevin Tumlinson’s Wordslinger podcast this morning with James Rollins about thriller writing. They talked about AI which is a topic that fascinates me. I’m listening to Kai-Fu Lee’s audiobook, AI Super-Powers China, Silicon Valley, and the New World Order.

Tumlinson quoted my review of his show which was kind of neat. At the end of the podcast, he talked about using the resources we have to get things done; about thinking about what we can use rather than focusing on what we don’t have. Then I listened to some of Joanna Penn’s podcast with Alastair Humphreys about memoir writing. Before the interview, she talked about how no one gets on the best seller list of a store or on their best selling tables without paying for it, and how we need to expect to pay to get noticed. It’s just the way retail works, she said. We can no longer count on organic reach. I found Kevin’s podcast inspiring and Joanna’s equally depressing.  What can I say? Writing is a bitch. …

I went on to write about other stuff, but you get the idea. This journal is a great place for me to talk to myself about what I’m doing, thinking and feeling. It was free for the first few days and now it costs $35. Canadian/per year. If I continue to use it, it’s a steal.

What I like about the Day One app/ on-line journaling:

  1. Being able to write several journals in one place. I hate clutter, and I’m always losing things, not to mention ideas, so this should be a way to keep myself organized.
  2. Being able to use tags. This should help me track information I may want to use later.
  3. Being able to sync. I haven’t put it on my phone yet, but I do have it on two handy devices (laptop and IPad), which should make it more accessible to me.

That’s my experiment this week. I hope wherever you are is sunny and that you are enjoying yourself.

Photo source:

Have you tried online​ journaling? #Monday blogs


As the people who follow me regularly know, I’m in a creative pause at the moment and allowing myself to try anything I want. That is to say, I’m choosing to forget the fact that Amazon algorithms like to be fed regularly and readers forget the names of writer quickly and letting myself explore.

This week I’m trying online journaling. The idea is far from new, but I’ve never tried it before. I typically start paper journals and leave them scattered all over the place, losing them when I most need them.  They’re worse than sticky notes because they don’t stick.

The longest I ever journaled was when I  followed the advice of Julia Cameron (The Artist’s Way) and 51gzv263hIL._AC_UL436_engaging in a daily three-page write. I would write while I traveled to work on a ferry at six in the morning. No one bothered me.  The engines rumbled and the seagulls squawked, while I poured my heart onto my pages. I found it useful, but most of it turned out to be blog entries, so for me, it was easier to just go directly to the platform the work was going to end up on.

Where was I? Oh, yeah, the online part. I listen regularly to Kevin Tumlinson’s podcasts and love his comments on writing, which follow each interview. This week at the end of episode 177, he talked about the importance of journals to writers, and two points stuck out for me. One, that I didn’t have to put everything into one journal. I could have several. That, believe it or not, was mind-opening for me. Two, that I didn’t have to write in them every day. That works for me. And three, (you know I can’t count) that there are online apps that help organize your work. I like writing longhand as it feels more intimate, but I can’t write for very long, due to a past surgery. However, I can type forever, sooooo, the online app sounded appealing.

Tumlinson uses an app called “Day One,” which was free when he started but isn’t now. I looked it over and decided to give it a try.

The first week of the Premium version is free. After that, I have to pay $31/year. I hope that’s Canadian. The cost seems reasonable if I use it, as paper journals are costly as well.

After one day of Day One, this is what I liked:

  1. It dates everything and I can put tags on each entry.
  2. Grammarly works well with it.
  3. I can journal in voice as well as text. The two-minute tape I did gave me further perspective into what I’m up to. I could hear my emotions and my solution in my voice.
  4. I can also journal with photos.
  5. It works well on my Ipad. I haven’t tried syncing yet. I’ll do that if I continue to use it.
  6. It enabled me to set up three color-coded journals: Writing Life, Ideas, Mystic Keep (i.e., the world I’m writing my trilogy in).
  7. I haven’t lost it yet.

Overall, I would rate my experience as a 9 out of 10. It wasn’t a full 10 because I’m still learning the program and getting used to the keyboard on my Ipad, so I found myself starting and stopping a lot as I figured things out.

What about you?

Do you journal? What kinds of journals do you keep? Have you tried an online app? Do you think I would be crazy to pay a fee for Day One?


Thursday Review: The Girl in the Mayan Tomb


If you like the adventures of Indiana Jones, you’ll love this book. It’s an action-packed archeological thriller, filled with strong, well-defined characters that had me sitting on the edge of my seat from the first word to the last. There are many things I like about this story, but I’ll focus on one. The story opens when a young boy discovers the location of an ancient archeological site; that event captured my imagination and from there I was hooked.

I’m looking forward to reading more in Kevin Tumlinson’s,  Dan Kotler series.  I highly recommend The Girl in the Mayan Tomb to readers who like thrilling, archeological adventures.

Amazon Link

2 Marketing Tips from Kevin Tumlinson

For the full interview go to my podcast Blood, Sweat and Words.

Kevin Tumlinson’s #1 Writing Tip

This clip is from my interview with Kevin Tumlinson, which you can listen to here.