Updated: Jul 5
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Writing has a transformational power that cannot be denied. Whether it's old-fashioned pen on paper or the tapping of keys on a keyboard, the act of writing has magical effects. I would go so far as to say that writing is an act of alchemy. It turns our thoughts into stories and transmutes our feelings into something tangible. Even if no one ever reads a word of what we write, coaxing our disparate, rogue-running thoughts into cohesive sentences is catharitc in and of itself.
If you're new to writing, you may be wondering where to start. The possibilities are indeed endless. Perhaps you have ideas about a particular topic that you want to explore, or maybe you're a chronicler at heart and want to record the events of your life. Writing can also be a powerful tool for uncluttering your mind through stream-of-consciousness writing. Whatever your reason for starting a writing practice, you're sure to discover unexpected benefits.
One of the first things you will encounter as you start any kind of writing is the dreaded phenonmenon of the blank page. The blank page can be intimidating, but it's also full of potential. When we leap into the unknown, we tap into the energy of creation and allow it to flow through us onto the page. And while you may wonder who wants to read your musings, the truth is that the most important reader is yourself.
Writing is a form of communication with yourself, an act of self-care during which you become your own teacher, parent, and friend. As you write, you transform your thoughts, feelings, and experiences into a new perspective. Writing is not just recording, but it's also analyzing, triaging, and intimately re-framing your experiences, thoughts, and emotions. Ultimately, if you can take care not to slide into self-recriminations and judgment, this process of self-expression brings you to a deeper understanding of yourself. This understanding, in turn, helps you to be more present and content in any given moment and boosts your self-confidence.
If you keep a journal, the conversation with the self continues long after the act of writing. Reading past journal entries years after they were written often provides a stunning shift in perspective. When we're honest and detailed in our journal writing, we create a storehouse of brand new outlooks that will nourish us as we age. Indeed - even though our journal entries are themselves things of the past and thus not new, when we look at them with the new eyes of a grown and changed self, we gain fresh new insight. Dare I say, honest journaling allows us to write our own histories.
In short, writing is a powerful tool for understanding ourselves and the world around us, and the benefits of a writing practice are endless. So if you're considering starting a writing practice, go ahead and take the leap. The blank page is waiting for you.
PS. I have a thing for notebooks, so I have customized some that I love in my shop. You can never have too many notebooks!