When people ask about my writing habits and hear that I write every day, they sometimes say, “Oh, I could never do that.” As if it were a choice. But the truth is it’s not. Writing, for me, is something I have to do. Otherwise, I just don’t feel like myself.
This wasn’t always the case. I wasn’t born with pencil in hand, scribbling stories on a notebook before being able to crawl. Like anything, writing was a habit. But now, years after the first time of forcing myself to get up at 5:00 a.m. and write, the discipline of attacking the blank page feels a little less intimidating.
All habits are this way. The first time is the hardest, and each subsequent experience becomes easier. The effort it takes to begin decreases as your muscle memory takes over. It starts to feel natural, even effortless.
But why should you even care about this in the first place? Does the world really need more words, more blog posts? Maybe not. Even so, I still believe in this habit of daily writing.
Writing every day doesn't just make you a better writer. It makes you a better person. Here's how.
Reasons to start a daily writing habit
- It builds your discipline. I never played sports in school, and as a result had to learn discipline later on in life. I believe this was why I struggled to stick with anything until later in life – I had never practiced it. Writing for just a few minutes every day can build your discipline, just like running or reading or any daily practice can.
- It makes you smarter. Writing makes you think. Some studies even show that writing by hand increases cognitive activity and can actually make you more intelligent. When you don’t know what to write, you get introspective. By sitting down every day to write, you are exercising your brain in ways that it doesn’t always get.
- It gives you a sense of accomplishment. We all want to feel like we aren’t wasting our time. And writing for just a few minutes every day – in a journal, on a blog, or even for a book – gives you that sense. If nothing else, you have something to show for your day. And that makes you happy.
Those are just a few reasons why I write every day. Sure, it’s my job and a means of income for my family. But I was doing all of this long before that. I don’t do it because I get paid. If anything, I get paid because I do it every day.
You can also sign up for the My 500 Words Writing Challenge and get a prompt every day for a month to help you stay on track. Click here to get started.
How has a daily habit (in writing or anything) taught you a lesson about life? Share in the comments.