Gain a Competitive Advantage: Discover the Art of Journaling

Become a Better Expert Author With Journaling

Question: How does an athlete gain a competitive advantage?

Practice.

Question: How does an Expert Author gain a competitive advantage?

Practice.

An athlete utilizes all of their resources to help them practice (e.g., fitness facilities, practice fields, coaches, and game film). As an Expert Author, every time you “practice” (i.e., gather information, test, analyze, draft, edit, and submit), you strengthen your writing abilities to become a more efficient author. In addition, every time you publish, you build your article portfolio to build exposure and assert your authority in your niche. In turn, you create an incredible competitive advantage and become a leading source for your readers.

One such “practice” method for Expert Authors is quite simple, but powerful: The Art of Journaling.

Journaling can help you generate article ideas, increase your efficiency, and incorporate creativity into your articles. In turn, journaling will ultimately help you strengthen your writing skills to better reach your audience, save time, and give you the ability to focus your energies elsewhere.

Practice With These 5 Easy Journaling Exercises

  1. Pick a day to generate article ideas (preferably a day where you feel the most creative). Set aside at least 20 minutes to brainstorm and jot down ideas. At the end of the 20 minutes, select the strongest of your ideas based on your audience’s interest and value. Elaborate on these ideas during your next article writing session.
     
  2. Bring your journal with you. Article ideas are all around us and you never know when or where the next great article idea may come from. Don’t let opportunity or inspiration pass you by – strike while the idea is hot!
     
  3. Draw a vertical line down the middle of your journal’s page to create two columns. In the left column, create a list of general categories in your niche. In the right column (across from the corresponding category), list subcategories. These subcategories can help you narrow down overwhelming topics and better target your audience. For example, a category like “Weight Loss” might be broken down into the following subcategories: “Childhood Obesity,” “Food Addiction,” and “Dieting.”
     
  4. Keep a personal account of your feelings and thoughts throughout the day. Review what you have written at the end of each day to see if there are any article ideas that could be pulled from your daily musings.
     
  5. Take a break from your perspective and look at your niche from your audience’s view. Create a persona that reflects your readers’ needs, habits, feelings, etc. and then imagine scenarios relevant to your niche that the persona might encounter.

An athlete continues training even during the off season to ensure they maintain a competitive advantage and don’t lose everything they have achieved. The same is true for Expert Authors. Allow journaling to become a part of your daily routine by practicing these easy exercises.

Need a journal to get you started? Looking for more journaling tips and strategies? Click here to discover more journaling tips that will enhance your article writing efforts.

13 Comments »


1
Randall Magwood writes:

Awesome tips for journaling and coming up with new content ideas. I personally like idea number 1 about picking an article idea and then building an article around it.

Comment provided January 22, 2013 at 10:27 AM

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2
Cheryl Veon writes:

I’m always looking for new ways to come up with fresh content. I get writers block.

I just recently started a daily journal just for becoming more efficient. Now I can start a day in a different way.

This may help!

Thank you, Penny.

Cheryl

Comment provided January 22, 2013 at 11:24 AM

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3
CH James writes:

I think number two is a particularly worthwhile tip. It’s also where I feel modern technology, which can so easily distract us from goals, is able to boost our productivity.

If I’ve forgotten to bring along my notes journal or don’t have room for it on my person because of what I’m wearing that day, all I have to do is bust out the old smartphone, open my memo app, and punch out the gist of an idea in a tab I maintain for times I can’t put it down on paper. At the end of the day, I go back to see if my “brain bursts” still hold water. If they’re keepers, I transfer and categorize them in hard copy like you suggest. For me at least, the act of putting pen to paper still can’t be beaten for really cementing an idea. The best is when I find things I’ve forgotten about during my day; it’s like a little reward for staying on top of my game!

Comment provided January 22, 2013 at 11:30 AM

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4
Joe Quin writes:

Journalism is Beautiful career, full of opportunities e.g Journals, Websites, Own Business. I appreciate the Journalist Labor that EzineArticles is taking for those that want to success on this Career to Success

Comment provided January 22, 2013 at 3:40 PM

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5

Great article Penny, I like to keep a pen and pad handy when I’m out and about. Just in case I need to jot down some ideas that come to mind, works really well because my best ideas usually come to mind when I’m not trying to come up with ideas, thanks for the informative post.

Comment provided January 22, 2013 at 6:35 PM

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6
Joaseph Dabon writes:

Sorry, re #3, horizontal lines don’t make columns. Vertical lines do.

Of am I wrong?

Comment provided January 22, 2013 at 7:21 PM

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Joaseph,

You are absolutely right! Thanks for catching our error and calling it to our attention. You’ll note that it’s since been fixed.

Marc

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7
Elize M writes:

Thanks for this awesome advice! I’m quite new at writing and I’m constantly experiencing writer’s block. Sometimes, I just don’t know what to write about. There are times that I have a good topic in mind to write about but I don’t know how to start, and it’s so frustrating. I guess I have to try this journaling method to enhance my writing skills. I know it can be learned. Again, Thank you! More power to EzineArticles!

Comment provided January 22, 2013 at 9:04 PM

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8
Gracious Store writes:

Thanks for this piece! Sure The best way to gain mastery in anything is to practice and practice. Interesting enough people have different ways of brainstorming. I don’t brainstorm with pen and paper in my hands. Often I get article ideas either in the shower or when reading someone else’s article or even new article ideas pop up as I write articles

Comment provided January 22, 2013 at 11:05 PM

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9

A good reminder for all – this really works! Patience! Patience!

Thanks for sharing.

Comment provided January 23, 2013 at 1:19 AM

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10
Lance Winslow writes:

Oh BTW, I’ve used the EzineArticles journal to sketch ideas and inventions, or list various thoughts, then write them up as articles later, you can buy that EzineArticles journal I believe in the online store on this website.

Comment provided January 23, 2013 at 3:47 AM

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Lance,

Thanks for the tip. You’re absolutely correct, the Article Writing Journal can be found here or here.

Marc

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11

I never leave home without a notebook and pen. I jot down ideas that may come during the day, whatever they are but sometimes I am just a spontaneous writer as well.
I love the tip of writing down one idea and having subcategories to the idea.
Excellent article.

Comment provided February 13, 2013 at 1:21 AM

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