If I can write it, I can cope. And I’ve been writing many books, but in every book, I try to explore something in my own soul that I need to solve, I need to understand.
– Isabel Allende
When I was in tenth grade there was a girl in my english class who had the gift of a golden pen. Whenever she put it to paper, the stories she created were things of art.
It can seem like utter magic when you come across a writer who knows her craft well, spinning yarns or creating stories. It’s equally magical when you read a book that immerses you in a character’s life or when a poem captures the essence of a feeling or echoes your experiences.
Creativity doesn’t always manifest itself in visual ways – writing is just as creative as visual art and in some ways, takes more skill.
Writers are the world’s superheroes
When you’re a writer, you have the ability to create worlds, situations and people out of thin air. You give them depth and character, making them more real than the person sitting on the bus next to you right now.
That’s basically a super power.
All creative people start with nothing and end up with something. In the case of visual art it’s a tangible piece of work like a painting or a drawing but when you’re a writer you create so much more. Writers final works aren’t the words on paper but their effect on the people which read them.
I have a big crush on writers if you can tell 🙂
Is writing for you?
If you’ve ever made up stories or written in the past I encourage you to pick it up again and try your hand at a daily writing habit.
If you ever thought you could capture a particular story from your youth or record your experiences into a solid form (but don’t really feel the call of a brush or a pen) then writing could be your jam!
The best thing about a writing habit is that it’s easy and has the least barriers of all the creative fields. All you essentially need is a pen and some paper to get your ideas down. With all the digital tools at our disposal you could even use the smartphone you carry around with you everyday.
Easy ways to start a writing habit
There are a few ways to start a writing habit. Not all of them are sitting down and banging out a young adult novel series (but if that’s your jam then get to it!)
You could become a professional author and experience success with your creative practice. But let’s not focus on that – let’s talk first about how you can get writing every day.
Remember how we don’t focus on the end result? Right? OK – here are a few ways you can start a daily writing habit:
Morning page is a concept written about by Julia Cameron in her book The Artist’s Way. It’s a method to get your inner thoughts and dialogue onto paper each day so you can work through issues, express yourself and generally get a stream of consciousness into the world first thing in the morning.
The premise is simple: every day you free write for three entire pages without stopping. You write everything that comes to mind and do a stream of consciousness brain dump. Once you fill up your three pages you’re done for the day and can either go on to do other things or expand on what you wrote further.
This is a great way to get a large amount of writing done every single day. Julia Cameron recommends you sit down with pen and paper but I don’t see why you couldn’t do it digitally. You’d just have to have a clear idea of the length each page is and make sure you don’t become distracted.
Much like morning pages but with a focused intent, journaling is a way to write every day about what you know – your daily life.
Most of us think of a journal as a teenage girl’s territory – locked behind a closed drawer so their little brother can’t read about their crushes.
Journaling is everything you make it to be. It can be a way to work through inner questions and problems, it can be a gratitude log, a short story holder or it can be a place to write poetry.
What a journal isn’t is something you half heartedly pick up every few weeks to write a few paragraphs in. The best use of a journal is to write in it every single day. Even if it’s just to write down that the day sucked and you’re super tired right now.
Give daily journaling a try and see if it tickles your writing bone.
We’re digital now baby! If you want to write – why not write online? Yes there are a million other blogs on the internet but I’m not asking you to be a blogger – I’m asking you to write.
It doesn’t matter if its good and it doesn’t matter if anyone reads it. Keep it private if you don’t want anyone to stumble across it accidentally – in this case we’re using blogging as a digital form of daily writing.
The key component to using a blog platform is it’s always available. You can access it anywhere, from any device, whenever you have a spare thought or moment. If you’re writing in Word on your computer, you don’t have that flexibility.
When I started my writing habit it was simply to get better at writing – this blog iterated over several topics through the years before I finally found my focus. It’s a great tool to write daily and lower the barrier of entry.
Check out blogging and see if it’s the way you can start your own daily writing habit.
The daily writing routine
The daily writing habit will change your life (not too shabby for a promise huh?)
Daily writing – whether it’s a gratitude log, a morning brain dump, an afternoon poetry session or a blog post about your kids – will help clear your head, organizing your thoughts and ideas.
Like any creative endeavour, writing is like a termite colony, once you start it roots in your daily routine and grows exponentially. You’ll start having ideas constantly and they will grow and expand on one another.
Writer’s don’t write because they’re writers. They’re writers because they write.
My absolute favourite quote by Sean McCabe – this one sums it up pretty neatly. It’s not about having a calling (or a gift, like that girl in my tenth grade class). Most of the time, it’s about showing up every day and doing something.
You may not turn out (or want to be) an author or a professional writer, but you will develop this amazing super power of being able to describe and record the world inside and around you.
If writing is something you could see yourself doing every day, fulfilling your need to create, then absolutely give it a go. You may not be a writer now but once you start writing you certainly will be.
Do you have a daily writing habit? I’d love to hear what works for you and what you’re writing about today.