It’s no secret that there are many benefits to writing. The article below shares several ways in which forming a daily writing habit can improve one’s life. CK
Article written by Darius Foroux originally appeared in Pocket on September 30, 2018.
One of the most important habits that I’ve formed in my life is daily writing.
Without question, writing every day has brought me many great things: A better career, fulfillment, self-improvement, and most importantly, the ability to share my ideas with you, the reader.
I wanted to be a writer for a decade before I became one. All it took was a decision. At some point, you have to look at yourself and say, “I’m a writer.” And then, start doing your job by writing every day.
I recommend that to everyone because of these 5 reasons:
- Better self-discipline
Living a life of pleasure is simple. Everyone can “Netflix and chill.” It’s easy to “hang out” all the time. But those easy things will not give you inner satisfaction. The reason that we don’t do anything useful with our precious time is that we lack self-discipline. But when you write every day, you strengthen your discipline. You can use that better self-discipline to achieve virtually anything in life.
- Improving your persuasion skills
Writing is nothing more than persuading the reader with words. But your tools are limited—you can only use words to tell a story. And when you write for yourself, you’re trying to convince yourself of your own thoughts. So the more you write, the better you become at persuasion.
- Cultivating self-awareness
Nothing will help you to get to know yourself more than translating your thoughts into words. When you force yourself to write every day, you automatically become more aware of your thoughts. And self-awareness is one of the most important skills that predict career success.
- Better decision making
Too often, we do something without fully understanding why we do it. Think about it. How often do you answer “I don’t know” when someone asks you “Why did you do that?” That’s the sign of weak thinking. Sure, we don’t know everything. But we must aware of that too. And when you write about your decision-making process, you will automatically become more aware of the “why.”
- Seeing the power of compounding in action
When you do something every day, you don’t notice any difference at that moment. You think, “Where are the benefits?” But when you keep doing it for a long time, the positive effects compound. Writing every day will demonstrate the power of compounding like very few other things can.
To be honest, there are many other benefits to writing every day. It’s great for reflection, dealing with anxiety, coming up with new ideas. On top of that, you can use writing to inspire others or achieve your goals.
“That’s great and all. But how do you even form a daily writing habit?”
Here are 4 tips that can help you with that:
- Read & study
Start by stealing other people’s writing styles. It’s a strategy I learned from Austin Kleon. Stealing is an effective way to develop your own style. Plus, when you can steal ideas, you can never use the excuse of: “I don’t have any inspiration.” But take the craft of writing seriously. Study it as much as you can by reading books and taking courses/workshops.
- Set a daily reminder to write
Nothing is more important to a writer than having a routine. First, think about what time is the best for you to write. In the morning or evening? Before/after the kids are awake? Then, set a daily reminder on your phone—when it goes off, sit down and write.
- Set the bar low
Your goal is to write only one true sentence. Just one. The beauty of that goal is that the first sentence that comes up in your mind is always the truest of them all. So never say that your writing sucks. Avoid aiming for setting goals like, “I want to write 1000 words a day.” That’s too absolute. Instead, strive for writing one sentence. Then, keep going.
- Remove distractions
Tell the people in your life about your daily writing habit. Ask them to not disturb you during the time you’re writing. I block 3 hours every morning. During that time, I put my phone in do not disturb mode, don’t take calls, and don’t answer to messages—I write. I’ve told my family and girl about this too so they don’t disturb me during that time.
Often, people give advice like, “just get started!” And there’s truth in that. Starting is important.
But here’s the thing: Everyone can write for a day—or two, or three. But there are very few people who write consistently for years. But you need to write for a long time to see the actual benefits.
So don’t just get started. Keep going.