I have resolved many times to write every day. To keep a diary, or to wake up 20 minutes earlier and jot down some thoughts before the start of the day.
Writing every day is something I think is important. It’s a way to prioritise writing, and to engage in creativity daily. So why, despite so many promises to myself, am I still not managing to just do it?
Part of the problem, I think, is that I don’t really know what to write. Keeping a diary of my thoughts and feelings simply doesn’t appeal to me in the same way that it did when I was a teenager, while writing tidbits of fiction displeases the perfectionist in me. To remedy this, I’ve come up with 5 simple alternative ideas for writing every day:
1 | A gratitude diary
Taking stock of the good things in life is a worthy and satisfying way to incorporate writing into your daily routine. Try listing 5 things you are thankful for today – the kind co-worker who bought you a coffee, or the soft blankets piled high on your bed. If ever you find yourself feeling low, or needing a reminder of life’s little pleasures, flick back through your lists – they’ll be guaranteed to bring a smile to your face, and may even spark that inspiration you’ve been chasing.
2 | To-do lists
There is something very cathartic about checking tick boxes on lists. When you complete a task, and tick it off, you feel a sense of achievement. How about listing 5 things every day that you need to get, do or even just look into? From stocking up on coffee and watering your plants, to researching destinations for your last minute getaway, getting things done and ticking them off will surely bring you joy, and get you putting pen to paper on the daily.
3 | A food diary
I, for one, am trying to overhaul the way that I eat, so that I can be healthier and less wasteful. Ask me to recall what I ate for dinner last Tuesday, though, and I’d have a hard time giving you an answer. But what if I kept a log of the meals that I eat every day? It wouldn’t take much doing – just note down what you’ve consumed as you have your evening cup of tea.
4 | A daily haiku
For the unenlightened among you, a haiku is a short poem spanning 17 syllables, across three lines of five, seven and five words each. If you’re looking for more of a challenging daily writing task, then why not come up with a haiku a day? Though they take a little foreplanning and some trial and error, they’re quick to come up with and offer a novel way to express your daily creativity.
5 | A dream journal
Dreams – such fleeting sequences of thoughts and images. If you’re lucky enough to remember yours, what’s stopping you from scribbling them down as your writing task for the day? Dreams are essentially raw stories and unedited ideas that can provide unexpected inspiration. Write yours down as and when you can recall them; on the days you can’t bring them to mind after waking, how about making them up?
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Successfully establishing a daily writing ritual takes a little creativity. You may even want to try all of the above ideas at once, alternating one day to the next. Once you find your groove, I’m confident that taking a quick time-out at the beginning or end of the day will no longer be a chore.
What do you think of these daily writing exercises? Do you have any tips of your own? Feel free to let me know in the comments!