Thursday, October 16, 2014

I Want to Write More Often

I want to write more often. I’ve been writing more lately and I hope to continue that, and I think expressing why this is important to me is valuable so here is that post.

I want to explore my thoughts more concretely and have a record of how I came to my stands on the positions I believe in, and I want to keep track of the ideas for stories I have. Rather than have some bothering me constantly, I want to feel safe that I can forget things.

Writing ideas can also get them out of your mind. The act of writing about it can often free your mind from the burden of so many thoughts. You can be more confident in an idea, or let it go out of your mind now that you’ve written it somewhere safe and permanent.

I like the idea of turning my thoughts into essays. A thought is ill-defined. A thought is hard to grasp, even inside your own head. Thoughts are connections between so many points in your mind, but a well written essay is a single coherent position. It is a statement at a time and place that expresses a piece of yourself succinctly and I really appreciate that about writing.

Writing makes creative endeavours more accessible and helps keep my brain active and healthy. This practice of expressing thoughts in writing also gives you the practice in patterns of thinking that are better structured. The more of your thoughts find their way onto paper (literally or virtually) the easier they’ll come because your mind will learn to organize them better.

I’ve begun the practice of Morning Pages again after years of allowing the habit to lapse.

Morning Pages are three pages of longhand, stream of consciousness writing done first thing in the morning. *There is no wrong way to do Morning Pages*– they are not high art. They are not even “writing.” They are about anything and everything that crosses your mind– and they are for your eyes only. Morning Pages provoke, clarify, comfort, cajole, prioritize and synchronize the day at hand. Do not over-think Morning Pages: just put three pages of anything on the page…and then do three more pages tomorrow.

I use a version of morning pages called 750words.com which is a fantastic tool that helps you write every day by tracking your words (750 words is roughly three pages) and each month provides a challenge to fill every day with these words.

It has helped a lot. I start every day writing between 750 and 1000 words with as little pausing as I can. In this time I get lots of stressful and worried thoughts out of my mind, or get a chance to think harder about them and settle on decisions that have been bothering me. I begin each day by clearing from my head many of the distractions that would keep me from the things I enjoy and the things I need to focus on.

My work and my happiness have both improved as a result, I believe. I find myself focusing on work easier and I find myself able to enjoy my relaxing and hobby times, as well.

What is most interesting, perhaps, is how much more I have written in this same time. On top of writing every morning, I find myself feeling drawn every day to sit down and write even more and I do. I’ve written, roughly, 20,000 words in the last two weeks. And other creative interests have become easier, as well. I’ve been drawing and (digitally) painting more for the first time in years, and I cannot express how happy that makes me.

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I hope that I do not let up on these changes any time soon.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi.

I wish to inform that you are currently posting everything to Planet Python.

Please, consider configuring your Planet Python submitting configuration to send only Python related posts.

Regards.

Calvin Spealman said...

Being fed through Planet Python does not mean that's the only thing I'm going to write about and if that's what everyone else did I would find PP a very boring place indeed. I've always loved the variety of posts there and the opportunity to get a broader exposure to the interests of the Python community. Try it. Get to know people. If you don't like a post then just skip it, jeez!

adam said...

While I enjoy your site, the flood of non-Python related posts on PP is a problem. I would also appreciate it if you'd adjust your feed so only Python related content went on Planet Python.

Unknown said...

Hi Calvin,

I got your post from Planet Python and I appreciated it very much. I even started with 750 words this morning! (not on the website, but with text files).

I feel that the mind is freed from thoughts that would otherwise stay there and prevent other thoughts to get attention. Writing also helps me to define a worrying thought, and afterwards I often find it less scary.

Thanks for the insights, and all the best!

Anne

Calvin Spealman said...

Adam,

No.

Calvin Spealman said...

Anne,

Glad you found them to be so helpful! Keep it up, they only seem to get more helpful with time.

I write here about programming, how to program better, things I think are neat and are related to programming. I might write other things at my personal website.

I am happily employed by the excellent Caktus Group, located in beautiful and friendly Carrboro, NC, where I work with Python, Django, and Javascript.

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