Writing is something that we can all do, in one form or another. It is my preferred form of communication, and it is something that I hope to continue doing for as long as I can, as much as I can.

Lately, I have been overwhelmed by the uncertainties and stresses of life. Usually, I turn to journaling as a way to voice my thoughts and work out my problems. But I found myself putting off journaling because I was scared to face the negative thoughts that I had.

Then I realized that I was giving the act of writing itself too much pressure. And I got stressed about not writing enough.

But writing doesn’t have to be wonderful, amazing or complete. It can be as short, unorthodox or even grammatically incorrect as you want it to be. And when it comes to journaling, no one is judging you for voicing your thoughts.

Here are some of the ways that I journal, blog, or just write in general:

  • Write on a physical journal. The feel of a notebook. The touch of pen on paper. The act of journaling on a notebook is the most satisfying one, and for good reason. I have kept all my old journals, and reading back on them every few years or so gives me the feels all over again.
  • Practice non-dominant handwriting while listening to a podcast. I’ve been using my left hand to take notes on my iPad of the (many) podcasts that I listen to – and it’s been an awesome multitasking activity. I’ve wanted to become ambidextrous for many years now, but never found a way to hone it in a fun way. Listening to podcasts gives my mind something active to do while I hone the motor skills of my left hand.
  • Type out your thoughts on an online journal. I made a WordPress blog my private journal a few years back, and I resort to it whenever I’m too angry to write my thoughts on my journal. I love that it’s a blog, and that no one knows about it.
  • Ramble on your finsta. A fake instagram, where you can literally talk about anything you want (and add a picture to complement it). Then, just add the few friends that you know won’t judge you for who you are. Personally, it’s a really good way to update friends on my life without directly reaching out to them.
  • Rant on Twitter. Not a person of words? Feel like complaining? Twitter will do. Again, just add the people that you know won’t judge you, or create a pseudonym (like I do) and let an anonymous audience listen to you.
  • Write book reviews on Goodreads. I know – hear me out. I use Goodreads to keep track of the books I read, and whenever I finish, I always make sure to leave a review so I can have my words to look back on when years have passed and my memory of that particular book fails me. They are not so much book reviews as they are book feels – the elated (or disappointed) feeling I had when I finished a masterpiece. It’s a great way to keep track of your books intimately, and to practice critiquing books (even if they’re not that great).
  • Just create a blog and write away. I have had at least one blog since 2008, and have been blogging somewhat consistently on my current one since 2016. I can’t tell you how amazing it is to look back on my earlier posts and see my writing shift as I become more acquainted with my style.

Granted, I’m someone who likes to write about their own life, so I can dissect and psychoanalyse my problems intimately.

However, something that I want to try to get into more is fiction writing. It’s something that I feel incredibly insecure due to the lack of knowledge that I have about others, but I think can allow me to put my own life into perspective.

There are a few ways I’m going to approach fiction writing:

  • Use a writing prompt generator. Just throw myself under the bus, write about something (even if poorly), and get used to that feeling. That fear of getting started is something that I have to get over, because only then can I improve upon my previous work.
  • Read, read & read. Oh, I love reading a good work of fiction, and hence why I start to write them too. They always leave me feeling elated and craving for more. Books are literally the best form of education and entertainment combined, and my best source of inspiration of producing work that leaves lasting impact on others.
  • Do primary research (if you can call it that)! The last book I read was Elizabeth Gilbert’s A City of Girls, a historical fiction romance novel set primarily in the 1940s of Manhattan, and totally got me fangirling over the Forties, the nostalgia of theatre life, and the aftermarth of WWII. Before she wrote this novel, Gilbert immersed herself in New York and read all about the characters and settings that built her novel. She lived the novel before she wrote it, and that’s what I want to do. Learn about the past that defined our ancestors, and live the stories of those before us.

I’m excited to see how my writing continues evolving in all aspects of my life, and I’m excited to see how it evolves in your life and our community as well!

-Michelle