August 24, 2017

A Step-by-Step Guide to Finding Yourself through Writing.

We are all creators.

We are all journalists. We just don’t know it yet. But, writer’s block is real, and sometimes, it lasts for months. Years. An entire life. But, it doesn’t mean we can’t start where we are.

Writing is an excavation. It pulls out our innermost conflicts and difficulties, and dismantles the mental chains that bind us. In so doing, it helps us to get clear on what is actually driving a lot of our daily aches and discomforts. In our response to the questions below, we realize that we, indeed, are all artists. We’re journalists who have spent much time looking the other way—rather than digging in to get the inside scoop—on ourselves.

This digging creates a clear space for us to rest and process, learn about ourselves, and become more compassionate and patient human beings.

Here is how to start your journey into writing or pick up where you left off if you fell off of the journaling wagon:

  1. Start where you are—literally. Write about the physical world around you. It doesn’t have to be in depth or in detail.

  2. Write about your day. Anything about it. How you cooked your eggs. The cashier at Whole Foods.

  3. When you begin writing, don’t explain everything. Come back to it later if you want to. If you moved into a new home or job, and you mention a roommate or a coworker, just write their name. Put a footnote and come back to it later if you feel inspired to explain who it is.

  4. The story does not have to be coherent. Jump around.

  5. Start with bulleted lists. So much has happened since you last wrote. If you want to capture it all, but don’t know how, start with a list. Write short sentences. Number them. You’ll be inspired to come back to them later. Leave blank pages following the entry.

Here are writing prompts that will get the wheels turning:

Answer each of these questions with at least five sentences. After these five sentences, you’ll likely want to keep going, and going…

  1. What is your greatest challenge right now? (I know that writing this may be the answer, but try to dig a bit deeper!)

  2. What does self-improvement and personal growth mean to you? Really? What does it look like? How does it start, first thing in the morning?

  3. What are things, people, and ideas you can let go of that would bring relief and freedom into your life?

  4. What would your life look like if you released them?

  5. What accomplishments have you made in your life and most recently?

  6. What accomplishments do you want to make within the next few months? What does it look and feel like when you’ve accomplished it?

  7. What new beginnings have started in your life? There are always new beginnings. Doesn’t matter if you’ve lived in the same house for 35 years. Is it a new relationship with a delicious food? A new scented candle you’re going to spend intimate evenings with?

  8. What choices do you make, that you feel choose you? Habits that feel mindless? What implications do they have for the whole of your life? Physically? Emotionally? Spiritually? Socially? Intimately?

  9. What are your short-term goals (weekly and monthly)?

  10. Long-term goals (Three-month and yearly)? 

  11. Who are the people you look up to, and why? How can you sprinkle some of what they do into your life?

Writing is an extremely cleansing and healing process. And the magic in it is that we are journalists covering a story that is unlike any other. Let yourself get lost in the world that you create with your words—and forget what it sounds like to anyone else. Just write. Go on the journey inward. Write. Drink lots of water. And then, rest.

If you’ve read through all of this, you’re already on your way home. Welcome to your beautifully imperfect, infinitely capable, and deeply inspiring self.


Image: MartinaK15/Flickr
Editor: Lieselle Davidson
Copy Editor: Catherine Monkman
Social Editor: Sara Karpanen



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