Many of us were introduced to daily writing in high school, when an English teacher forced us to keep a journal. While we may have bemoaned our lots back then, the truth is that adopting a daily writing habit can be very satisfying and might even help you make tremendous changes in your life.
Here are eight amazing things that will happen to your brain when you keep writing every day.
1. You’ll Look for Opportunities to Write.
Once you start writing every day, it quickly becomes part of who you are and what you do. If you are forced to skip a day for any reason, you will feel deprived and will take steps to make sure that it doesn’t happen again, or at least not too often.
Before long, you will scan your daily and weekly calendars to identify pockets of time when you can squeeze in more writing. Depending on how hard the bug bites, you may even seek out opportunities to write for others, such as non-profit newsletters or project plans at work.
Anything to keep your pen wet and satisfy that writing urge will be fair game.
2. You’ll Become More Organized.
As you recognize your love of and need for writing, you will move beyond trying to fit it in your day to a more structured approach. Most successful writers — whatever that may mean to you — schedule their writing time firstand actually put it on their calendars.
Doing this will help you preserve your sacred hours and minutes of creativity, but it will also drive you to take a hard look at the rest of your schedule. Is there fat you can cut?
For most, the answer is “yes,” and your desire to find more time for writing will force you to become more organized and efficient in other areas of your life.
3. Your Writer’s Block Will Disappear.
Every writer has experienced that awful feeling of sitting down at the keyboard and just staring at the blank, white screen waiting for your words to appear. This affliction, of course, is writer’s block, and it’s most often the result of rust and a fear of how good (or bad) your writing will be.
If you haven’t written much, or if you haven’t written much lately, then your words probably won’t flow onto the page or in your mind when you read them back.
But when you adopt a daily habit of writing and force yourself to bang out words no matter how awkward they seem at first, all of those cobwebs begin to clear away quickly. It won’t take long until your ideas are gushing all day long and you find it almost easy to get them from your brain, through your fingertips, and onto the screen.
4. Your Vocabulary Will Grow.
There are only so many times you can type that your character “walked” to the door or “said” something insightful before you bore yourself to tears. Within the span of every few hundred words, you’re likely to touch on the same topic at least a couple of times, but you’ll want to keep your language fresh.
When you write every day, the thesaurus becomes one of your best friends, and many of those punchy synonyms will stick with you for the future.
5. You’ll Speak More Eloquently.
Thanks in part to your increased vocabulary and thanks in part to your constant immersion in the language — including lots of editing — your basic grasp of proper grammar will improve. What’s more, your efforts to find alternate phrasing for simple ideas won’t die when you turn away from the paper or computer screen to face real humans once again.
The end result will be that you’ll be able to speak more confidently, and you will color your speech with subtle word choices that can positively influence your impact in conversations.
6. You’ll Read More.
Most writers are already voracious readers, but once you pick up the daily habit, you’ll crave the written word more than ever. Books, articles, blogs, and newspapers offer all sorts of perks for writers, from an expanded vocabulary to new story ideas.
Even if you don’t realize you’re doing it, daily writing will probably leave you with a book or tablet in your hand most of the day.
7. You’ll Meet New People.
Once you start writing regularly, you naturally will want to learn more about the craft. Thanks to the ubiquity of the Internet, the information you need is just a mouse click away, but when you begin exploring the vast library of writing available on the web, you’ll discover that it didn’t just materialize for your reading pleasure.
Instead, that body of knowledge has been produced and curated over the last twenty years by a gigantic community of thoughtful and ambitious authors who run the gamut from beginner to expert. Their collective experience is there for the reading, and you will undoubtedly find yourself involved with various social media groups and mailing lists as you hone in on your particular writing interests.
Beyond the web, many communities have established local writing groups, and it’s a good bet you will at least consider joining one of these — or even starting one if it doesn’t already exist in your town.
Even if you’re a staunch introvert, writing will coax you out of your shell.
8. You’ll Reconsider Your Career.
If writing is NOT already your full-time job, hitting the keyboard or journal everyday might make you start to reconsider your career path. It’s estimated that more than 80% of Americans want to write a book, but only a relative handful have done so. That means becoming an author is a secret ambition for many of us, and writing every day will stoke those desires like nothing else. Even if you don’t want to give up your day job, chances are that the writing habit will coax you into spending most of your free time in front of a keyboard.