Today's Personal Journals
are Tomorrow's Bestsellers

Do you keep a personal journal? A notebook or computer file where you keep your most intimate thoughts and feelings? Did you know that it could be the seed for a bestseller. Or two.



Posthumous Publication

First, consider all of the personal diaries that have later been published. Of course, this most often happens after the death of the writer, but you don't have to wait that long.

The second option is much less morbid.

Use the Material Now

Read back through your entries. Reconnect with what was going on in your own life and in the world at that time. Find a way to tie it into a current or timeless issue.

Want an example? Here you go.

In rereading something you wrote five years ago, you come upon a passage where you agonized over whether to go back to school.

Perhaps you never got a degree. Or you never got that Master's degree or finished your thesis.

Whatever the situation, you spent a few nights and many pages exploring your options and discussing your fears about taking such a big step.

Now, how can you tie that in with a timeless issue?

How about using some of what you wrote to build an article about the challenges facing adults returning to college?

Or maybe you could do a feature on the advantages of taking the leap and going back to school, no matter what your age.

Are you seeing how personal journals can become public successes?

Depending on your writing goals and your depth of experiences, your journal entries could result in a topic big enough to merit writing a book.

Nonfiction books not only make the bestseller lists regularly, but they sell for a lot longer than fiction.

What if you don't keep a diary?

Now is as good a time as any to start. Don't worry, you don't have to write down every secret you carry or every feeling you experience. Instead, focus on hitting the high points.

At the end of each day, ask yourself:

  • What was important about my day?
  • What made this a memorable day?
  • What did I learn?
  • Where did I go - figuratively or literally?

Your responses don't have to be long or detailed. Just include enough information to allow you to recapture those moments at a later date.

Keeping a personal journal is not difficult. But it is a commitment. A commitment to yourself, to writing and to saving a bit of the past to share with the future.

Your life story matters, so get a little help getting it written with the Life Story Workbook.

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