“We do not write in order to be understood, we write in order to understand.” ~C. Day-Lewis
This quote is one of my favorite perspectives about writing: it helps us understand. Writing helps us better process ourselves, our worlds, our paths, our challenges, as well as our hopes and dreams. Writing helps us bring abstractions to life – to bring color to grey thoughts that linger in our minds.
Let’s talk about daily writing today. Shall we?
Today, I’d like to share a few resources that have helped me keep my personal writing up:
Although I’ve loved writing and journaling since I was a child, it was Sarah Ban Breathnach’s Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy that reminded me in my adult years to write down my thoughts each day. She calls it her “daily dialogue” – pulling out the thoughts from her head – her “stream of consciousness” - and putting them on paper each day.
Julia Cameron, author of The Artist’s Way, is also a staunch believer in daily writing. She calls her writing doing her “morning pages” – taking half an hour or so to extract all of the thoughts in her mind in the morning and putting them on paper so she can think more clearly throughout the day.
This past summer, I reinstated mandatory morning pages for this mama – and it was just what I needed. I set my alarm each morning during the week (weekends were optional) to wake up one hour before my children. All I needed was a cup of hot coffee and my notebook and pen – these were simple pleasures that allowed me to get reacquainted with myself. And they are still my favorite things!
Take some time to find a notebook (and a writing utensil!) that feels comfortable. You may decide to choose a lovely journal. Or, you may feel a spiral notebook is more your style. Because I write so much and so frequently, spiral notebooks have become a great option - they’re easier to keep up with, they’re larger and more economical since I’m buying them often. This summer, though, I chose a journal I felt would boost my creativity a bit:
If paper is not your favorite thing, or if you’re really trying to minimize things and stick with technology, try using Evernote. It’s a great application that is available for most smart phones and all computers. When I’m caught without paper, I use Evernote on my phone. It’s super user-friendly, and it's also slightly addicting.
Daily writing is not so much about the paper or pens – but about the routine of taking time for yourself to be aware of your thoughts. To stop and breathe and think. What is God telling you today? What is on your mind? What challenges do you need to work through? What things are you excited about?
One thing today: Find a notebook that you love. Then find a pen that writes comfortably. Or, check out Evernote online and/or download the free app on your phone. Take five minutes to write!
Simple Abundance by Sarah Ban Breathnach
The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron