Writing is a cathartic way to express yourself freely. There are a lot of benefits to writing from being able to capture your thoughts and memories, enhancing your vocabulary, and more. However, if you’re trying to work on yourself, then writing can truly help you with reflection, a large part of self-development work. Below are several ways to incorporate writing into your life that can help with self-development.
Stream of consciousness writing
Practicing stream of consciousness writing is exactly what it sounds like, writing what comes to your mind as it comes to your mind. The great thing about the stream of consciousness writing is you’re literally just writing your thoughts as they come to you. Easy, right? This can be a great way to become aware of what you’re thinking, see patterns of what’s constantly on your mind, and allow you to talk yourself through your thoughts.
Reviewing your stream of consciousness writing can give you a lot of insight into what comes up in your mind a lot, what you’re worried about, and what you might want to change in the future.
When you practice morning pages, you’re basically doing stream of consciousness writing. You just write what you’re thinking and keep going until you’re done. You can commit to a certain number of pages each day or set a timer for 10 minutes and just keep writing until it goes off. Or you can be a little more flexible and just write as long as you feel like or until you run out of things to say. The key for morning pages is that you commit to doing it first thing in the morning to unload your thoughts so you can start the day with a clean slate.
Many people have journals over the years and everyone does it a little differently. Some do it to keep memories, some do it to just unload their thoughts and feelings. Having a journal that you can sit down and write in daily, or as you feel inspired, can be a wonderful way to take time to reflect which is a huge part of self-development. The best part is that you can do it in a way that works best for you.
The above methods of writing are all about writing what you’re thinking at the moment, but with prompt writing, you’ll be taking certain prompts into consideration. When writing based on prompts it will bring up other thoughts you may not think of on your own. You can choose, or create your own, prompts that align with the self-development work you’re doing so that it can all work together.
Prompt writing can be anything from searching for prompts on the topics you’d like to explore or sticking to the same prompt each day, for example, if you want to keep a dream or gratitude journal.
When coming up with creative hobbies to take one, a lot of people overlook writing because there’s the assumption that you have to be a natural-born writer. But the opposite is true in that anybody can take on writing as a way to express themselves and work on their self-development.
If you're a writer and could use a book recommendation on unlocking your creativity, check out Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert.
If you've read that one already try the book, Be That Unicorn: Find Your Magic, Live Your Truth, and Share Your Shine by Jenny Block.