You know if you write every day, you have a more clear mind, right? So why don’t you write every day?
You’re probably in one of two categories:
1. Not enough to say
2. Too much to say
The two spectrums of writing are captured in those two categories. Most people will fall somewhere on the spectrum and neither is more desirable. They are both easy beliefs to fix if you will just start by making a commitment.
Commit to show up every day. Any time. Any format.
No filter. No interpretation. No judgment. No editing.
January Word Count & Writing Stats
Below I’ll share some strategies and solutions for each category. Let me tell you first though, that I’ve been in both camps so I know that which I speak of… and I feel like I’m finally finding a balance. I just finished 54,150 words for January, thanks in part to my new writing tracker which you can get a copy of and start using yourself right away!
Take a look at the screenshot of my January stats. You can see the variability. I had some banner days with over 4000 words and some rough days with less than 100. In the end, it all evens out and the habit continues to be maintained, which is the key!
Solution for Category 1: Not enough to say.
Have you ever given this as the reason you don’t write? Have you thought about writing and then talked yourself out of it because you didn’t know what you wanted to write or didn’t think anything you had to write was wroth the time or effort? Are you afraid the blank page is a reflection of your mind?
It’s not! Your mind is probably full of thoughts all day long, and if you’re anything like me, all night long too. What if you could just translate those thoughts into words on the page? You can!
Daily writing is exactly what you need to strengthen that connection from mind to paper. You might prefer to skip the verbal aspect and go straight from mind to paper, or you might like to skip the paper altogether and use a dictation or recording tool. Everything counts. Everything works. Choose your own adventure. But choose.
Whether you’re the one putting the words on the page or your app is doing it, they are your thoughts, your words, your writing and they all count.
Even if it sounds like rambling or reads like a jumbled mixture of thoughts and ideas, keep going. You are creating the raw material you need as a writer. Just like any other artist who has essential tools for creation, words are our raw material. If they are out of order, if you have too many, if they are too colorful or too plain, there are countless ways to rearrange and make them work for you. But without the raw materials, you are left with nothing.
If you get stuck, start asking yourself questions. Think like a two-year-old. Why did you do that? What’s next? What made you react that way? How do you know that to be true? Is that really true? Is there another option?
Solution for Category 2: Too much to say.
Perhaps you have the opposite problem. Too many thoughts are constantly barraging you from every side and you can’t get your thoughts to line up long enough for you to get them down on paper. I get it. It’s a classic case of overwhelm. Maybe even a little fear about seeing or hearing what comes out of you if you allow yourself to open the floodgates or Pandora’s box.
Let me offer a kind-hearted word to your over-thinking mind… no harm ever came to anyone who released all the pent-up thoughts and ideas racing around their head. No one need see what you write, no one need read it or judge or comment or have any access. But you will experience an enormous transformation if you just allow a sliver of that overwhelm of thoughts to unblock itself and see the light. You will absolutely begin to see things with new eyes, new options, new opinions.
In all my writing years, and there have been many, I have come to realize and integrate that the reason I write is less about having something to say and more about finding what I have to say. Once I know what I have to say and refine and redefine it, then I may have something I want to share. But that is much farther along in the process and not part of the daily writing practice I am cultivating.
Since writing 51k words in November and 54,150 words in January, I am finding that the more I write, the more I have to say. It’s an odd little irony, but has proven to be true in too many cases to contest the veracity of the argument.
Are your words too simple? Doesn’t matter.
Are your words too lofty? Doesn’t matter.
Are you words captured somewhere every single day? The only answer here should be a resounding yes.
Are you ready?
Start with the commitment to show up every day. Success is showing up. Success is writing. Did you write? Did you get words on the page?