I know you’ve heard it before, and you certainly don’t need me to tell you again. But I will anyhow.
Write every day.
The advice I received was to start a blog, to be kept accountable by an expectant audience. I didn’t take it. I’m held accountable by my own consistency, which sounds like a wonderful quality, but consistency is what kept me from starting.
Until recently, a blog meant pressure to churn out quality ideas, online, where someone might actually read them. I doubted my ability to post consistently, so I didn’t post at all.
But I’m not talking about blogs
When I talk about the importance of writing every day, I’m talking about keeping a journal. You’ll have the freedom to capture your thoughts and memories unfiltered, because nobody will ever have to read them.
I wrote in a journal every day for two years, and I’m at the point where I’m able to read over entries I can’t remember writing. It’s a strange feeling. Here are a few of the benefits I can attest to:
- You develop your skills and find your natural voice as a writer.
- You learn to catch all the little moments scattered throughout your day.
- You actually remember these little moments, and you can incorporate them into your writing, directly and indirectly.
- You begin to recognise the stories unfolding around you.
- You end up with a collection of raw memories to revisit whenever you’re ready.
Pay Attention and Write
It becomes a habit before you know it. It’s not so much a matter of consistency as it is a matter of remembering a conversation you had with a friend over dinner. When I flip back through my journals I find entries as short as ‘I just worked 17 hours I’m going to bed’.
Nine words. It still counts. All of it does.
If you can commit yourself to keeping a journal, do it. If you can’t, do it anyway. Embrace your memories, your emotions and as many moments as you can. Embrace spare pens and the backs of receipts. Perfection is irrelevant; all you need to do is pay attention and write.