I’ve never quite believed that one chance is all I get. Writing is my way of making other chances. Anne Tyler
In the interest of complete transparency, I’ll make a true confession: this is a really long post for me. I get carried away when I get on the topic of writing. You may want to read this in 2 parts.
I don’t write every single day, but I do get something written in my journal most days. It’s a ritual and a habit for me. I’ve learned that I have access to a wisdom, a confidence, an advisor and a best friend, when I write stuff.
You’ll find the most amazing things start to manifest in your life once you start writing things down.
I starting writing in my journal two years ago. Lots of amazing things have happened since then.
For example, take my move to Charleston. One year ago my coach and I had been working on several issues. One day in February she asked me if I wanted to staying living where I was (that was Greenville, NC.) Location was not one my issues, but her question did make me think. (Coaches are good at asking these kinds of questions.)
That started the process of deciding where I wanted to live. I begin to write about the kind of place I’d really like to live. For years I had simply lived where my husband worked, I had never even considered choosing a place to live. The whole story is too long for a blog post, but some of the top characteristics of my ideal place to live included warm weather, not too far from my family in Atlanta, charm, some degree of international culture, and new kitchen appliances.
I narrowed my choices to 4 cities: Atlanta, Savannah, Miami and Charleston.
Well, most of you know, I ended moving to Charleston, SC, in August. And just this morning, on the way to violin class, my teenage daughter said, “Mom, I am sooo glad we moved here. Our life is perfect.” And yes, all of our kitchen appliances are new. 😉
I totally believe in the rewards of writing. Through writing you can do things like:
*Find your forgotten passions and live a life of your dreams.
* Get over your fear of failing — when you see in writing how irrational it is.
* Live authentically after seeing how you’ve been driven by other people’s agendas.
* Keep moving forward when your thoughts get negative.
* Break through some of the old mindsets and habits that have held you back.
You’ve probably owned a lovely journal for years. Maybe you have several. Maybe you’ve even started a few times and then gotten too busy.
That’s the way life is. I hope reading this inspires you to pick up that journal….one more time. (It really helps if you schedule time for journaling before your week gets started.)
I’m writing this for all my friends and clients who tell me they want to write, but they don’t know what to write. They have this weird idea that they should know what they’re going to write, before they grab a pen.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
But before I tell you the rewards from writing, allow me to remind you that they don’t come unless you write. And you won’t write unless you plan on a place and time for you and your journal. I suggest you start with 5 minutes a day. No more, it’s better to write more frequently; it’s that flow of ideas and thoughts you automatically generate, once you commit to writing.
1 – Writing organizes your thinking.
If you’ve ever decided to observe your thinking process, You notice that there’s usually this circular process. You think one thing and then the next and then the next, and then you start all over gain.
Writing gets these thoughts down. You can see them more objectively and decide whether they’re worthy of your thinking time and energy.
Thinking is not linear. Writing is. You can only write one word at a time. The process of writing forces you to slow down the thinking process and organize those unruly ideas. Writing puts your thinking into a modality, or form, that can be more useful to you.
Long ago, before writing was accessible to everyone the way it is now, writing was associated with power. The ancient pharaohs of Egypt may not have known how to write, but their cadre of scribes were key players in the executive suite of the time. An idea written down has more potential than a vague thought.
2 – Writing gets the questions out so they can be answered.
We tend to think nebulous, fuzzy, ephemeral thoughts. We have vague desires and fluffy ideas about what we’d like to do and know. If you want answers, you gotta ask questions. Writing gets the question down where you can see it and where your mind can start to answer it.
Let’s say you want to know how you can create more financial sufficiency. You want more money, sort of. But your mind needs more clarity to produce the kind of ideas that can really benefit you. Writing can clarify what does creating total financial success mean to you? (I’m using a financial example, the same thing applies to experiencing better health, a more relaxed relationship, or a more rewarding career.)
You probably don’t have a specific idea yet, or maybe you would have already written it down. That is fine. Write down something, and see how that feels. In four days, you may have a clearer idea of what financial success means to you: getting out of debt, investing in real estate, developing a new stream of income, paying for a child’s college…..you decide exactly what you want to do first.
We also tend to think the same few thoughts over and over again. Writing gets us past these old ideas and brings up new ones. Think about going to someone’s home at the beach or in the country, a home that isn’t used everyday. What happens when you start running the water? Usually it’s brown. To get the clear water, you must allow the brown water to run out.
To get access to the gold in your mind, you want to allow the rusty thoughts to get out of the way.
3 – Writing connects you to your intuition.
Research supports a positive correlation between genius and intuition. The greatest innovative breakthroughs commonly come through images, not words. Nevertheless, writing gives you access to that wise self inside you, the one you often ignore, or have forgotten about.
There’s no real writing to begin with, only re-writing. Authors sit down and write. They seldom know what’s to come out through their hands and fingers by the end of the day. That’s the thing nobody knows about writing.
I hope you’ll join us for Passion Fruit Writing that starts February 02. (If you have ANY questions, please post them below.) It’s a dream of mine to share my love of writing with you. And remember, no one is grading this writing — it’s only for you.