All spring and summer, it was nothing for me to write seven, ten or even twelve thousand words a day, most days. I would wake up in the morning, roll over, grab my MacBook and literally just start typing from the moment I woke up until I knew it was time to move to the next thing. (Usually brushing my teeth, washing my face and getting coffee.)
That was partly a habit that I had installed. A commitment to using my daily writing to actually be the housing place for all the things that would surface in my mind. Any random thoughts, any musings, basically anything that came to mind, if there was anything about it that was “note” worthy — it got recorded. Written down on the screen, with these fingers as the conduit.
But there was another aspect to that much writing that not only did it feel like I “had” to do it (habit) but I really, really, wanted to, as well. And thankfully, not like all habits, this habit of writing out all the random musings that came to my head a very powerful “clearing” effect on my mental state.
Through writing this way I was able to distinguish between things that actually did require my attention and planning, energy and efforts and things that were just taking up mental space and didn’t need any of my energy at all. Through writing I was able to acknowledge what was there, get clear on whether or not there were actual next steps to take or not, and then move on. The moving on looked like either taking action on those next steps or simply moving onto the next thing, whatever it may be.
What would often end up happening is after having cleared out all the random thoughts and worries, concerns, fears, excitements, planning, I would then be open for whatever true creativity wanted to come through. It’s almost as if all the smaller-but-more-pressing issues were clouding the larger-but-more-optional ideas that wanted to present themselves.
I have not maintained this type of vigor with my daily writing the past several weeks, and I have felt its effects in my mental state. Even habits we really, really enjoy and see incredible benefits from are not always enough “in and of themselves” to keep us engaged. Especially when life continues to happen and events continue to unfold and it appears other things are begging for more of our attention.
For now, It’s 10:30, and it’s time for me to sleep. I have invested the last few days in taking all kinds of new actions. Most of them aren’t things I’ll ever do again, or at least not in the same way. But once you find something that works, keep working it. It’s why I will keep coming back to these words on this page.