May 22, 2016
Writing was always something that I wanted to get more involved in my day to day life. Early last year, I started a blog and had some posts up, but it was nothing more than that just random posts at random times.
I tried to start the habit of blogging every day for 30 days. I would write a blog post every night on a topic I was thinking about or something I was working on. What ended up happening was about 20 poorly written, not even 500-word posts and about 10 with some value to them.
It was a good way to get over being scared of posting articles as every day I had to hit “Publish” no matter what. That was the best take away from that activity, but the quality was jumbled and the problem still remained it was a random assortment of thoughts.
I still wanted to write. I actually enjoyed the process of writing and the process of exploring ideas. But, I needed to do something to help that along and I needed to do something that would help me get better and more comfortable with writing and exploring my own ideas.
I was listening to a podcast talking about the concept of morning pages. The idea is every morning you write three handwritten pages with no prompt and no guidance, just start writing.
“Three pages of stream of consciousness writing done before the day begins”
I loved the concept but I had some problems. I didn’t like longhand because this was something that I thought I might want to go back and look at if I had a good idea or something that I wanted to grow on and expand.
I decided to find a simple app that I could write in plain text, was full screen to avoid distractions, and would allow me to search through all of the stuff I wrote. I wasn’t sure what was going to come out of it.
I didn’t know what to expect from this. I thought there would be amazing ideas flowing. I would have some great business ideas or some book idea and I would be off to the races. I didn’t think that it would become a pseudo therapy session for me. At times, it was a space where I was able to work out problems. It was a place where I could vent about the struggles that I had. It was a place where I would set goals for the month, the day, and the week.
There were many ideas coming out as well. But, all of this other stuff happened. When you turn off the world and allow yourself the time and space to actually write down what is on your mind, the results were remarkable.
This wasn’t without its struggles. Some of the early days, the writing was nothing interesting, “I am tired. Why do I wake up every morning and do this?” There were some days where I was thankful for hot water and coffee and just wanted to talk about the joys of a good show.
I felt like I was in a creative rut and that is why I wanted to start doing this. But, something happened once I got into my rhythm about three months in.
I wanted more. I wanted to share more. I wanted to start making some of my other creative projects. I got hungry for more.
Writing every morning unleashed the juices. It got me ready to take on the day. It got me set up to tackle some of the other problems and goals on my list.
What it did was allow me to start and get an easy win, which in turn allowed me to setup my mind to start completing.
The daily routine was something that has helped me in other ways. I don’t see a reason to stop or change the practice. The benefits were visible. If I didn’t write in the morning on certain days, I felt like something was missing. It felt like I was on a cloud for the whole day.
Another thing that this practice trigged was the development of more good habits. I tried to break things I wanted to do down into smaller chunks. I was able to get into the habit of mediation, tackle being a vegetarian, and even read more.
I thought about stopping and seeing what happened. But, I enjoy it too much and I didn’t want to go back to being without it. I think that I might use it to experiment more with my writing, trying things such as writing more fiction and getting more comfortable with writing dialogue.
If you have something that you want to try, get it into your day or your routine. Break it down and try to do it for thirty days. It is the perfect amount of time to see how it will work with your life and allow you to make adjustments from there.
If you love experimenting with and wanting to try new things, this is a practice that could change you and allow you to get more done.
Written by John Siwicki who lives and works building interesting things. You should follow him on Twitter