There are a plethora of benefits that come along with writing every day. Whether you are hoping to improve your vocabulary or sentence structure, record your dreams, or simply document the daily events in your life, writing can have an incredibly positive impact on your life.

You don’t have to wake up in the morning each day and write a few pages of your first novel. Instead, begin to form a habit of simply jotting down a couple of thoughts each day. Avoid overthinking it. Something very simple works fine, such as: “It’s Thursday morning and they’re calling for rain all day. The dog isn’t going to want to go out for a walk in this dreariness. Hopefully, the sun is back by the afternoon.”   

By writing for five minutes at the beginning of each day you can vent any concerns or frustrations and begin your day on a fresh note. Furthermore, you’ll find that it’s natural to begin a bit of self-reflection or exploration during your morning writing. Perhaps, you’ll realize that you often find yourself writing about a certain goal you hope to reach or realize that you’re very critical of yourself. Taking note of what comes to mind when you wake up each day is a great way to begin making a conscious effort to be kinder to yourself, improve your focus, or address what weighs you down. The habit of writing daily can improve your self-discipline which can assist you in achieving almost anything in life.

Besides cultivating self-awareness by translating your thoughts into words, you can also begin to expand your vocabulary and writing skills. Have you ever found yourself sitting in a meeting and forgetting vital jargon that would help you prove a point? Or maybe you’re trying to write and you cannot recall a particular word that seems stuck just at the tip of your tongue, but the memory just won’t come through. By getting into the habit of writing each day you can begin to stretch and exercise your mental word banks that may have decreased as the digital era took over. Keep a thesaurus nearby or subscribe to a “Word of the Day” email so that you begin using a new or forgotten word each day in conversation or on paper.

Pay attention to how you write. Does it feel better to just put pen to paper and let thoughts spill out? Do you like to think things through completely before writing the first sentence? How do you connect the daily events in your life or describe your family, career, or home? Without fail, most people will find that their writing skills improve without much effort after they begin the practice of writing a bit each day.

If writing about your day to day life doesn’t sound like something that you’d be interested in, consider keeping a dream journal. Keep the journal next to your bed and when you wake up take a few minutes to jot down anything that you can remember about your dreams. Over time, you’ll realize that you can suddenly remember details about your dreams that you couldn’t before. You may even see how certain themes in your dream may have significance with something going on in your life.

Most people lead very busy lives and have schedules full of work, household responsibilities, and distractions. However, writing a little bit each day is a wonderful way to take the time for contemplation. You may find that it helps you to alleviate anxiety, relax, and gain clarity and insight into your life.

Originally published on Michael Wolkind QC’s website.