Writing Assignment: Summarize Your Day

by Randy Murray on January 11, 2013

Keeping a journal is an excellent habit for writers, but it can become tedious and uninteresting if you attempt to capture everything you did in a single day. Very few writers can manage a comprehensive and detailed review of their day with every thought and experience.

That level of detail isn’t really useful. What does help both the writer and any person who simply wants to become more mindful of the passing days is to write just a few lines at the start or end of every day, recording just the highlights. While an anthropologist might find excessive detail interesting and useful, you will probably find just two or three sentences or short paragraphs to be all that you need AND all that you can consistently manage.

For example, here’s my entry for yesterday (December 20th, 2012—see, I really do follow my own advice and write ahead for publication):

It looks like I’ve completed all of my paid work for this year, so I sent off the final invoices and reviewed the upcoming work for January. With the extra time I wrote nine additional posts, short and hopefully funny ones, and did a final edit on five returned from Penny, plus an upcoming Read & Trust article. I also signed the agreement with the education publisher giving them the rights to republish my article on Perspective, Opinion, and Point of View.

Jen asked me to help her work on her Xmas gift for Kathleen, a hanging lamp made out of an old Mason jar. The drilling and electrical work went fine, but we quickly found that the fancy bulb she bought was too big to fit through the jar mouth. We made our 2nd trip to Home Depot, with a stop at the grocery, the bank, and Starbucks, and finished the lamp. It looks great, but the 60w bulb is far too bright and she might have to make the 3rd trip to the hardware store as specified in Murray’s Law of Home Improvement Projects*.

Shredded wheat for breakfast, a snack of greek yogurt (and a few Xmas cookies), a light lunch half sandwich of BBQ pork, and fish for dinner.

In this example I’ve given compressed details, but spent more time on the interesting bits, like Jen’s project. It gets the additional space because it deserves it and the captured memory is interesting and might be useful to me. My meals get minor detail, but enough to track my consumption.

For today’s assignment, summarize your day. Don’t pick a more interesting or active day, just give a brief recounting of your personal yesterday, focusing on the important details and allowing yourself a little leeway for anything important or eventful.


*Murray’s Law of Home Improvement Projects states that any home repair or construction project takes a minimum of 3 trips to the hardware store.



Click here to view and complete previous writing assignments.

And buy a copy of the Writing Assignments book!


Copyright © 2013 - All Rights Reserved

{ 0 comments… add one now }

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: