5 months ago

Get Your Ink On

How Daily Writing Can Make You a Better Human

Alarm sounds. Snooze.

Alarm sounds. Dog rolls off end of bed. Second snooze.

Alarm sounds. Bathroom. Shower. Dress. Coffee. Muffin. Hurried Kiss. Off to work.

Do you realize that this mundane morning routine is totally harshing your mellow? Do you realize that by eliminating “snooze one” and “snooze two” you have twenty bonus minutes that could completely alter the mood of your day?

Whether you’re a tech nerd, a teacher, a CEO, an attorney, or a zookeeper — you have a unique voice. You have a story to tell. Creativity doesn’t discriminate. The seed is planted from the moment sperm meets egg. Yes, I just said that. You can go an entire lifetime ignoring your creative voice, or you can (re)awaken it immediately. Exciting, right?

Like anything, writing is a habit that must be formed. And like anything, there are one thousand excuses not to write. But once the commitment is there, you will begin to view writing as a non-negotiable part of your day — and, in time, a quite sacred part.

I suggest you begin by investing in a really kick-ass journal. Remember when you were little and you got to go buy all of the supplies on your back-to-school list? Wasn’t there something about that unopened glue bottle, those vivid greens and yellows in the crayon box, and that smooth, laminated surface of your Trapper Keeper that really got you jazzed? Remember saying to yourself, “This year is gonna be different! This year I’m gonna be organized and focused and super-popular!”

And that didn’t happen. Did it? Well, you’re old(er) now. You’ve been through some tough shit. You’ve discovered that glue dries out, crayons break, Trapper Keepers fade from fashion. But you won’t let that stop you this time. This time is going to be different, because you’ve got the most amazing, enticing, write-in-me-now journal that anyone has ever seen.

The pen is step two. As a lefty, I can leave what looks like an ink-spatter crime scene when armed with the wrong pen. My arm can’t quite keep pace with the speedy ball on the tip and suddenly my literary masterpiece becomes an illegible smudge-fest. You’ve got a favorite kind of pen. Buy back-ups.

I have intentionally disregarded the existence of typing in the above suggestions. I’m old school. I’m ink and paper. And when it comes to reclaiming your morning mellow, why on earth would you introduce yet another screen?

Journal? Check. Pen? Check. Super peaceful, uncluttered, noise-free, cat-free, roommate-free writing space? Check?… Yes-this one can be difficult. But at 6:00 am, my home office is like a tomb. For this step, timing can truly be everything.

Now all you have to do is write. Okay-not that easy. Let’s break it down. I have a toddler. He has teeth. He hates to brush them and my husband and I resorted to flipping a coin when it comes to that inevitably nightmarish time of day. But we aren’t going to be the couple with the kid who has twenty cavities. No way. So we endured. Brows furrowed and pirate toothbrush in tow, we tackled those molars and bicuspids one at a time. And one day, he simply stopped fighting it.

Alarm sounds.

Bathroom. Coffee. Muffin.

Write.

Shower. Dress. Pat dog.

Kiss (with eye-contact). Off to work.

Write through the screams. Write through the taunts from your pessimistic inner-voice. Write through the resistance and the fear and the plaque-coated creative blocks. And one day, you’ll simply stop fighting it.

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