Happiness

Over the next few months, I’m going to answer specific reader questions on the blog. If you have questions or topics you need help with, please email me or leave a comment at the bottom of this post. I don’t know if I can respond to all your questions, but I’ll do my best. Enjoy!

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Tammy,

I would be interested in articles about your writing process and some encouragement to make writing so important that I stick to it, even if there is no remuneration or even readers – to write just for the sake of writing, you know? Often I think there are more important mundane things to do before I allow myself to spend time writing, but I fear that’s the wrong priority.

— Martina

Coffee and writing; taken with my iPhone 5s

Martina,

I still remember the bright pink Hello Kitty diary that I wrote in as a sixth grader. I hid the diary behind my collection of miniature troll dolls; those little figurines were considered collectables during my tween years. But that’s a whole other story.

Today, I want to encourage you to develop a consistent writing practice, even if you aren’t compensated and even if you don’t have readers. Why? Because writing can take you to awesome places.

Below are three things I’ve learned about writing. I hope these thoughts will encourage you to begin a writing practice.

1. If you want to write, you have to make the time and space to write. No one else will do that for you. Start small by setting aside a fifteen minute block to write in your journal. Dedicating a portion of each day to writing will give you confidence to start bigger projects. For example, I started this blog in late 2007 after journaling for years. Since then I’ve consistently shared my essays and photos with readers. I began blogging because I wanted to become a decent writer and I knew blogging would help me develop a regular writing practice. It’s offered me that and more.

2. Writing is one way I practice gratitude. For example, everyday I write a gratitude list in my journal. This is an important practice for me because it’s easy to neglect gratitude when I feel stressed or anxious. Integrating gratitude into my daily writing practice helps me be a better human.

3. Money doesn’t define my worth as a writer. Also, making money from my writing isn’t a prerequisite to success. However, to be successful I have to stick to a daily writing practice. If I don’t write, I can’t call myself a writer.

Coffee and writing; taken with my iPhone 5s

Today, I keep less of my thoughts locked up in a Hello Kitty diary. I’ve shared my thoughts in books and in blog posts because I believe stories have the power to inspire, transform, and to help others. I think this is especially true when I write about my mistakes, worries, and when I share my vulnerabilities with readers. The act of writing helps me distill complex emotions and understand myself better in the process.

Be well,
Tammy

P. S. I’ve shared essays about my writing process previously:

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