Journal excerpt, Monday, July 2nd, 2018 (edited for readability)
“I was talking to M last night for our weekly writing accountability check-in. It’s been 3-weeks since we began meeting to talk about our writing. I’ve noticed that my mindset is starting to shift. I think about or incubate on writing daily. More importantly, I’ve been writing everyday. Mainly my thoughts, with some blog post/article ideas sprinkled in between.”
“My goals for writing have also shifted. I used to think about coming to writing, or publishing more specifically, for the purpose of providing answers. Now I know that writing is about exploring questions. I’m feeling more comfortable with the idea of being contradictory. I’ve also been practicing viewing my experiences through a lens of curiosity instead of fear.”
It’s been about 2 1/2 months since I began a daily writing practice. In that time I’ve missed only two days of writing— my art studio was calling so I had to respond! Building my current practice has been an interesting mix of organic growth & planned, intentional movements. I am still finding my way, but have noticed some lovely patterns emerging.
Today, I want to share the steps I took to begin my current writing practice.
Step 1: Make the Decision
The very first step in my process was to make the decision that writing would become a priority in my life. Writing is many things to me. One of the most important is that it helps me make sense of my life. It helps me uncover layers of myself and deepen my understanding.
In making the decision to write daily, I had to tell myself (out loud) that this is what I was going to do. I also shared this intention with my newsletter subscribers, since telling others helps us to keep our commitments.
Step 2: Eliminate Excess
After deciding to make writing a priority, I had to create space and time in my life for daily writing. In reflecting on what I could eliminate to make more space, I decided to temporarily close my Etsy shop. Simplifying my business responsibilities has increased my ability to focus on writing.
I also simplified my pathway to writing. I use an program called Evernote for my daily journal writing. I was able to download the app to my phone and computer. This makes it easy to write daily since I can start at home and then continue when I’m out. I often add new thoughts or ideas to my journal throughout the day.
Step 3: Find Support
Finding support is an extension of sharing the goal with others. So far, I’ve used two different types of support. The first was to take an online class in Creative Personal Blogging, because this style of writing feels aligned for me. It was a self-study course that’s helped me stay connected with my writing goals.
The second thing I did was to find a writing accountability partner. We meet weekly to check-in and talk about our writing. While our goals are different, the support helps me continue to make writing my priority.
Step 4: Focus on One Goal
The final step in this process has been to focus on one goal. As a multi-passionate person, this is the most difficult step for me. I am constantly coming-up with new ideas and thinking about things I want to explore and learn. For this, however, I knew that I wanted to begin something that would be sustainable. In order to do that, my initial goal had to be super simple.
My goal has been to write everyday.
That’s it. I chose not to put any parameters around the length, topic, or time of day that I’m writing. As long as I write something everyday, that is enough.
At 2 1/2 months in, I’ve learned that these four steps are constantly evolving. I have to make the decision to commit to writing each day. There is still a lot of excess I want to eliminate. My support needs are changing and I’m easily distractible. Because of this, I return again and again to these steps so I can keep moving forward.
If you have been thinking about starting your own daily journal writing practice, I invite you to use the steps above to help you get started.
If you have any questions about how to get started with journal writing, I’d love to hear them in the comments section below.
Thanks so much for stopping by today!
Wishing you more peace & joy than your heart can hold.
P.S. Do you have questions about getting started with journal writing? If so please write them in the comments section below or shoot me an email and I’ll be happy to answer them in a future blog article.