Vaughn Hardacker here: In January of every year I make a resolution that this year I’m going to keep a Journal–Riiight. I do okay for a week or two, but then wonder why I journal mundane stuff (my life is full of mundane stuff). For example, no one cares that I bought gasoline for my truck today–in fact, other than the financial impact, I don’t care. Still I try.

I recently read a blog on keeping a journal written by a freelance writer. The blog stated that this writer actually keeps five (5), that’s right, five journals they are:

  • A Primary Bullet Journal: Basically this is your brain committed to paper. In it you record (1) your thoughts, (2) your-to-do-lists, (3) your ideas, (4) your notes, and (6) your creativity.
  • A Blog-only Journal: this is a journal specifically related to blogging (the Primary Journal is a fun one, this one allows you to: (1) Map out monthly editorial calendars for each blog. (2) keep a one-page post tracker for an at-a-glance view of overall monthly blogging, (3) Map out blog business plans and development plans, (4) manage blog to-do lists.
  • A Standard Journal: This is one in which you record daily activities, both writing and non-writing related to include: (1) How you feel on any given day, (2) News, (3) politics, (4) Relationships. This is your place to say whatever you want or need to get out of your system.
  • A Dream Journal: This one is kept on your nightstand to allow you to record that great idea that came to you in a dream. You know that one that you recall as being great–only you can’t remember what it was.
  • Sketch Journal: Here’s where you can express your self in more creative ways

The last two are more about retention of dreams and daydreams, however the first three are important. They afford you a way of planning your activities and are relevant to writing and blogging.

This year I’ve made a concerted effort to do a Primary Bullet Journal and a Blog-only journal. One of my writing habits is that once I complete a project I’m tabula rasa (which is defined as: the mind in its hypothetical primary blank or empty state before receiving outside impressions ). Once I come up with a plot idea I can hammer away with a goal of 1,000 words per day. My greatest fear about this is that I may get so busy journaling that I won’t have time to write (I know that would be the case if I tried to keep five of them). In my next post, I’ll update everyone on how I’m doing.

About Vaughn C. Hardacker

Vaughn C. Hardacker has published seven novels and numerous short stories. He is a member of the New England Chapter of the Mystery Writers of America, Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance, and the International Thriller writers. Three times he has been a finalist in the Maine Literary Awards Crime Fiction category, SNIPER in 2015, THE FISHERMAN in 2016, and WENDIGO for the 2018 award. The second installment of his Ed Traynor series, MY BROTHER'S KEEPER, was released in July 2019 and is available through all major booksellers. A signed copy can be ordered directly from Vaughn ( RIPPED OFF is his most recently published crime/thriller, it was released on January 25, 2023 by Encircle Publications. He is a veteran of the U. S. Marines and served in Vietnam. He holds degrees from Northern Maine Technical College, the University of Maine and Southern New Hampshire University. He lives in Stockholm, Maine.
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2 Responses to HERE I GO AGAIN!

  1. Anonymous says:

    All I can say is GOOD LUCK.
    and hope that you come out better than u went in!!!!!!!!

  2. Vaughn, I have yet to meet you, but I am in and out of the Stockholm General Store regularly for the past 30 years. Your books are next on my list to read. I have a kind of weird mind where I think up murder plots based on scenes I observe while driving around Mad Lake and Stockholm. I am at work on my own murder mystery, and I need to finish it, so I don’t need these crazy onslaughts of inspiration!

    Would you like me to share them with you? Here’s a couple of samples:

    An arrogant waiter, Justin McManus, who is unpopular with the rest of the staff, is heard arguing with someone in the kitchen of Eureka Restaurant. There are rumors he has been stalking an attractive daughter of one of the town selectman. The next afternoon, the staff arrives to find his crumpled body at the bottom of the stairway to the Tavern. Many think it was an accident, but [your protag] has other ideas.

    Stockholm’s “town idiot” Billy Sjogren has been drawing a bit of attention lately, wandering around late at night shouting and singing loudly. One morning postmistress Carrie Mae Jackson is discovered strangled and dumped outside the post office’s rear door. Sjogren is the obvious suspect, but was he a killer or a harmless vagrant? And what baggage did postmistress Carrie Mae bring from her former position as postmistress in far northern St. Anselm?

    Stockholm’s General Store is the hub of the area selling gasoline, fresh fruit and veggies, beer, milk, bread, meat, and other provisions. A local author, Vic Harvey, has written a book, thinly masked, about the store’s owner being murdered and found stuffed into her oven in the back bakery. Two weeks after the book’s release, owner Sarah Akerson is found dead, stuffed in an oven exactly the way the book described her. The author is arrested for murder.

    Let me know what you think. No charge for my ideas! I have a FB page, Connie Weissinger Tucker, and am a member of Maine Authors & Publishers group also.

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