Writing – 3 hidden benefits to letting your words loose on the page
For a long time, I didn’t think that I could write. Spelling is something that I have never been very good at and as such writing became a ‘thing that I couldn’t do’. When I would write, what I would leave on the page would be riddled with mistakes. And that is what I saw. Not the voice that lay behind these mistakes waiting to get out… waiting to be heard. Over the years spellcheck has changed my life… and beyond that (as, really, is there a difference between their and there and all the ‘your’ words out there that somehow lost their ‘r’?) having a proofreader finally gave me the confidence to express myself through the written word. Whether this journey resonates with you or perhaps you have another story that led you to believe that you can’t write, I want to tell you that writing has some hidden benefits. These have the power to change your inner world and the world at large. Want to hear them?
Honouring – Have you ever had someone write about you in a tone of awe or delight? Or had someone write to you their deepest thoughts and feelings in a letter? And if you haven’t, have my words just awoken a longing in you for just that? To hold a sheet of paper between your fingers and read the truth that another sees in you. It is truly an honour to have the gift of the written word focused on you. As such, whatever you write about you are honouring. The very act of noticing it and putting it into words is a gift. A gift for the thing that is noticed, a gift for you and a gift for whoever reads it.
My question to you is – what would you like to honour more in your life? It may be a need to honour your emotions, or your partner. It may be for our gracious earth or for the passionate ideas that burn in your heart. Whatever or whoever it is, honour it with your words.
Discovering – My writing teacher, a man whose eyes shone when he spoke about writing, taught me the notion of capturing first thoughts. Committing to the pages those first ideas that pop up and fade away as a stampede of edited and analytical thoughts run and trip over each other in my mind. The first ones that just want to pour out of me. And what I found is that the more I let these thoughts roll, the deeper I went into my own truth. As a coach, I have conversations with my clients to do just that. Writing has given me a way to uncover the truth under the surface. When big emotions come up in my relationship, I write a letter to my partner (not, it must be said, with the intention of sharing the words with them) in part to communicate and honour my feelings but also to see what is under the surface, wanting to be known. The ‘aha’ moments that come from writing send shivers down my back.
Have a go, see if you can write and capture your first thoughts… and keep that pen moving. See what is being hidden from you that wants to be heard.
Courage – It takes courage to put your words out into the world. To put them out in a way that you have to let go and send them out to let them connect with a reader. Whether this is a letter for one or an article that could reach thousands of people, it is still vulnerable. To write we need to be brave; I believe that anything that we do that teaches us and encourages us to be brave and vulnerable is a gift.
Is there something that is on your mind, something unsaid that you can’t bring yourself to say? Try writing it down. I often write these things as a letter to whomever I have a need to but haven’t spoken to, with the idea that I am just writing it for me. After it is written you can choose whether or not you want to give it to them.
Whether or not you believe that you can write, I believe that there is always something to be gained from putting your thoughts on a page. May your writing journey gift you with the ability to honour, discover and have courage.