Writing things down

We are all writers these days – emails, SMS and social media.

But how many people, beyond the odd list, keep a journal, maintain a diary or use writing to see the bigger picture?

I’ve mentioned before that I keep a daily log based on the idea of Morning Pages, which I first read about in The Artists’s Way. In many ways, it’s no more than a stream of consciousness, but it’s helped me in more ways that I could ever have imagined.

I think there’s a risk in life that we allow our self-talk to define us in a way that severely limits our growth. Typically that means we talk ourself out of pursuing our dreams.

Writing down my self-talk has allowed me to see how much of it is facile.

I’m not saying that I don’t have issues but writing down what it is that is most troubling me has shown me what is truly important in my life. (Too often we allow what’s out there to control us rather than following our heart.)

From a practical point of view, I’m not one of those people who says I’ve got to use Moleskin (although I have a few), but I do think carefully about the book and pen. This might sound daft but even using an ink pen (I have an old Waterman) has a way of slowing down my mind to think more clearly, much in the same was as the pen moves across the page.

If you’ve got out of the habit of writing for yourself then I urge you to grab a pen and a notebook and start writing things down. Better still see if you can carve out a regular time everyday – 10 minutes is long enough to begin with – to write.

I’m not going to say what you should write. To begin with the most important thing is to write. It might, of course, be utter drivel but the point is that after a while, even those repetitive thoughts have a way of working through your fingers to the point that what emerges is something much more constructive.

It may sound an exaggeration but the repeated physical act of writing may just end up changing your life.

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