How to Build a Writing Habit that Improves Your Life

I don’t suffer from depression but I do need to look after my mental health or things get a little iffy.

Posted by Alex Hawker on October 16, 2020

I don’t suffer from depression but I do need to look after my mental health or things get a little iffy.

With family and work commitments I have a very tight schedule and need to remain productive. I have family who rely on me and work that needs to get done.

We all have life hacks and routines that we rely on from day to day to maintain our poise.

To keep my sanity, I write every day. You could call it journaling, affirmations, a gratitude journal or even a form of meditation. I write self reflectively about my life, or anything that comes to mind, every day.

Why?

At first, I did it because I just knew it worked, even if I couldn’t tell you why.

It’s like having a conversation with a trusted friend and pouring your heart out. Have you ever done that?

At the end you might say something like “wow, you really helped me. Thank you so much!”. Your friend might respond with “I didn’t do anything!”

What they actually did was very important. They listened to you!

In the same way, free writing is like having a non-judgmental friend who will just listen.

Richard Branson once said “my most essential possession is a standard-sized school notebook,” which he uses for regular writing.

It turns out there are scientific reasons why writing helps. An article in Psychology Today lists the following benefits:

  • Improved mood and feelings of happiness
  • Better thinking and communicating
  • Helps you come to terms with trauma
  • Keeps you sharp as you age
  • Increased gratitude
  • Clears your mind and prevents overthinking
  • Increases ability to learn

Why am I telling you all this?

2020 has been a strange year. I found myself at home and not working for 5 months. I was kept busy with a toddler in the house but I also had extra time to work on things I’d been putting off.

So, I built a tool to help me maintain a daily, therapeutic writing habit. It’s called Write Every Day. A website that encourages and holds you accountable to a daily writing habit.

Each day you are held to a minimum of 250 words but you can set your own goals above that. The idea is to maintain a writing streak for as long as you can. The site records what days you hit your goals and awards you Milestones for hitting certain levels.

You’ve probably heard the expression “not breaking the chain”. It’s a principle of habit forming. If you mark off each day as complete, you don’t want to miss a day and break the chain.

I’ve also built in a personality analysis based on what psychologists call the Big 5 personality traits. It’s crazy accurate.

More features include:

  • Self reflective writing prompts
  • Focus mode to beat procrastination
  • Write from anywhere with iPhone & Android apps
  • Military grade encryption (the best you can get!) so your data is private and safe

Sign up for a FREE trial at writeeveryday.app