Not to publish, not for someone else, but to understand how you think. When you’re forced to sit with yourself and make your thoughts tangible on a screen or piece of paper, they become real, they now exist in the universe, it’s truly the most awe-inspiring concept if you actually break it down.
You sit in front of a computer and just start moving your fingers, gibberish is coming out, mostly blatant & utter nonsense, but somewhere along the middle genius strikes, genius meaning what’s inside you, and if you stick to just one hour a day (even non-writers like me) can become better & better at understanding our own thoughts and capturing them in explicable ways.
1. You become a better communicator. When you write, you’re learning how to speak better. How to break down some grand thought such as leadership, (or writing) and put it into 25 reasons why to, the benefits, how to start, etc.
2. You understand yourself on a deeper level. There’s so much noise in our daily lives, so many fears, so much distraction, but if you commit to just an hour in the morning to muse on any topic, not trying to be ‘writerly’ or understand what is or isn’t accepted, just writing about anything helps you realize what’s important to you and how you view the world.
3. Ideas start to flow out of you. When you write consistently, you discover new ideas that were not available to you before. New ways of thinking you never knew existed inside of you, it’s this weird voodoo magic, the intuition is allowed to come out when you just write.
4. Helps you face fear. We all feel these weird stresses, fears, worries, and anxieties inside of us. None of us are free from them, some more than others, but never completely. Will my business continue to do well and what if it crashes I’ll be homeless and lose everything, will my health keep, what happens if it goes and I’m stuck in a wheelchair? I mean these fears are real within us, but by addressing them on paper and allowing them to come out to the front of the mind we take them out of the shadow, we show them we’re willing to look at them in the eyes and they suddenly become weaker.
5. You connect with others. If you truly take an hour every morning and write for yourself, not for an audience, but truly from your innermost heartstrings, writing what you need, people connect with that. It’s the Emersonian thought that we all feel the same way deep, deep inside us on specific things and when someone truly spits out what is true to them, the other person connects with it. So if you set up a basic blog, don’t do anything to promote it, but just write everyday for years, eventually connections will be made, you’ll change lives, you’ll create art that means something and who knows where that journey will take you inside and out.
6. Happiness. When I first started writing it was SO hard, it still is, and I’m not a writer so I don’t know how those guys or girls feel, but whatever you call this has now become fun, I feel congested if I don’t write, there’s things within me that need to come out, I’m blocked if I don’t put some ideas/words/concepts onto paper and allow them out. Once I finish writing in the morning I feel better, I’ve been relieved of the heavy feeling within me, I’m suddenly lighter.
7. You understand the world just a tad more. When you write, you suddenly become more perceptive, more atoned to what’s going on around you, the little details, the minutiae you may have missed before, and that’s where excitement lies, where the mystery & eccentricity of each moment stays. Because when you’re writing everyday, you’re thinking, so now after a month or two, your mind knows it needs to produce something tomorrow so the unconscious is actively looking throughout your life to find what it’s next topic or idea will be. This may be woo-woo nonsense, but for some reason I believe it.
8. Building Creativity. Writing everyday helps make your creativity stronger in every other area, everything flows into everything. If you can sit with stillness when stuck on your writing, letting your mind run around and figure out what it needs to say, when you go to jiu-jitsu class and you’re working on a new move you can find a new way to do it. When you’re drawing a picture, playing the piano, solving a business problem, coming up with new marketing ideas etc. suddenly everything flows into everything. Working one area helps every other area.
9. It could take you somewhere interesting. Writers jobs seem kind of dull, but I can assure you they’re not! They’re the most interesting people I’ve met because their job really isn’t writing, it’s exploring, adventuring, trying new things, going new places, thinking in new ways. Writing is probably the most interesting job in the world, or up there. So do I have secret ambitions of one-day writing articles for some company? Maybe…. it just seems up my alley to explore new worlds and then condense them into thought, I’ll never be ‘writerly’, but I can be honest as I possibly can and go deeper within myself to spit onto paper true thought.
10. It spikes curiosity. Since I’ve started writing everyday, I’ve had new thoughts, new curiosities about the world, and how this whole thing works. It’s made me want to hitchhike across the USA, it’s made me want to spend the night with a group of homeless people, visit the Amish, interview a prostitute, it’s made me want to see the world from all these new perspectives and forgo the assumptions of how these certain people ‘are’, like prostitutes being ‘immoral’ people, without taking the time to get to know their story. Writing gives you the curiosity bug.
11. Discipline. All the sexiness aside, writing even for a straight hour everyday takes discipline, sometimes thoughts just won’t flow, your mind just won’t move but you show up regardless and sit there for that scheduled hour at least trying to think, and in the process of thinking your mind gets stronger & stronger, it starts to realize this meat-bag controller (you) is going to make me think everyday, it understands it needs to start producing. Hence discipline is the center of everything, if you’re disciplined inspiration will strike.
12. Empathy. You stop accepting the first-impression your mind brings you about other people, how they act, how they approach you because you know that’s just the automatic mind thinking, there’s more layers to your brain and when you write you start to realize this. You understand how complicated life can be, and it’s never black & white so you stop judging people as much, stop pointing fingers, and realize maybe in the same situation you would’ve acted similarly. Writing brings you closer to other people in the world, especially the ones you have the least in common with.
Give it a try; stay committed, like anything new in your life to get good you have to be willing, or even enthusiastic about being bad. Show up everyday, and be honest. Don’t be ‘writerly’, don’t even think of yourself as writing or a ‘writer’, just a guy or girl looking to express what’s really on their mind, what they would want to read, and as each day goes by you become better at expressing what’s truly on your mind, no longer hiding from yourself.
When this happens, magic appears and suddenly as you’re writing new ideas appear that you never thought of before, ways of thinking you never knew even existed inside of your brain, it’s the strangest, yet most fulfilling feeling in the world, we’re deeper than we think, there’s much, much more to us than just the surface level thoughts we have when out in ‘society’ being distracted by dull conversation, incessant notifications, and trying to fit in with what everyone deems acceptable behavior.
To write is to be rebellious; to be rebellious is an empowering feeling.