Should you be writing daily? A Blogletter, issue 1
I write every day and it might be a useful thing for your own creativity or productivity. Or maybe not. Here are some benefits I've found from writing every morning.
This is officially, letter number one. I have yet to commit to a name for this “publication”, but in the spirit of “good enough”, “MVP”, and “just do it ™”, we’re getting started without too much consideration for the brand. The term Blogletter was initially intended to be a descriptor for the type of publication that this is, part blog, part newsletter, but with zero “news”. So for now, welcome to The Blogletter, issue number 1.
This project started as a daily writing challenge to myself, and today, I want to share how and why it’s become an essential daily creative practice and how you might benefit from writing daily or not. If you’re familiar with Morning Pages, that’s what I started off doing. The first two weeks were just a couple of pages of train of thought writing. Just non-stop as quick as I could get down, writings of whatever was in my head. Doing the writing first thing in the morning was key, and that’s what led to me understanding it and finding my creative breakthrough. It started as just Morning Pages, for the first couple of weeks, then I stumbled on another writing challenge, #1000wordsofsummer. Just like it sounds like, this pushed me to write 1000 words a day, rather than the 500-600 that I started doing with morning pages, and they began to become a bit more refined as “articles” rather than “today, I did this…” kind of journals.
In your own writing practice, you may find the number of words to be a helpful goal or not. For me, having a semi-large number to strive towards ensures that I don’t get complacent and that I’m spending just enough time writing each day. For nine months, here are the three top benefits that keep me writing at least a thousand words and why I’ll keep doing it.
Writing at the beginning of the day forces you to use your creativity rather than responding to incoming notifications or requests. It kicks off your day on a creative note. Starting the morning with a creative task that gets you into a Flow state is like warming up your mind for that Flow, and it helps you get into that state much more naturally for every other project/task/thing later in the day. Spending just enough time in an early flow state helps you kick-start all the other ones later in the day, for me, that’s about 25-40 minutes and about 1,000-1,500 words of writing depending on the day.
It kicks off the day on a productive note. I have a list of daily’s, tasks that have to get done every day, and all of them are focused on setting up my day to be as productive as possible–writing is the primary one. Spending time writing not only does all the things mentioned above for creativity but does similar things for productivity. It creates a productive momentum that helps you cross off the rest of the to-dos on your daily list.
It creates a catalog of ideas and gives you a place to drop all your unrefined thoughts. Many times, I’ll work through an idea or concept over multiple days of daily writing. Having a place to dump thoughts and work through them is extremely helpful over time. If you find yourself writing about the same idea, whether it’s something you want to write more about or you’re strategizing about some other project–like making a film, an EP, or a series, etc.–then it’s probably something worth pursuing. Writing every day gives you a place to not only workshop those concepts but a place to find patterns in your own thinking over time, which may spark new ideas. It’s a beautiful cycle.
When I say writing daily, it’s entirely up to you how you interpret that and what kind of writing you do, every day. It could be journaling as simple as a bulleted list, like a gratitude journal–I’ve done something like that in the past called “positive finish” that perhaps I’ll share more at another time. To see if daily writing is for you, start small, and built it into a routine or a ritual. Try writing at the end of the day to reflect or give gratitude, and try writing at the beginning of your day, to set up your creative, productive work-day. You need to try it and try it for a while, I’d recommend at least 18 days.
Do it and see what you find. Don’t get caught up in the word count right away, unless you find that it’s the motivating factor that gets you to write each day. If a word count is a bad motivator for you, try writing uninterrupted for a set time, like 10 minutes. And hopefully, after a while, you’ll start to find the benefit in it, or at least you’ll know that it’s not for you. At least not right now. You’ll never know unless you try.
Great first letter man!
I've been thinking about doing it mostly for #3 because I feel like I get so many ideas in the morning or even throughout the day before and I feel like I need to capture them and write them down so I don't forget them. Especially when they are fun project ideas that I sometimes forget to work on simply because I forgot about them.
Love it. Yeah for me I set a timer. Mentally I think knowing there is an end is easier. 1000 words can feel like a chore whereas a set time where I commit to focus is definitely easier for me. I also anchor to a song. I wrote 100,000 words for my first book draft with Change by Blind Melon on repeat. Now anytime I need to get in the mood to write I simply pop that song on. :0)