If you’ve never kept a nature journal, consider it a great way to build your writing tool box! It can be as simple as documenting a quick note of the first time you notice your favorite wild blossom, or a migrating bird in your yard, or the first rutting calls of elk.
Nancy S.M. Waldman (The Practically Creative Quarter) found she did it for two reasons, one having to do with creative writing. She writes, “When writing, it’s often useful to have at your fingertips real notations of when the Indian Hawthorne blooms in Texas or if it’s believable that the first snowfall of the year might be as late as January in Connecticut or if a character could be hearing the frogs at dusk in Nova Scotia in mid-April.”
I love the usefulness of this exercise, as Nancy shares it–and I agree it would be a great resource to have at your fingertips. Imagine the benefit of describing the sound of the wind from within a slot canyon or blowing through the tops of pines–each capable of evoking completely different responses. Becoming more aware by taking notes or journaling your own experiences with the cycles of nature, seasonal cues, animal behavior, weather, smells, and textures around you can add extra detail and believability to your writing.
This is a fantastic way to connect nature to your craft and I encourage you to start a nature journal today to see where nature inspires you.