My Short Stories

Posted in Micro Fiction, Writing Ideas and Prompts

The Power of Journaling: How Keeping a Writing Diary Can Improve Your Craft


Journaling has long been a tool for self-reflection and personal growth, but did you know it can also be a valuable tool for writers? In this post, we’ll explore the benefits of keeping a writing diary and how it can help you improve your craft.

The Benefits of Journaling for Writers:

  • Helps with writer’s block by providing a space to jot down ideas and inspiration as they come to you.
  • Allows you to reflect on your writing process and identify areas that need improvement.
  • Provides a space to experiment with new writing styles and techniques without the pressure of a final product.
  • Helps with writer’s block: Journaling can provide a space to jot down ideas and inspiration as they come to you, helping to overcome writer’s block by providing a way to capture ideas before they slip away.
  • Improves writing skills: Journaling can help writers improve their skills by providing a space to practice writing regularly, experiment with new writing styles and techniques, and reflect on their writing process.
  • Enhances creativity: Journaling can be a great way to tap into your creativity, as it provides a space to explore new ideas and experiment with different forms of expression.
  • Increases self-awareness: Journaling can be a powerful tool for self-reflection, and it can help writers become more aware of their thoughts, emotions, and motivations, which can be beneficial in creating authentic characters and plots.
  • Enhances emotional intelligence: Keeping a journal can be a great way to process emotions, it can help you understand them better, and then to incorporate them in your writing.
  • Provides a sense of accomplishment: Keeping a journal can give you a sense of accomplishment, as it allows you to see the progress you’ve made over time and can help you stay motivated to continue writing.

How to Get Started:

  • Set a goal: Before you start journaling, take a moment to think about what you hope to gain from the experience. Do you want to improve your writing skills? Overcome writer’s block? Reflect on your writing process? Having a clear goal in mind can help you stay motivated and focused.
  • Pick a format: There are many different ways to journal, whether it’s a physical notebook, a digital document, or an app. Choose a format that works best for you and your writing habits. For example, if you prefer to write by hand, a physical notebook may be the best option. If you’re always on the go, an app might be more convenient.
  • Set a schedule: Decide on a regular journaling schedule that works for you. It could be daily, weekly, or monthly. Make sure you set aside dedicated time for journaling.
  • Be consistent: The key to making journaling a habit is consistency. Try to journal at the same time every day or week, and make it a non-negotiable part of your routine.
  • Experiment with different prompts: If you’re struggling to come up with something to write about, try using writing prompts to get the creative juices flowing. There are many resources available online with prompts for journaling.
  • Reflect on your writing: After you’ve finished writing, take the time to reflect on what you’ve written and what you can learn from it. This can help you identify areas that need improvement, and track your progress over time.
  • Be honest with yourself: Writing in a journal is a personal process, and it’s important to be honest with yourself about your strengths and weaknesses as a writer.
  • Read other writers journals: Some writers find it helpful to read the journals of famous writers for inspiration, or to see how they approached their writing.
  • Have fun with it: Remember that journaling should be an enjoyable and rewarding experience. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself and don’t be too hard on yourself if you miss a day or two.

Tips for Effective Journaling:

  • Use prompts: If you’re struggling to come up with something to write about, try using writing prompts to get the creative juices flowing.
  • Be detailed: Include specific information about your writing process, such as how long it took you to write a particular piece or what was inspiring you at the time.
  • Reflect on your writing: After you’ve finished writing, take the time to reflect on what you’ve written and what you can learn from it.
  • Be specific: Instead of just writing about how you feel, try to be specific about what you’re feeling and why. This will help you better understand your emotions and how they relate to your writing.
  • Write by hand: If you find it easier to express yourself when writing by hand, try using a physical notebook or journal. The physical act of writing can help to stimulate the creative process.
  • Use a thesaurus: If you find yourself using the same words over and over, try using a thesaurus to find synonyms. This can help to expand your vocabulary and make your writing more varied.
  • Incorporate different media: If you find that you’re stuck in a rut with your writing, try incorporating different media into your journal, such as photographs, drawings, or even music.
  • Learn from other writers: Try reading the journals of famous writers for inspiration or to see how they approached their writing.
  • Reflect on your day: If you’re having trouble coming up with ideas for your journal, try reflecting on your day. What did you do? Who did you see? What did you feel? Reflecting on your day can give you a lot of inspiration for your writing.
  • Use it as a brainstorming tool: Use your journal as a space to brainstorm ideas for writing projects, character development, plot twists, and other elements of your writing.
  • Keep it private: Remember that a journal is a personal space, and it’s important to keep it private. Only share it with others if you feel comfortable doing so.

Famous Writers and Their Journals:

  • Virginia Woolf: The famous author of “Mrs. Dalloway” and “To the Lighthouse” kept extensive journals throughout her life. In her journals, she recorded her thoughts, observations, and reflections on her writing process, which were later published posthumously as “A Writer’s Diary.”
  • Sylvia Plath: The famous poet and author of “The Bell Jar” kept a journal throughout her life, which was later published as “The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath.” In her journal, she recorded her thoughts, observations, and reflections on her writing process, as well as her personal struggles with mental illness.
  • Anais Nin: The famous author and diarist kept journals throughout her life, which were later published as “The Diary of Anais Nin.” In her journals, she recorded her thoughts, observations, and reflections on her writing process, as well as her personal life and relationships.
  • J.R.R Tolkien: The author of “The Lord of the Rings” and “The Hobbit” kept journals in which he recorded his thoughts, observations, and reflections on his writing process, as well as his ideas for his books. He also used it as a way to develop his world-building and characters.
  • Jack Kerouac: The author of “On the Road” kept journals throughout his life, in which he recorded his thoughts, observations, and reflections on his writing process, as well as his personal life and travels.

These examples show that keeping a journal can be an important tool for writers, and can provide valuable insights into their writing process and personal lives. It’s also worth noting that these journals were not only a way for the writers to reflect on their craft but were also used as an inspiration for their work, and some were even used as a material for their books.


Keeping a writing diary can be a powerful tool for writers looking to improve their craft. It provides a space for reflection, experimentation, and inspiration. By setting aside dedicated time for journaling, using prompts and being honest with yourself, you’ll find that your writing will improve over time.

Posted in Writing Ideas and Prompts

The Power of Free Writing: How to Unlock Your Creativity

Free writing is a powerful tool for writers, and its origins can be traced back to the early 20th century. The concept of free writing was first introduced by the writer and teacher Peter Elbow, who believed that the traditional writing process was too restrictive and that it stifled creativity. Elbow’s approach to writing was to simply put pen to paper and write whatever comes to mind without worrying about grammar, punctuation, or even coherence.

The idea behind free writing is to let your thoughts flow freely without any constraints. The idea is simply to write for a set amount of time, something like ten to twenty minutes. Don’t stop for anything. The idea is to put something down on the page no matter what. It’s a way to get your ideas out of your head and onto the page, without worrying about whether they’re good or bad. By allowing yourself to write without judgment, you can tap into your subconscious and access a deeper level of creativity.

Free writing can be used for a variety of purposes, including generating new ideas, exploring different perspectives, and overcoming writer’s block. One of the most popular ways to use free writing is to set a timer for a certain period of time, usually between 10 and 20 minutes, and then write as fast as you can without stopping. The idea is to keep the pen moving, even if you don’t know what to write, the goal is to keep going, not to worry about the quality of the content.

One way to improve your writing is to start a free writing diary or journal. Get into the habit of writing in it for 10 minutes every day. Simply write down whatever is on your mind, don’t think about it and, whatever you do, don’t stop to edit your writing!

Another way to use free writing is to use prompts, which can help you focus on a specific topic or idea. Prompts can be anything from a word or phrase to a question or a image. They can be found online or created by yourself, the goal is to use them as a starting point to explore different angles and to find inspiration. At the end of this post there are two images you might like to use as free writing prompts.

Free writing can also be used as a way to explore different characters or perspectives. By writing from the perspective of a different character or point of view, you can gain insight into their thoughts, feelings, and motivations, which can help you create more authentic and relatable characters.

Free writing is a powerful tool that can help writers unlock their creativity, overcome writer’s block, and gain new insights into their work. By allowing yourself to write without judgment, you can tap into a deeper level of creativity and discover new ideas and perspectives. Give it a try and see how it can help you in your writing journey.

Writing Stories With ChatGPT

I enjoy writing very short stories and often join in with the daily #vss365 word prompt on Twitter.

Here is a question for you? Of the three stories below, which was written entirely by me, which was written entirely by ChatGPT and which one did ChatGPT and I collaborate on?

The sky was filled with stars, but as Ben looked closer he saw they were eyes. The stars blinked and whispered secrets in a language he couldn’t understand. Suddenly the eyes started to fall like rain and he opened his mouth to catch them, they were tears galore.

His right eye was a muddy yellow, not uncommon. But, his left eye was a bright blue. This was rare, very rare. I had to have it for my collection. Scooping it out while he was still alive would be difficult, but essential if I was to maintain the quality of the colour.

The history of my life as a shadow is one of constant fear and uncertainty. I am a being of darkness, a whisper in the night. I have seen the birth and death of civilizations. But my existence is not one of joy or wonder, it is one of malice and manipulation.

And, my final question – does it matter?

Mike Jackson

Posted in AI, ChatGPT

ChatGPT: The Ultimate Writing Tool?

Have you tried using ChatGPT yet? Be careful when you do, it is addictive!

As a writer I was curious to know how I might make use of artificial intelligence because, whether we like it or not, it is not going to go away. In fact, it is only going to getter stronger and better.

So, I thought I’d ask Chat GPT to give me 10 benefits of ChatGPT to writers and write it as a blog post. In a matter of seconds this is what I had:

As a writer, you know that the creative process can be both fulfilling and challenging. From generating ideas to crafting compelling headlines, the writing process can be time-consuming and sometimes frustrating. But what if there was a tool that could assist you with all aspects of the writing process? Meet ChatGPT, the ultimate writing tool that can help you with everything from brainstorming to editing.

  • Quickly generate ideas for writing projects: With ChatGPT, you can quickly generate new and creative ideas for your writing projects. Whether you’re looking for inspiration for a new article or story, ChatGPT can provide you with suggestions and prompts to get your creative juices flowing.

  • Generate outlines and summaries: Organizing your thoughts and ideas can be a daunting task, but ChatGPT can help you stay on track by generating outlines and summaries for your writing projects. This will ensure that all the important points are covered and help you stay focused on the task at hand.

  • Write compelling headlines and titles: The headline and title of your writing are crucial in capturing the attention of your audience. ChatGPT can assist you in crafting headlines and titles that are both attention-grabbing and informative, increasing the visibility and engagement of your writing.

  • Write entire articles, blog posts, and stories: ChatGPT can even write entire articles, blog posts, and stories on a given topic, providing you with a starting point for your own work, or even as a complete work.

  • Research and fact-check information: Inaccurate or unreliable information can harm the credibility of your writing. With ChatGPT, you can research and fact-check information for your writing projects, ensuring that the information you include is accurate and reliable.

  • Write in multiple styles and tones: ChatGPT can write in various styles and tones, from formal and academic to casual and conversational. This versatility allows you to adapt your writing to different audiences and mediums.

  • Translate text into different languages: With ChatGPT, you can easily translate your text into different languages, reaching a wider audience and expanding the potential readership for your work.

  • Provide feedback and editing suggestions: ChatGPT can provide feedback and editing suggestions to help you improve your work. This includes suggestions for grammar, syntax, and style, making it a valuable tool for editing and polishing your writing.

  • Generate meta descriptions and other SEO-friendly text: ChatGPT can assist you in creating meta descriptions and other text that is optimized for search engines, helping to increase the visibility and engagement of your writing online.

  • Help with writer’s block by suggesting new directions or ideas: Writer’s block can be a frustrating experience, but ChatGPT can help you overcome it by suggesting new directions or ideas for your writing projects, providing a fresh perspective and inspiration.

In conclusion, ChatGPT is a powerful writing tool that can assist you with all aspects of the writing process. From generating ideas to editing and publishing, ChatGPT can help you streamline your workflow and improve the quality of your writing. With ChatGPT by your side, you’ll be able to focus on what’s important: creating compelling and engaging content.

So, what do you think? Is AI and in particular Chat GPT, friend or foe?

The images used were also AI generated. I used midjourney and the text prompt was ‘AI helping writers’.

Mike Jackson

Posted in Micro Fiction

Is AI taking Over The World?

The following post was written entirely by ChatGPT a new AI text generator. The prompt I put in was ‘Write a blog post about the potential of AI art’ and this is what it came up with.

The images have also been created by AI using midjourney.

Art has always been a medium for self-expression, storytelling, and pushing boundaries. With the advent of artificial intelligence (AI), the art world is undergoing a transformation that is opening up new possibilities for creation and innovation.

In addition to helping artists, AI has the potential to democratize the art world by making it more accessible to everyone. With the proliferation of AI tools and platforms, anyone with access to the technology can create and share their own pieces of art. This has the potential to foster a more inclusive and diverse art community, where anyone can participate and showcase their talent.

One of the most exciting potentials of AI art is the ability to generate unique and never-before-seen pieces. By training algorithms on vast amounts of data, AI can create art that is highly original and defies the constraints of traditional artistic techniques. This has the potential to inspire new directions in art and expand the boundaries of what is considered “artistic.”

AI can also assist human artists by automating certain tasks. For example, an AI program could generate backgrounds or color schemes for an artist to work with, freeing up their time and energy to focus on other aspects of the piece. This can allow artists to be more productive and efficient in their work.

Overall, the potential of AI in the art world is vast and exciting. From generating unique and original pieces to assisting human artists and democratizing the art world, AI has the power to transform the way we create and experience art. As AI continues to advance, it will be interesting to see how it will continue to shape and influence the art world.

So, what do you think? Is AI taking over the world?