I recommend daily writing for anyone, not just writers. Writing helps you reflect on your life and change you’re making. This is incredibly valuable, as often we do things without realizing why, or what effects these things are having on us. It also clarifies your thinking. Thoughts and feelings are nebulous happenings in our minds, but writing forces us to crystallize those thoughts and put them in a logical order. Writing regularly makes you better at writing. And writing is a powerful skill to be good at in our digital age.
Writing for an audience (even if the audience is just one person) helps you to think from the perspective of the audience. That’s when the magic starts, because once you get into the reader’s mindset, you begin to understand them better. Writing persuasively — to convince others of your point of view — helps you to get better at persuading people to change their minds. Many people don’t want to change their minds when they feel someone is attacking their position. My writing is about me and my thoughts, I am giving the readers my experiences so they can understand what I do and where I come from. Totally not trying to change their point of view!
Writing daily forces you to come up with new ideas regularly, and so that forces you to solve the very important problem of where to get ideas. Ideas are everywhere! In the people you talk to, in your life experiments, in things you read online, in new ventures and magazines and films and music and novels. But when you write regularly, your eyes are open to these ideas.
There are many ways to get into the daily writing habit, but here’s what I’d recommend based on my experience:
1. Commitment - Many people try to write a few times a week, or once a week. That’s too infrequent and it won’t become a habit that way. So tell yourself you will do it, and then actually do it!
2. Dedicate time. Really important. You have to block off a small chunk of time for this, or it won’t happen. I suggest morning, as soon as you can, so that other things don’t get in the way. However, if you’re a night owl, late nights are fine too, as long as you’re not too tired.
3. Blog. You can write in a journal or text document just for yourself, but I highly recommend blogging. Get a free account at WordPress.com or Weebly.com and just start. The reason to Blog, it really helps you to write regularly, and forces you to think in different ways, when you have an audience. Even if the audience is small. It’s scary, I know, but just do it. You’ll grow comfortable with it over time, and you should never let fear stop you from doing something amazing.
4. No Distractions. The writer is best friends with distraction, and mine is my 2 and ½ year old! She knows that I am opening up my lap top and she jumps on me. Here is what I do, go to a different room, put your phone away, do not sit in front of the TV and no other tabs should be opened.
Writing is also therapeutic, for me at least. The full benefits of this regular habit are, ironically, not something you can put into words, but something that must be experienced. Over time, you’ll learn the power of interaction with your audience, and draw inspiration from the audience. But for now, just get started!