You know how good intentions pop into your head now and again and you play with them and then discard them? Usually it’s a case of:

too hard

not as much fun as you initially thought

you got distracted and

the idea went stale

Just occasionally your good intentions stick and translate into something exciting. The secret sauce is a tiny bit of luck – a little nudge from the world.

The right nudge can help you lead a more creative life.

A lucky nudge can help you build something solid.

It’s happened to me. Take that time I thought about building a stone wall. We went for a drive and we found a quarry, but the stones were all too heavy for a woman to work with. Then I got nudged. There was a pile of wistow bookleaf stone… BOOKLEAF? The name was mine and the pieces were just my size.

A resolution to write can be a similar story. You want to write. You’ve thought about writing. Maybe you have a genre or the glimmer of an idea. Maybe you resolve to keep a journal to get you into the groove. If it’s 2020, you probably wanted to make history personal.

That last of those ideas occurred to me on April 20 when I began writing about the pandemic. Four days later I confessed ‘I don’t seem to be much good at writing a daily diary.’ Ten days later my resolution was abandoned. Aggh sweet failure!

In October I decided to write a guided journal to help me (and you) retro journal 2020. It led me to create a book with weekly summaries of real-world events and creative writing prompts. The most enjoyable part of the project was trialling it: reading about what happened in the world and then looking back at the images in my phone and my WhatsApp feed to relive and write about my year.

I found my first book purchases for the year. I found landscapes I’d loved and amusing family images and missed birthdays and worries about employment and health. It was all there – ready for me to journal.

Maybe you think that using a guided journal isn’t what a hardcore writer would do. You might be right. But it’s what a clever writer would do. Give your phone and your apps a second look, open up your digital calendar, look back at your feeds, and write 2020.

If you fancy a nudge, have a look at And That’s How It Went – a year’s end guide for journaling 2020.

Tor with finished wall