NaBloPoMo is almost over. The caption in the logo says Type Your Heart Out and on most days, I did.
And what I want to say to you today is just that: write your heart out.
Writing is not just for professional writers. It is not just for bloggers. Not just for students cranking out a term paper.
Writing is incredibly therapeutic. There is tremendous healing power in letting
your emotions flow out through your fingers. Writing clarifies your thoughts and. forces you to weigh the pros and cons
of what you are saying. Our minds can be a cacophony of thoughts and
writing forces you to organize them. Many of us love to read and we acknowledge that reading brings us knowledge but the funny thing is that writing can be even more illuminating.
When I started this food blog, I intended it only as a place to jot down recipes. I never realized that the blog gave me an excuse and a reason to write and that the writing would become the food and the recipes. It is taking me years to gather up the courage to really write my heart out. Writing (especially under my real name, as I do) makes you feel vulnerable. I'm opening myself
up to strangers and their criticism, their judgement. But the rewards of connecting make it worth it; there are always more friends than critics. Because when writing resonates with the reader, the result is just magic. We know this every day when we come upon books, articles and blog posts that touch a chord.
So, really, I urge you to experience the power of writing. Most of us learned to write when we were just 5 or 6 years old, it a fundamental skill but one that most of us don't use when we're older. You can be your own therapist, your own mentor, your own best friend through the simple act of expressing yourself. Writing can be an safe outlet for negative emotions (we all know how good it feels to vent once in a while). It can be helpful when you're trying to find meaning in your life or struggling with a difficult situation. There are thousands of blogs written by people who are going through tough situations- infertility, loss, cancer- that symbolize the therapeutic power of writing.
It does not matter whether you write on a
piece of paper and burn it, or write a letter and send it to someone who cares. Whether you
write publicly on a blog, or create an anonymous blog, or simply type into a word
doc and hit "don't save" when you come to the end. Write in whatever language comes naturally to you. Write without being self-conscious about your grammar or spelling. It does not matter whether your writing is polished. Just don't be a passive reader of other people's writing. Pick up a pen or keyboard and do some writing yourself.
Some suggestions for incorporating writing into your daily life:
Morning Pages. How can something this simple be so powerful? But it is.
Write a long heart-felt e-mail to a friend. I have a few close friends who live far far away but through long long e-mails, we pour our hearts to each other and stay close. Or write a handwritten letter to someone.
If you read an article or blog post, write a sentence or two and share your thoughts on it.
Do all of this without expectation. Just for the simple joy of writing. It will change your life in big and small ways.