E.L. Doctorow once said: “Writing is an exploration. You start from nothing, and learn as you go.”
As my daily writing experiments have shown, he is right. Writing can reveal a lot about the world and ourselves.
The sheer act of writing unlocks that which is deep within the dusty libraries of my mind.
Until recently, I treated writing as a practical means of getting ideas on paper. It was a stunted, tedious process.
Now I view it as an essential and energising explorative tool.
Writing for stretches can activate surprising explosions of data, emotion, and visions, which previously had been in cryosleep.
I have also learned deeper self-awareness and figured out what brings me to life.
No longer do I need to second-guess myself. My writing has revealed what matters to me.
There also seems to be a correlation between the duration of free-flowing writing and the unearthing of ever more complex and authentic ideas.
The deeper I dig, and the less hard I try, the more truths I find.
Journaling is one thing, but writing on a specific concept for the purpose of discovery can prove fascinating.
The beauty of the following exercises is not only in the ideas you come up with but in what you learn you are capable of; what you learn about yourself that is crying out to be found.
It is confidence-building, and it will take you to higher frequencies.
Spend at least 15 minutes writing or speaking on each of these exercises. Have a deadline. You want to write with a relaxed, directed urgency, rather than a slow aimless meandering.
Free flow and see what comes up.
You might be surprised at what you find.
1. Dreams and Motivations
“Everything you can imagine is real.” ~Picasso
Write about things you want to happen in your life. What is most important to you?
What do you value the most?
You can get material here too. What does your dream house or environment look like and where is it; what kind of work do you want to be doing every day; with whom are you sharing those moments?
How far do you want to go with your career or craft?
What audacious successes would be exciting to aim for?
If you had to choose one craft you could develop mastery in every day, what would it be?
Experiment with ideas that might seem far-fetched. See how they make you feel. There are no limits.
What are the simple things in life you aren’t enjoying enough?
The point with this is to remind you that you had dreams in the first place — to help you realise that perhaps you have allowed them to diminish; to show you what matters.
2. Problems and Solutions
“I believe that if you show people the problems and you show them the solutions they will be moved to act.” ~Bill Gates
It’s time to embrace the suck.
Write all the solutions to your toughest challenge/s that you can think of.
The new clarity will motivate you to take action.
You will be amazed at what you find when you go fast, not stopping to think; only moving to write.
3. Fictional world/characters
“Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.” ~Einstein
We’re getting a little more imaginative here.
Write about a fictional world, city, town, or character in detail. What does it look, sound, smell and feel like?
What drives your character? What do they care for the most? What are they thinking?
Surprise yourself with the depth of your insight.
4. Wins and Thankfulness
In our pursuit of perfectionism, it’s easy to gloss over our successes, and focus on our weaknesses; our lacks.
It can also feel like a waste of time to think about what we’re thankful for. But, when I remember to do it, this has been killer for my wellbeing.
Being aware of what we do have, where we have been already successful, even the small things, feels good.
Write about all your wins in life. Write about everything for which to be grateful. The little tiny gains to the more prominent successes.
This is a space only for positive ideas.
Do this for a while and feel your confidence grow; your frequency climb.
See how you walk a little taller after you’ve done this.
Could this be something you do more than once in the future?
Come up with ideas for a new product, book or invention. Combine two ideas to make something unique.
Ask ‘what if’ questions.
“The power to question is the basis for all human progress.” ~Indira Gandhi
Make two ideas have sex with each other and see what happens, as suggested by James Altucher, an Idea-Breeder at the top of his game.
Think of a problem that interests you that needs solving.
Think about products that you could potentially make with access to the right resources.
It can be a fun hypothetical idea, or perhaps a real invention no-one has ever thought of.
Be a whacky scientist, visionary dreamer, or a logical pragmatist.
See what the words bring up.
What other ideas do you have for 15-minute sprints?