Inter … what? Stitial. Interstitial. It means the bit in between.
I’ve been journalling for a few years now, and a few months ago I came across this term: Interstitial journalling. It’s about journalling between activities. The idea is, when you finish one writing task you journal about it, and then think about what you need for the next writing task. What’s the next action you need to take to get started on it?
The idea is that keeps you focussed on your work. You’re less likely to procrastinate. And if you do procrastinate and get sidetracked, you journal about it. Because it might reveal why your procrastinated. (And then you think about your next job, and what the next action needs to be.)
I surprised myself at how quickly I fell into this, although I soon realised that I do something similar in the part-time contract work I do for the Diocese. (Being part-time, I keep a note in the diary of how long I spend on a piece of work and then, once that is finished, I look at what is next on my list, write it in the diary and then start.
Here’s an extract from my journal the other day:
11.52: That’s 24 images keyworded on Alamy. Didn’t take me as long as I thought it might because I spent a few minutes grouping the images into smaller collections so I could copy and paste keywords between similar images. Must remember to do that next time.
Next on my list to do is the next Business of Writing feature for Writing Magazine about writing newsletters. I need to identify potential writers to approach for interviewing. The best course of action would be to go through the email newsletters I subscribe to, and see if any writers there might be appropriate for the piece. If I pick three or four, I can make contact and take it from there.
Looking back on what I had achieved was useful, because it helped me identify what I’d done to improve my workflow. And by writing it down I’ve reinforced that thought, so I’m more likely to remember that action next time.
And then I worked out what my next action was. From there, I turned straight to my computer, switched to my email programme and selected the email newsletter folder where I file all the newsletters that I subscribe to. Within minutes I had my four potential writers and was busy finding appropriate contact details.
I’ve also found that this form of journalling helps me track what I’ve done during the day. At the end of each piece of work I record how many words I’ve written (if it’s a writing project), or some other quantifiable action (see the 24 images keyworded, earlier). Come the end of the day, I simply flick back and see what I’ve done. It’s always surprised me. I never feel I’ve done as much as I have, until I look back at the day’s journalling.
So as we start a new year, why not consider some interstitial journalling? With all the goals and targets you might be setting yourself, it could help you to achieve those goals. And, if nothing else, it produces an interesting account of your day and your achievements.
For more information about Interstitial Journalling, check out the following blog posts: