Identifying ten key patterns hidden in all journals, Johnson offers ways to find the story underneath the surface of recorded fact. She will show you how to play detective to your days, find the "through line" in your life, and frame those stories for journals, family chronicles, or memoirs. Chapters brim with tips and techniques, including five ways to build a narrative. She also shows how, by giving the journal a specific purpose, seasoned and beginning journal keepers alike can move past self-consciousness to productivity.
Woven throughout the narrative are inspiring stories from famous writers and a cross section of private journal keepers that offer invaluable clues into how journals can help you weather a crisis or develop its contents into a significant piece of work.
An inspirational and practical guide to starting and keeping a diary -- and transforming it into something permanent -- Leaving a Trace will be to journal writers what Bird by Bird and The Artist's Way are to fiction writers.