There is great power in self-expression through writing. For one, the simple act of putting pen to page kickstarts creativity in every area of your life. When you make time for yourself to write, it is often much easier to find the time to pursue other creative ventures. I think this is because writing helps you hear yourself think and evaluate who you are and what you really want. Before beginning my writing practice, I had no idea what my priorities were. I thought I knew but I really didn’t.
Through daily writing, we discover our intuition. Perhaps we think too much or doubt ourselves and our capabilities. Through writing we are able to trust ourselves and honor our truth.
Here are some great ways to begin your writing journey and how can you integrate writing into your daily life:
Start in the Morning
‘It’s important to get some writing in before your inner critic wakes up’ says creativity coach and author Julia Cameron. In her book, The Artist’s Way, Julia advocates for writing 3 pages of stream-of-consciousness writing first thing in the morning. Many of us do not have that much time in the morning but it is equally as beneficial to write one page or a paragraph or a simple list. It’s a way to collect your thoughts and start the day off on a clear and focused foot. This does not need to be ‘perfect writing’, it is simply a way to free your brain of pesky thoughts and worries. Think of it as a meditation, a clearing of the mind.
Carry a Small Notebook
Having a small notebook on hand makes it much easier to integrate writing into your life. The beauty of having a notebook at all times is that it takes the fanfare and intimidation out of writing. You are simply jotting down thoughts, reminders, funny anecdotes, etc… There is no pressure and you have a personal narrative of your life in small, digestible pieces.
This is a great way to get out of your head and onto the page. I find it particularly helpful in times of worry, stress and anxiety. The idea is that you place yourself completely in the moment you are in. You notice the sounds, smells and sights of your surroundings. In your small notebook, you explore the moment and all of its glory. You will notice new things about the moment and yourself and you will be present for as long as you wish to remain connected.
Write Yourself a Letter
The act of writing yourself a letter is humbling, empowering and, sometimes, quite surprising! You can choose to write a letter you your younger, present or future self. What do you want yourself to know about life, love and happiness? Are you faced with a challenge and need help to get through it? Oftentimes we know much more than we think and letter writing invites our internal floodgates of wisdom to open and support us.
Writing could be a form of meditation. It is a way to slow down and reconnect to our lifeline. There is no wrong way to do it or bad writing. The act of writing is simple but the benefits profound. All it takes is one moment to begin.
Photograph by David Theodor Thorsen
About the Gracious Guest Author
Kat Smith is a writer and the editor-in-chief of an online women’s story platform called Everything She Knows. She lives in San Francisco with her husband and puppy, Bear.
She gets out of bed each day with the intention of helping women from all over the world share their stories and wisdom.