Writing As a Daily Habit

woman writing photograph

Writing can be a good daily habit, not just for those of us who earn a living writing or who enjoy blogging, but for anyone regardless of his or her profession. Writing can be thinking on paper, in a clearer and more systematic way than we do in our head, it can encourage creative thinking, induce relaxation, relieve stress, and it can also be cathartic, providing psychological relief from a host of personal struggles. It can even be fun.

“Writing is a kind of psycho-neural muscular activity which helps bridge and integrate the conscious and subconscious minds. Writing distills, crystallizes, and clarifies thought and helps break the whole into parts.” — Stephen Covey in 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

I think that writing as a stress-relieving, self-improvement, and thought-enhancement process is most effective when it stops being a conscious act that you do now and then, when you have the time and are in the mood for it, and becomes a daily habit, almost like tooth-brushing. Even if you write only for a few minutes (whether you do it in an organized format, such as in a journal, or merely scribble notes on your computer), you can still access the wonderful benefits of writing, provided that you do it daily.

Habits are formed when our brain converts a sequence of actions into an automatic routine, which the mind then automatically triggers when there’s the right cue, according to the Power of Habit. When a habit is activated, parts of the mind, and sometimes even conscious thought, can be temporarily suspended, reducing the activity of the mind distracting thoughts.

If you can find a quiet and comfortable place where nobody will disturb you, and settle there for at least a few minutes every day around the same hour with your computer or with good old pen and paper, you can help your brain turn writing into a habit. While sporadic writing is better than no writing at all, the busyness of life and the many technological distractions that vie for our attention can lead to procrastination and other states that discourage writing. But if we manage to turn writing into a daily habit, our mind will be grateful.

Is writing a daily habit for you?

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13 thoughts on “Writing As a Daily Habit

  1. That quote by Stephen Covey is tremendous. I won’t take it as fact, but it rings mighty true in the ears. I agree with you. I also think if a lot of us wrote more and procrastinated less, there would be a lot more brilliance in the world. And maybe a few more Shakespeare’s. Because I find it so hard to believe that there was only one Shakey. I think there were several others, but they were too lazy to do anything about it. MAKE YOUR DREAMS A REALITY, PEOPLE!

    1. I, too, find it hard to believe that “Shakey” was only one, but then there’s something charming about the idea that one man shone so brightly. Or do you mean that there were many other talented writers who just weren’t diligent enough? That’s true, too. 🙂

      1. Oh, there definitely is something charming about the idea that one man shone so brightly. He DID shine so brightly; because those who achieve what they set out to are those who never tired of aspiring.

  2. love this post. and I agree with your thoughts. for me, a daily writing practice is my morning pages. every morning, with my cup of coffee, I pour about 6-8 pages into the journal. It has been the single most healing way to start the day and to process anything that is going on in my life.

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