Wait!!! Don’t press delete!
I’m not talking about writing a book. I guarantee that if you write just a few paragraphs every day about your experiences, hopes, memories and feelings and you will immediately begin to experience benefits to your personal growth and potential.
If you are not interested in growth and potential you can press delete now. If you are, continue reading to discover what you might be missing.
- You will almost immediately become better at expressing yourself. When I am forced to write every day because of a book deadline, I am always amazed at how quickly my writing and verbal communication skills improve.
- You will remember things long forgotten. As you write about memories it is like opening an old photo album. Your pen begins to expose feelings and details you had forgotten, and dreams you had lain aside. You suddenly remember people you would like to reconnect with.
Writing is a focused activity that keeps distractions at bay long enough for you to explore wonders of the past. Sometimes it is frightening, sometimes wonderful and almost always beneficial.
- Writing about daily experiences and feelings provides a recorded history that will impact how you make future decisions.
There’s a reason that the greatest leaders in history were students of history. They learned from what had happened before. Your history is important. Don’t let it be forgotten.
- Writing reminds you of your dreams and keeps you moving toward them. It is a means of keeping track of your purpose and the goals that will lead you to fulfilling them. Reviewing what you have written is a perfect way to see your progress and to reveal when you have been distracted and may need to refocus.
- Writing gives you a record of God’s faithfulness. In the midst of troubled times it is so easy to forget what He has done for us.
- Writing a little every day could provide the material that someday becomes a published book. When I wrote about my depression and about my four-year-old granddaughter being lost in the mountains, I never dreamed it would be in a book.
My friend and business partner Michael Hyatt just wrote a best seller, Platform: How to Get Noticed in a Noisy World. Much of his book was based on short posts he wrote over several years.
When we become lazy with words, it is more difficult to describe feelings, share experiences and make ourselves understood.
In my book Fully Alive I wrote a chapter entitled “Out of the Valley of the Shadow of Death.” That chapter includes an entry I found in my journal that was written at one of the lowest points in my life.
When I read it again I wept, because I had forgotten the hopeless feeling of that experience and the joy of being delivered from it.
Try this. Buy a small notebook or create a file on your computer called “My life.” Write something every day. It might be:
- A memory
- A prayer
- A blessing
- Something that made you laugh
- Something you are proud of
- A promise
- A dream
- Something you are thankful for
Forget about making it perfect, just write it down.
You say you don’t know where to start??
Start right now by writing a comment on this blog post, then keep writing something every day. When you begin to experience the benefits write to me again and let me know.
My friend Jeff Goins says, “We are all writers, some practice and some don’t.” If you want to become a better writer, you will enjoy reading his posts here.
Yesterday – I made a journal entry, wrote a letter to an atheist friend who’d been offended by my facebook friends, sent a “nice to meetcha” email to a new friend. And it had been a while – so I also wrote a little comedy. Comedy – if done properly – makes ya laugh. And makes ya wanna come back and write again. Thanks Ken for posting – I mean WRITING – your thoughts, and confirming my day.
haha funny… i would like to read that comedy, its interesting how people have different ways of thinking. is like a fingerprint, but on a mental plane, thats why i enjoy reading ans sink into people minds you can do the same with my writings they are funny and reflexive.
This was just the inspiration I needed today Ken! Thank you so much for sharing. I couldn’t agree more with what you said about the value and benefit of writing.
Writing gives you a record of God’s faithfulness = Awesome! Agree with everything here!
Excellent! So many times I have torn up or deleted my written expressed thoughts fearing someone might read them. I am learning to be more authentic and this post has helped me to understand that writing and keeping what I have written helps me in that process. I have nothing to fear from being real-only gain.
Simply said, writing is powerful. Writing every day has become the normal for me–at least journaling if nothing else. It is amazing to look back and read past journal entries–we forget so quickly. Now I want to become more intentional in writing from a ministry standpoint. Good inspiration for all of us, Ken. Thanks!
I have always believed in writing every day (journaling), and have experienced the benefits of it. However, I am not consistent with it…as the schedule of my day fills up my time, my writing gets pushed lower on the priority list until it doesn’t get done because it’s late at night. Then, it quickly becomes classified as that “just one more thing” to do, but there’s other important things that need to get done. This is how I quickly fall out of writing every day.
Thank you for this post and the inspiration to start writing again! 🙂
People have encouraged me to do this often. I have resisted so far as I don’t necessarily want people reading it when I am done. Some is so personal. How do I get by that and be real, but not vulnerable?
I keep all my writings in a safe in my house, which I am the only key holder. If I write something that is just between me and God, then I have a separate notebook that it is in and it too gets locked up. When I am gone to Heaven, then it no longer matters if someone reads it.
I will try to write a line here every day, although probably at different times. It is a warm soft breezy summer day here on the Cape; think I will take my new notebook outside with a cup of Maxwell and see what flows. Enjoy your day folks 🙂
I’ve heard the same about keeping a journal, which helps create discipline if written in every day….I think it was D.H.Lawrence who said something about spending time meditating and writing about events or scenes of the past….It seems a way of building a collection of raw material.
I have to admit I since i really gout serious with my blog, I have experienced all of these. Yet I still don’t write everyday. Thanks for the encouragement to make writing a daily habit.
I shared with you that I am training for a half marathon. I started writing down my experience of getting into shape and any other feelings I had. It went to bed not so worried or anxious.
reading your article,when writing is in the back of my mind every single day recently,really motivates me to do it:)
here’s my blessings for you:)
Okay , okay …. I have been here for some time . And your words are a host of moments that God keeps saying , Write Lynda .. I have repeatably been told by strangers ; people who know me well
; my husband to write … Big audible Sigh ! I have even been to 2 if your Dynamic Communicator workshops … And … Another sigh ! Ok ok ok … Lynda Overman Oh yeah , thank you
So very true. Recently my mom gave me a shoe box of old memories of mine she had kept, in there was my quiet time journals from when I was a teenager. Being able to read where I was is spiritually as a teenager is an amazing blessing and to see how God has been with me through all the years wonderful!! This is a great blog post and one I will share for sure!
I have journaled most of my life! I especially love getting out the journals from the time of raising our four children! Such wonderful fun memories! I too have been down several valleys of depression and anxiety and THANKS be to GOD, it is such a blessing remembering when i was delivered from each instance. I am presently going thru a process of getting my health back after a 2 year period of being very ill, and i also just read your book a month or so ago! I have just started a 40 day TRansformation effort, as this is the period of time spoken of over and over again in Scripture for transformations in lives and situations. I am on day 2, and excited and journaling like crazy! 🙂 Since reading your book i have searched and searched for a leather bound small journal, ( i usually use notebooks or sweet Biblical journals usually given to me as a gift. I finally found one today!!! YAY! I bought it in a size that fits nicely in my purse so i can write whenever and wherever i want to!! Thanks so much for all you do Ken! TRuly your book was such an inspiration to me and i love reading your blog and facebook posts! HAve a blessed week!
ps… Sorry for all the !!!!.. LOL, i am an expressive person when writing (typing) anything! lol 🙂
Everything you wrote Ken is right on. I’ve been writing almost daily for two years now and have seen a huge change in my writing and my ability to communicate.
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I will forty next month and I think it would be great to My Life at Forty! I don’t like writing but maybe I will have a child who will read my entries for the year. Thanks for the encouragement.
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Wow! So there are SIX ways it can benefit us?! I AM gonna have to start doing this! Thanks for the encouragement, Ken. I love your “take” on life.
I hate to journal, but hey, I’ll give it another college try.
GREAT ADVICE, MR. DAVIS. I write almost 7 days a week—no less than 4, usually 6. (Trying to keep an “un-plugged Sabbath”; read, sketch, write long-hand in my sketchbook.) Even though I actually AM writing my next book (Book No.2 in the “HATCH!” serieis on creativity) , some of my daily writing is reflective, or just a few thoughts I need to get off the top of my head so I can focus on book words. I’m a big fan of author Julia Cameron (“The Artist’s Way”), her exercise “Morning Pages” to start your day with 5 to 15 minutes of writing whatever comes to mind. She’s also a big proponent of doing it long-hand. Just something about putting pen (felt pen, fountain pen, pencil…) to paper, the tactile experience of shaping thoughts and feelings into words. This is why I’ve carried a sketchbook (hard bound, blank, NO LINES pages) everywhere, everyday for decades. It’s NOT a journal, just lots of thoughts, images, sketches, book and other “Stuff” people recommend. When I have a LITTLE free time I am as likely to open my sketchbook as my MacBook—even if both are handy. On the first page of all of my 150+ sketchbooks is the phrase …(See photo, above)
Comment below photo …
Thanks for the encouragement. I’ll try to give it a shot over the next few weeks. I’m tired of talking about wanting to write… ready to start.
I have started writing in my journal every night. I have noticed that i am able to speak up more if there is a situation that comes up… I love writing just before i go to bed because its the time i can sit down and just write about my day and take my alone time with Christ… Its a great way to end the day.
Love this. I find that when I am in overwhelm, when I have so much emotion bottled up, that I just have to get it out in writing. It is such a wonderful form of release. I love what you said about reading things again. I too read things again. The anniversary of my fathers death, his birthday, these are times that rather than dissociate, I take the time to read how I was feeling during that time. I try and have compassion for who I was and what I was going through then.
Thank you for this post.
Happy “I Love To Write Day” tomorrow! I love reading some of my old journals and laugh at adventures I’ve had in life that I’d forgotten about. It is also amazing how much I can squeeze onto a postcard. I am an avid proponent of people writing about their days so they have memoirs to share later!
I think that writing has a lot of benefits .but i think that it ‘s losing quality because of new technology.peaple now are intersted by communication but they don’t pay attention to how much the words are correctly used.
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Yes, it’s very true, 6 months ago I started my own blog. I never felt so satisfied in expressing myself in a very peculiar way. Thank you for this post to continue my passion for writing.
Very exited to see magical results
I believe in the power of writing. I read your article because I am now looking for data or support in my belief. I have been writing in journals for years. People ask how do I manage my life and I can honestly say writing is a huge impact for me. Without writing I think my mind would be so jumbled. Thank you for writing this article.
Hmm, Really True. Writing Increases Ones Potentials And Even Just Exactly As You Said.
I Found Myself Just Intrigued In Putting Down The Ink Of My Pen Anytime I Just Feel That Kind Of Force. It Helps A Lot.
Thank you so much for the article, i am surely going to start writing about my life from today and this moment onwards
It is encouraging I hope that I can wright stuff everyday to improved my knowledge and understanding in literature and enhance my vocabulary skills thanks for your blog!
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