Have you ever considered that 10 minutes of writing for enjoyment could add a positive aspect to your day? Many of us write everyday for work purposes, on instant messaging apps or to fill in paperwork. But what if a regular daily writing practice of a different kind could not only help you to clarify ideas but also to feel good afterwards?
Here are three ways writing can help you move forward
1 Writing helps you to let go of emotions that no longer serve you
Writing things down helps to get them out of your head. It can be exhausting to carry the same emotion around with you, going over it in your head again and again. Writing it down gives you a chance to externalise it without fear of judgement and worrying what someone else will think. Sometimes all we need is to vent and get something off our chest in order to move on.
The page is a great listener. It doesn’t interrupt or try to give unsolicited advice. Maybe you’ve just had a bad day at work and everything seemed to go wrong but you can’t get it out of your head. Try writing it down. Once those emotions and negative thoughts are on the paper, it can be easier to put them to one side and move forward. There are times when getting it out and on to paper is enough to restore a sense of calm. Once you’ve got rid of the negative energy, you can focus on what is really important to you.
2 It enables you to prioritise things that are important to you
Writing brings you into the present. It gives you time to think and helps you become more aware of what is happening around you. It can help you to take a closer look at your life choices and evaluate, or revaluate, what is important to you.
You might want to make changes or start something new. Through writing you can generate ideas or gain a different perspective. You might start with one idea in your mind and through the connections that you make whilst writing, you might discover an idea that you had never considered before. Writing can often help you go beyond the obvious and reach a deeper level of thinking. It can help you to better see things that, perhaps, you already know but you’re not giving priority to. As you become more aware of your needs, it’s possible to take action to bring about positive change.
3 It feels good
Taking time to write regularly is like taking a short restorative break. It’s not just because you’re taking time for yourself that writing feels good. Like any other creative activity, the act of concentrating on something fully, means that you are likely to reach a moment where you forget about everything else around you and focus only on whatever it is you are working on. It’s a bit like meditation or going for a walk. You reach a moment when you are simply enjoying the moment and the activity for what it is. While it may be hard to start off or you’re not sure what to write at first, after a couple of minutes, it can feel deeply satisfying. When we feel good, our energy levels change. Everything else seems much brighter, easier and more achievable. We approach things with renewed energy.
Give it a try
The great thing about this type of writing is that is neither expensive nor time-consuming. All you need is a notebook and a pencil and 10 minutes of uninterrupted time. At first, you may find it hard to think of things to write about, so it’s a great idea to start with a prompt or to ask yourself a specific question that you would like to focus on.
Lists are always good way to start if you don’t have a specific topic. For example, write a list of 5 things you’d like to change in your life or 5 things you’d like to achieve today or 5 new stories you’d like to write. Number the items on your list. When you’ve finished your list, choose a number from 1-5 and write about it. Write freely without stopping for as long as you can. Don’t edit your writing or worry about spelling or grammar mistakes. Just keep writing without any preconceived ideas or expectations. When you’ve finished, ask yourself if anything surprised you in the writing? How did it feel to write freely? Are there any actions or points you’d like to reflect on further?
You might like to keep the other items on your list for next time, or alternatively disregard the list and start afresh.
Let me know in the comments how you get on!