Writing is an amazing hobby to pick up which is why I think loads of people have attempted to keep a daily journal. You decide to write, keep at it for three days, and then life gets in the way. I know that cycle, because I used to be one of those people. That, or I only wrote about how I was feeling when I had a horrible day. Neither of those being a good option.
Well, at some point last summer, I decided to write every night. I didn’t care how average the day was, I wrote something down. I got into the habit of it, and looking back, I think it is something everyone should consider. That are plenty of reasons why I believe that writing is for everyone, but let’s begin with the most important.
Reason 1: Dealing with Feelings
Writing every night can be dull after an average day, but trust me, on the days that are everything but boring, writing is a great way to sort out all of the day’s emotions. When they are bad, your journal/computer will not judge you for bawling your eyes out and writing whatever comes to mind. When they are good, it is amazing to recap what happened and bask in the awesomeness. Average days can be a time when you recall something that maybe you never made the time to think about before. There were days when I just wrote about not wanting to write because I didn’t want to feel the pain I was in, and that’s okay. Writing every day makes you think about the big picture and even those little tiny details you may have otherwise forgotten.
Reason 2: Improving Your Writing Skills
When I began writing, I did it on my phone, and it was really just a few scribbles before I would carry on with my day. However, when I began writing every night my entries became longer, more, detailed, and as I continued, the quality improved. My nightly pieces are now detailed, grammatically correct, and pretty entertaining (because my sarcasm follows me everywhere).
I owe my nightly ranting/crying/laughing sessions a huge thank you. I really believe doing this made me a stronger writer, as I witnessed during my first semester of college. I was comfortable, writer’s block was non-existent, and writing was no longer a hassle but a joy. My joy translated into some pretty bangin’ grades that I didn’t even feel I worked that hard for (minus that annotated bibliography, DUMB!) because it just came naturally after a year of making myself write anything and everything I could think of.
Reason 3: Witnessing Self Growth
If you follow my blog, you know I have been learning and growing as a person at a much quicker rate than before. I would like to credit that to my amazing ability to self analyze and spartan kick all my problems in the face…but I can’t. I honestly owe that to my writing. You might ask: How can writing help you to grow as a person? Well, I don’t know if the actual motion of picking up a pen can do anything for your mind…but I know that writing your experiences as you see them makes you deal with a part of yourself you may have otherwise neglected (see reason 1), and when you write those things down, going back and seeing how far you have come not only causes self growth, but it also allows you to witness said growth.
An example of this is when I wrote “Are You A Psychotic Girlfriend?” When I was in the relationship I go on about most of the time (sorry), I wrote A LOT. I wrote when he had upset me, I wrote about the mistakes I had made, I wrote about the things he did that made me happy, and I even wrote about what I had done to upset myself. When I wrote these things, I had no idea that I was writing about how bat s*** crazy I was as a girlfriend. However, when I realized (as a random epiphany one day) that I was insecure and unhappy, I went through my writings, pinpointed what I did or how I felt, and made the decision to change the things I didn’t like about the psychotic girlfriend behind the pen/keyboard. Now that I’ve slowly began to work on those things, reading what the old version of me perceived as reality makes me cringe for a second, before the feeling grattitude overcomes me. I’m grateful not just because I’ve grown, but because I have evidence of who I was and how far I have come through my writing.
Reason 4: Memories
I have saved the best reason for last. Preserving memories is the best reason there is to write. When you write every night about the major and not so major moments of your life, those moments, your thoughts, and your emotions…they stay there forever. One of the reasons I chose to write in a good ol’ fashioned paper back journal is because I can protect them with my life. If my hard-drive explodes (like it has three times), or my WordPress is wiped clean (which has also happened), I have those little books that will never leave my bedside table. I have several books filled with my successes, failures, heartbreak, over the moon in love-ness, bittersweet moments, happy moments, miserable moments, you name it, I’ve written about it.
Those books have become special to me, because unlike pictures, they hold the memories of times in my life as I recall them, word by word. They preserve my most raw moments like the ones of the night Simon and I broke up, the entire month we spent together post break up (that is soap opera), the day I found out I was on the President’s honors list, the first time I hung out with my best friend, and even the first time I farted in front of my boyfriend (it was a big moment)…it’s all there, and I have entire life ahead of me to add even more.
I know it seems silly, but one of my goals is to keep writing so that some day, when I have children, I can read to them how I felt when I graduated college, got my dream job, walked around Buckingham Palace, married their daddy, found out I was having them, gave birth to them (the sweet version of the whole child birthing bit), and everything in between. I have written life long memories that will follow me in those little books for as long as I choose to carry on writing.
Getting off my soap box now:
I hope I have influenced at least one of you to write about your life. It doesn’t have to be every night (though I prefer it), you can start small and work your way up, just do it. I think it is good for one’s sanity, growth, and memories, and if that weren’t enough, it is kind of fun too. Now that I’ve made it a habit, I couldn’t imagine going a night without writing at least a little bit. I will forever be grateful to writing for being such an amazing outlet, and to myself for forcing a sometimes reluctant me to do write it all down, even when it hurt.