Joe Smith points to two of John Steinbeck's journal books: Journal of a Novel: The East of Eden Letters and Working Days: The Journals of The Grapes of Wrath. (Both of which I browsed heavily at a local cut-rate book store several years ago, without ever buying.) This weekend, now that the Wheatyard hubbub has begun to subside, I plan to finally start writing a new book, a novella which for now will have the working title Junk. (Not a reference to drugs, but to garbage.) I'm fascinated by the idea of writing a journal that records the progress of writing a novel, but it also occurs to me that such a project is largely the realm of fulltime writers like Steinbeck who have plenty of time on their hands. My spare time being limited, any time spent working on the journal is time taken away from the novel. And I'm already a slow writer as it is, so it looks like a comprehensive companion volume to Junk won't be happening.
I didn't like Working Days though I don't recall exactly why (it's in the blog somewhere probably). Good luck with the journaling, if you do it. As you say, I think you'll find it robs time and some creative energy from your other writing.
Posted by: Paul Lamb at May 31, 2013 5:23:45 AM