Its easy to make the assumption that writing is for writers. But people who want to increase their creativity or productivity in any field can benefit from the daily habit of putting pen to paper.
Creativity is a human trait and we all act creatively most of the time. Writing helps to develop that creativity. If you care for children, cook, garden, paint, sew, knit, work at paid employment, travel or play Scrabble, routine writing helps to stimulate new ideas. That leads to more engagement and more enjoyment.
People, including me, find it too easy to find reasons for not writing every day. There’s probably not an excuse I haven’t used. Being eighty years old is certainly no excuse. The days I don’t write, I feel incomplete, as if I’ve missed something vital.
Recently back home after a holiday in Singapore, I realised how little I’d written while we were away. Writing the words, ‘I’m back’, at the beginning of a page gave me a warm glow.
Julia Cameron, author of The Artist’s Way, suggests people ‘should’ write three A4 pages in longhand every day as a way of reaching their creative potential. That takes some commitment.
‘Write,’ she says, ‘then put the pages away without reading them.’
You can read more about Julia Cameron in an earlier post here.
My take on it is that writing less, and keeping up the habit, is better than not writing.
A few suggestions about writing every day
- Best of all, follow Julia Cameron’s advice and write three A4 pages first thing in the morning. She calls these pages ‘morning pages’.
- Make a time when you can write. It takes about 20 minutes to write three pages.
- Don’t fuss about the paper you use, the pen you choose or the place you write. Just write!
- Don’t worry about spelling, grammar or content. No one will read your pages so those things don’t matter.
- Don’t think about what you are writing. Anything that comes into your mind is fine. The things you need to buy at the shop. That you have a cold and don’t want to go to work. The cost of the repairs to your car.
- If you can’t think of anything to write, put that down, a couple of times if you need to. The next thoughts and words will flow from there.
- Write a page or two in an exercise book if you can’t manage three pages or
- Type a page or two on a computer.
- Keep a gratitude journal and write about the things for which you are grateful.
My ten reasons for writing every day
- A form of meditation and very calming.
- A way of sorting the mess of thoughts and ideas that clutter up my mind if I’m not careful. Writing is akin to making the bed every morning and having a peaceful place to turn to. Housekeeping for the mind!
- A way to put an end to the stuff that I no longer need to think about.
- Helps me prioritise the things that are important.
- Enhances those things I want to be part of my life.
- Helps clarify my thoughts and ideas.
- Clarifies feelings.
- Sets the scene for new ideas.
- Opens my mind to inspiration.
- Helps me ‘hear’ new, creative ideas and the ways I can put them into action.
If you haven’t tried writing every day, why not give it a go? There’s nothing to lose, and you might find how much you enjoy it.
Of course, I’d love to hear what you think of the idea of writing every day. Please leave a comment.
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