I'm rarely found without a journal or notebook in tow. My creative mind functions on a different plane when I'm writing by hand. Writing a little bit each day initiates incomparable mind/body connection; its own form of meditation. Whether for yourself or as a gift to loved ones, writing is good for the soul.
4 Steps to spark your writing:
1. Go Shopping!
Yes, I said it. The gorgeous journal you look at every time you're in a fave store? Buy it. Have a pen or pencil you love the feel of in your hand? Buy that too. Maybe you're school shopping, and see a notebook with a llama cover that speaks to your soul (or possibly inner child)—you should definitely get it. I suggest stocking up on a variety of items like cute note cards, journals, pads etc. Have an artillery on hand just in case.
Writing is sensual, feed the flames. If you have the tools, you're half way there!
2. Find the time!
Oh wow, definitely haven't heard this one before... "I just don't know how you find the time to write." Some days I want to bite off heads and say, "Really Becky? How about those six hours a day I see you were on Facebook?" Only you can prioritize your time, what matters most. I'm usually nice, and explain the traps of staring at your phone too much instead (Poor Becky, she really gets the pointy end of my pencil on the regular). One of my famous sayings is, "If you don't take the time, you'll never make the time."
How about you stop finding excuses and start finding time?
A lot of people I speak with say similar things, "I'm not creative like you" or "I wouldn't know what to write about". Here's a little secret... there is no secret. That's right. It's thoughts, intentions, prayers, seriously anything that pops into your head. Have you ever wondered how your favorite author comes up with ideas? I can tell you it's not from sitting around thinking about writing. Pretty sure they will all tell you how many painstaking hours they've written over a lifetime.
Just remember, this is for you. Write about what your kids did today, or your pet. Write about the jerk that cut you off in traffic and made you swear for five miles. Maybe your couch started speaking to you in a funny accent after that third glass of wine last night. It doesn't have to be good. It doesn't have to be read by anyone ever again.
Just start putting pen to paper, and see where it goes. You might surprise yourself.
4. Set tiny goals!
Especially when first starting, it's important to give yourself something to shoot for. Whether it's a note to Aunt Ethel thanking her for the knitted cap she sent you, or maybe it's to fill one page in your journal. If you're really at a loss, give yourself a goal of 100 words a day. Does that sound like a lot? It's not. It's the average number of words in a single paragraph. Bet you text more than that on a daily basis. I guarantee if you make a pact with yourself to stick with it, you'll be writing more than 100 in no time.
Getting started is half the battle. Keeping it up is the next step.
I cannot say this enough to those of you interested in writing. Just start. Write notes to your kids in 10 years. Hell, write notes to yourself in 10 years just so you can look back and laugh, or cry, or be proud of how far you've come. All I can tell you is how special written words are later on. Sure, you text words every day. I'd be willing to bet you can't remember what you texted last week. The only way you'll see texts from ten years ago is if you run for office.
There's a different cognitive connection between pen and paper versus your phone or keyboard. I find the less time I spend on electronics and the more I spend with pen in hand, it affects my entire outlook.
Careful! You might fall in love once more with the written word, a romance that's lasted centuries. My sentimental soul hopes and dreams you'll keep the spark alive.