Why I Write Every Day
5 reasons why you should start too
“A writer who waits for ideal conditions under which to work will die without putting a word on paper.” — E.B. White
For the past 130 days, my mornings looked (mostly) the exact same. I woke up, meditated, made coffee, read, and sat down to write. Recently, I thought a bit about the (implicit) reasons why I write.
Training my idea muscle. Starring at a blank page every morning and being forced to put a somewhat interesting idea into words is challenging. There are days on which I look at the blank screen for minutes. But at some point, something magical happens. I pick up an old book, find an intriguing thought, or revisit some of the notes from my notebook. A spark leads to an idea which leads to me typing words onto the blank page. Writing every day helps me train my idea muscle. It makes me more creative.
Rooting me in the present day. The only way (for me) to write anything passable is to do it in silence and solitude. It’s almost like a meditating activity in itself. Only me and my thoughts. What I’ve noticed is that it helps me to be present. And root my attention in the present day. It is the starting point to seize the day. Carpe diem.
Beating resistance. Again and again. Any creative knows this: you need to win the daily battle against resistance. As Steven Pressfield writes in The War of Art, resistance is that inner voice creeping up on you getting in the way of doing the work. Sometimes resistance wins. But writing every day helps me beat it consistently.
Building my identity. At the beginning of this year, I proclaimed that I wanted to be a writer at some point in the future. In other words, I had a clear idea of the identity I want to take on in the future. As Benjamin Hardy points out: “You build your identity through your actions”. Hence, the best way for me to slowly but surely form my identity of being a writer is, well, to write.
Breaking up with perfectionism. In my work, I tend to be a perfectionist. I have a high standard of quality I uphold my work to which oftentimes leads to me not “shipping” my work. Not only in writing, but also in product building, designing, or coding. Forcing myself to produce a piece of writing every day in a relatively short time helps me break up with perfectionism. It allows me to focus on shipping. Which, ultimately, is the only thing that matters.
Even if you don’t want to be a writer, I think establishing a daily practice like writing (perhaps only for yourself) is a great way to live a better life. It makes you more aware, creative, disciplined, and overall happier. Even if you just write for yourself, in a journal, for 5 minutes a day in the morning. It will unquestionably reveal big ways for you to change your life.
“Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.” — Benjamin Franklin