written by BRICE HOGAN
Writing is a skill and many people out there just hate it doing it. It's tedious, sometimes boring, and hard to start. But writing things down does something, it allows us to freeze our thoughts in time and helps us capture those thoughts that might drift away.
Have you ever thought of a good idea that you thought could be the next billion-dollar idea and forgot to write it down. I think we have all been there. Writing a little something down every day can change your life and the way that you think.
How to start
We don't have to overcomplicate the process of writing it's a matter of getting started. How many of us have a smartphone? If you open it right now you can find at least 10 different apps that you could download to get started writing your thoughts down
For example, every morning I get up and head to the gym. The apps I use the most are right next to each other those are my podcasts, Youtube, and my notes app. As I'm working out, usually riding the bike, if a thought hits me I put in my notes.
Plus you never know when inspiration may hit, it could be out on the town or in the middle of the night. The point is you can write something down anywhere.
I religiously do Morning Pages. I call them my morning thoughts. It was something popularized by Julia Cameron in her book, The Artist's Way. Here is how I do it. Every morning after I get home from the gym I write a solid 1-3 pages.
Now, these don't have to be pretty mine are from it. They're usually pretty messy and unreadable and that is the point. You are trying to get everything down on that piece of paper, every idea, every thought.
So what are the benefits of writing something down every day? There are studies that show that writing leads to better physical health it:
Improves Immune function
It's a way that we can keep our memory sharp
We feel better it improves our mood
We increase our emotional resilience
Writing is an outlet for our mind to express what we might be feeling, it could be an emotion, anger, happiness, confusion, or others. The habit of writing it down on paper helps to capture thoughts you may forget and also helps you deal with thinking through a problem.
What I enjoy about writing is I can learn something from what I have written in the past. You pick up on things you forgot and view them from a new perspective.
It's proof of progress. One of my favorite things to say is that we can't measure our progress against others we measure progress against ourselves. By having that record you can go back and look and see where you were a week ago and where you are today.
It forces you to be observant. I am a little more motivated during the day to look for things that are interesting or stand out. That way I can write something interesting in my journal that day.
How to make Journaling Easy
When I started writing I found it pretty easy and I enjoyed it while others really struggle so here are a few suggestions to get started:
Write with pen and paper. The feel of it is much different than writing on my laptop. There is some science behind writing with pen and paper. Dr. Nancy Rubin in her article The Benefits of Writing with Pen and Paper talks about the benefits of using a physical pen and paper.
Write one sentence every day. Many writers advocate that starting with one single sentence every day makes it easy and fun. Make it a challenge. Write something you learned or something you are grateful for. Any of those things will do just make it a habit every day you will start to see things change
Ask questions A great way to get you thinking about what you want to write is to ask questions that have relevance. Here are a few examples of prompts that I use:
What did I learn today?
What am I grateful for?
How can improve things?
What are the small victories I had today?
But you can use any questions that cause you to stop and think.
This is a really useful habit to learn, but you don't want to feel like it's a burden. Start small, start with one sentence and do that for 30 days. Make it fun and then build from there.