First, there are some universal truths about writing and writers.
1. Few people are born great writers. Really. Most writers work very hard to develop their craft over time. It is a tedious process. To do this. . .
2. Writers must write. You can not become a writer by thinking about writing, dreaming about writing, or even reading others writing. Though any of those things may help, you must write to become a writer.
3. Many famous writers have kept a journal or diary. For instance, Franz Kafka, C.S. Lewis, Ray Bradbury, Mark Twain, Virginia Wolf, George Lucas, Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, Isaac Newton, Anne Frank, Madeleine L'Engle. . .
“You want to write, you need to keep an honest, unpublishable journal that nobody reads, nobody but you,”
Having your student keep a journal is an excellent strategy to improve their writing. A simple notebook or word processor is all you need to get started. For most students I would simply set a timer for 15 minutes and tell them to write until it buzzed.
Decide ahead of time whether this will be a journal that is only for the student, if it is one they plan to share with others, and if they want you to give feedback. My daughter and I wrote back and forth in a journal to each other for many years. My feedback kept her writing. It also deepened our friendship.
So whether you grab a loose-leaf notebook and fill it with paper, a composition book or a fancy journal, having your student keep a journal is a valuable way to encourage them to write.
P.S. Below I have included some fun ones I found on Amazon. Just for fun.