Journaling: The Key to Literary Success?

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JOURNALING: THE KEY TO LITERARY SUCCESS?

 

By Nicole Fish
Photo courtesy of FUA


Journaling is an important process to maintain whether for learning purposes, crafting an interior dialog, or practices related to the literary field. Nicole Fish interviews FUA Travel Writing instructor Nicoletta Salomon about the topic.


Writing is an important skill that takes practice to hone. The best way to do so, according to FUA professor Nicoletta Salomon, is to journal.

Salomon’s teaching style encourages trust, interest, and curiosity. Individuality is at the core of her approach; techniques are useless if they are not customized to fit each student on a personal level, or do not speak to the entire class as a whole.

To encourage this individuality in her Travel Writing class, Salomon instructs her students to write in journals. She believes journaling is a fundamental tool for all artists. The practice of writing by hand assists in the creative process by giving the writer a friend, both in their writing and in him or herself.

By taking time to write by hand in a journal every day, students form an ongoing dialogue within themselves. They practice an active meditation and become aware of things they may not otherwise have been aware of.

Of course, not all students love the idea; some students commit to the journals right away while others resist. Salomon believes those who resist are uncomfortable with writing by hand having grown up in a digital age. Some have deeper resistances to connecting with the personal side of themselves that the journals reveal.

It can be scary to learn about oneself in such an intimate way, but doing so is the first step in being able to write for the public with a unique voice.

It is obvious to Salomon whether students engage or ignore their journals. When students utilize this tool at their fingertips, they become more open, fluent, and able to introduce new ideas to their writing. Expressing their ideas on paper is no longer unnatural to them and they become less tense in class.

Over the course of the class, students open up. They often enter the course expecting rigorous academic teaching and instead receive the fluid experiential learning of FUA. Instead of ending the semester as “an empty vase that becomes full of water,” as Salomon calls it, students become an active subject that contributes in class.

Nicoletta Salomon wants students to come away from her course with more trust in themselves and in their talent. Often students come to class with little hope in their own ability to create something new. By exchanging energy with people of the same interests and receiving feedback on their work, students realize their own talent and gain a new meaning and hope for the future.

 


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