When was the last time you set pen to paper? Words flowing from heart, to head, to hand; the curling script of your signature scrawl looping across the page?
I’ve been blogging for five years, and it’s been nearly as long since I devoted myself to writing anything substantial on paper. The words I typed daily taking my full attention, the neat, orderly Times New Roman characters preferable to the frenetic loops and angles of my own, impossibly messy handwriting. One more aspect of life and creativity taken by the screens that seem to dominate our surroundings. But then I realized something. And that something was important. As time went on, I became more and more accustomed to typing out my thoughts and increasingly hesitant to write — even just create — with my own two hands. When you set pen to paper, or set out to translate what’s in your head to a tangible thing, you’re exposed to your own imperfections. And those imperfections can be intimidating. How often have you set out to create something that looks incredible in your head, only to be disappointed with the outcome? Search “Pinterest fail” and you’ll see that you are not alone in this world. But that made-by-hand-ness, in all its imperfection, is so vial to self-expression and creativity!
With the start of the new year, I’ve set the intention to use my own two hands more. Not to type (although there will be plenty of that), but to create. To draw, to write, to collage, to paint… to get messy. And this weekend, I dare you to do the same. Get your hands on a fresh journal — preferably one with no lines for the ultimate blank slate — and just start writing.
Don’t think, just write. Write about your day, the day you hope to have, even your plans for the following day. The beautiful thing about keeping it between you and the page is that nothing is too mundane, nothing is not worth writing about… there are no boundaries. Clear your head, get it all out. And then keep going.
Create a sanctuary for yourself where you can sneak away for a little while each day. Grab a cup of something warm and soothing, put on a record, fill a box with writing tools that you’ll feel inspired to use. Allow yourself these moments to capture your life, just as it is. No filters.
Make it a challenge. Commit to writing or journaling, in some way, for 30 days straight. If you can’t find the words, draw. Fill your pages with color, shapes, scraps of paper, and mementos. Be free with your expression.
Need a little inspiration? I’ve created some writing prompts below to get you started:
- Write about the person you thought you’d be five years ago. How does your life differ from what you imagined? How has that vision of the future held up?
- If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live? What is holding you back from making that your reality?
- Write about something someone once said about you that you’ll never forget. Why has that statement or sentiment remained in your consciousness?
- Write about your day hour by hour. Take a photo an hour throughout the day to print out and collage in afterwards.
- What is your most vibrant memory? Write down as much of it as you remember, then ask someone else who was present at the time their side of the story.
More inspiration posts from the BLDG 25 blog