One hundred days ago, while in the process of training myself to get up earlier in the morning, I started writing every day. That was the first day I got up early enough to scribble out two handwritten pages.
Why writing? Why two handwritten pages? Simple. I was following the Morning Pages process Julia Cameron introduced in her book The Artist’s Way. Three pages are what Cameron recommends, but the first couple of days I only wrote two because my hand cramped up the entire time.
A conversation at work with the same guy who calls me “suspiciously passionate” inspired this practice. He’s the creative type who writes in a journal every morning, claiming it clears his mind and helps him discover his creativity.
Those seemed like good reasons to give journaling a try, so I did a little research. In that process, I stumbled on a blog post from Tim Ferriss titled What My Morning Journal Looks Like. This quote stuck with me because it articulates exactly what I was hoping to accomplish by journaling:
“Morning pages don’t need to solve your problems. They simply need to get them out of your head, where they’ll otherwise bounce around all day like a bullet ricocheting inside your skull.”
One of the biggest reasons I started getting up at 4:30 every morning was to clear my mind before diving into the day. I was already meditating ten minutes every day, which was helpful, but I needed more. Twenty minutes of daily writing sounded promising, so I decided to give it a try.
The Benefits of Daily Writing
One hundred days later, I’ve written about 50,000 words on 200 pages, and the benefits are clear. My daily writing practice not only helps center and clear my mind, but it also helps silence my inner critic, makes me less anxious and helps me generate ideas, which brings me to the real point of this post.
In her Journal of Solitude, May Sarton said:
“I have written every poem, every novel, for the same purpose—to find out what I think, to know where I stand.”
After writing six posts in my first two weeks back to blogging, I started thinking about why I wanted to go beyond the intimacy of Morning Pages and write a public-facing blog. Writing for myself every day is helpful, but only for me. As I looked back at some of my morning writing, I realized I have a story to tell that could help others. I have a story to tell that could help you.
So, now I write 750 words every morning, and sometimes I turn a few of those words into a blog post. The private stuff stays private, but to figure out what I really think, and to know where I really stand, I need to declare it to the world. I need to take a stand and trust that talking about my life will make a difference in yours.
I hope it’s working. Thank you for reading.