I believe writing is a critical skill for everyone. It is not about becoming a published author; it has more to do with understanding our thoughts and emotions and learning how to express ourselves in an effective way.
With two published collections of poetry, and two more books on the way, I am clearly biased when it comes to writing. However, I wanted to write this post as an invitation to experiment with the power of writing, hoping it could inspire and be of help.
Writing is not just a passion for me it is how I continue growing. It is an important way of knowing, thinking and feeling. Why? Because through writing we can start a conscious co- creation and sharing of stories - both the stories we tell and the stories we live.
I have come up with a simple three rules list to help establish a writing practice.
Rule #1 write write and write! Write every day consistently. It does not need to be for a long time. Don't look for quantity of words written, rather seek for consistency. What is important is not really the length of time you write rather your commitment. Make it an habit. It is like going to a gym, to see results you need to practice regularly. Like going to the gym, there will be days you are not inspired to exercise, do it anyway even if you have to write about not feeling inspired.
Rule #2 write without editing yourself. Forget about grammar/spelling just write being honest and authentic (write like no one else is going to read it). It is important that thoughts and emotions become clear to us so that we gain insight into the story; our own story and the story of others around us.
Rule #3 look for patterns to gain insight on what inspires or triggers you. This has been invaluable to me to learn how to lead myself before I could even lead others. Writing regularly provides tons of data on what nurtures us or what drains us. It provides a clear insight on our growing points or the opposite.
What do you think would happen if you followed these rules and wrote every single day, let's say for one year? Those three rules are applicable, in my view, both for establishing a journaling practice and for finishing that manuscript we have been putting on a side for some time.
I invite you to try for yourself and see what happens. For me has been a creative necessity. By creative I do not only refer to the power of imagination rather to the capacity to make, create a new reality, a new way of thinking and seeing the world that emerged from the act of exploring and getting to understand my own internal world.
Time Ferriss calls it the de-loading: “The paper is like a photography darkroom for my mind.”
If you are not convinced yet and need some more explanations, there have been several studies investigating the power of writing. Data have shown that the act of writing accesses the left hemisphere of the brain, which is the analytical and rational. While the left brain is engaged, the right brain is free to create, intuit and feel. In this way, writing removes mental blocks and allows us to use more of our brainpower to better understand ourselves and the world around us. When we understand we are able to accept and so transform, both inside and out.
When combined, writing and sharing stories enhance our interconnectedness, shared awareness, and possibilities for fruitful interaction. When we do so, we suddenly realise we have the power to shape stories individually and collectively. Hence we understand how to connect our hearts and minds. Writing becomes the tool to connect with the dynamic story of life unfolding around us. Ultimately, when we write we start to consciously and creatively participate in real-life stories.
Give yourself the gift of listening and honouring your voice. I hope reading this short article has inspired you to start your own writing practice if you don't have one yet.
I have used writing several times to support teams resolve conflicts. Does this make you even more curious? Get in contact with me if you want to hear more.