Over the past 30 days I’ve been experimenting with a new writing habit. So far, I’ve been blown away with the benefits of this practice and I’m excited to share them with you today!
I should also quickly say, that I’m not a natural writer. I never kept a journal when I was younger and I always saw writing as a chore. It wasn’t until the last couple of years as I’ve managed blogs, that I started to dabble into self-reflective writing. And to be honest, I wish I started this practice much earlier!
If you haven’t tried writing for yourself before, I suggest you try writing for even 10 minutes a day. But don’t just write anything. Try to write with intention and purpose. What does that mean, exactly? Assign a topic to each journal entry. Here are some examples of journal topics:
- Why I’ve chosen to journal for the next 30 days
- What I’m going to say to my boss
- I’m in such a good place right now
- I’ve just been knocked to the ground but this is how I’ll bounce back
Writing based on themes and topics forces you to think critically about pressing issues or exciting events in your life, so you can ultimately make better decisions.
I’ve been using the Day One App for Mac in conjunction with the Deep Focus playlist on Spotify to crank out some journal entries, and I’m totally hooked! You don’t need fancy writing tools or playlists to start writing. You can use a simple word processing document or a pen and some paper. The main thing is that you start.
You can probably tell that I’m pretty hyped, so here are 5 reasons why I think you should write with intention everyday.
1. Writing helps clarify your thoughts
If you’re struggling to make an important decision or you’re feeling a little fog brained, journaling is the perfect cure. The process of digging up your thoughts and organising them on paper, does wonders. I’ll just come out and say it, I’ve gotten way more value from journaling than I have from seeing counsellors. It really is that powerful!
Writing in a journal reminds you of your goals and of your learning in life. It offers a place where you can hold a deliberate, thoughtful conversation with yourself. – Robin S. Sharma
2. Writing helps you practice gratitude
Writing with intention is an effective tactic to practice gratitude. That’s why tools like the five minute journal are so popular, as the process of writing what was good about each day, helps you to appreciate each moment.
I’m always trying to figure out ways to keep hold of memories. My one-sentence journal, for instance. – Gretchen Rubin
3. Writing improves your communication
When you write with intention, you’re also sharpening your communication skills. Whilst things like sentence structure and elaborate words may make you look smart, the real value is the process of honing your true voice and memorising important events in your life.
Through school and external influences, it’s easy to start mimicking others and not be 100% true to yourself. Journaling helps you to communicate in a way that’s completely natural and unique to you. Writing enables you to get back to your roots.
I write journals and would recommend journal writing to anyone who wishes to pursue a writing career. You learn a lot. You also remember a lot… and memory is important. – Judy Collins
4. Writing can grow your influence
Another added benefit of writing with intention, is the ability to increase your influence within your community. Whether it’s sending emails, writing essays, articles, scripts, poems, writing professionally can get you noticed by those with a much higher reach than you. You can use your new found skills to build an audience for a business you plan to launch or to spread a message that you’re extremely passionate about.
There is something so hopeful about a diary, a journal, a new notebook, which Joan Didion and Virginia Woolf both wrote about. A blog. Perhaps we all are waiting for someone to discover us. – Lily Koppel
5. Writing boosts your confidence
Whether you publish your writing or not, the very act of putting words to paper on a daily basis increases your confidence. For one, you’re practicing a productive habit, therefore reducing your expectation gap and building self-trust. Two, with more clarity, better communication, influence and gratitude, it’s hard to not feel pretty damn good about yourself!
Almost every morning I write in my journal. I’ve been keeping it for a long time – I’ve filled more than 50 books. I write about what’s going on in my personal and spiritual life or what’s going on at work. It helps me keep things in perspective, especially when things get crazy or I get stressed or we have obstacles. – Blake Mycoskie
Start journaling today
The tool doesn’t matter. Grab a scrapbook, an iPad or your laptop and start writing with intention. Work through your thoughts and build a healthy relationship with yourself. This is a huge factor if you’re interested in living mindfully.
Do you have a writing habit? If so, let us know how it’s benefited you in the comments below.