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I have never attempted to kill myself thanks to an article I read in a woman's magazine when I was 11 years old.
This trashy homemaker's magazine, usually found in a semi-damp basket next to my parent's toilet, equipped me with the ultimate defense against the neurosis of the world. It asked,
"Wouldn't you love to know what you were thinking and doing when you were a young girl? Though you can't go back in time, if you start a diary today, years from now you'll be able to look back and remember what you were thinking and feeling."
My 11-year old self decided right then and there that my future self would get to remember.
I grabbed a tiny Hello Kitty notebook that had pink pages and Hello Kitty characters across the top, and I started writing.
31 years and 33 notebooks later, I'm still writing.
I had no idea then the profound impact the habit of writing in a diary would have on my life, but if I could go back and re-write that article it would go like this:
"BABYGIRL! This world is bat-shit crazy and it's only getting crazier! You'll only get so many pockets of air to gasp back some sanity each day, so I'm telling you that one of the best places for fresh air is between the empty pages of a diary. Put your head in there and BREATH! BREATH like your life depends upon it--because it literally WILL.
How Writing Every Day Makes You Better at Kicking Life's Ass
If you didn't hear it directly from a therapist, I'm sure you would already know the well-known mental health benefits of keeping a diary.
Writing out our thoughts helps us to get clear on how we feel about the screwed-up situations or people we have in our lives.
It gives us the ability to distance ourselves from our emotional goo, see circumstances more impersonally, and explore the nature and motivations of the people we meet.
You lie less to yourself when you feel safe to express your weaknesses and vulnerabilities.
Countless times while writing, I've had striking, cathartic realizations about my life.
At moments like that, I'm that woman you see in a cafe by herself in a corner, writing, alone, who looks up in a daze...
I've just realized I've got to dump my boyfriend because I'm not in love with him!
Or, that I'm really not happy with the way things are going.
Or, maybe I realize that I am happy, finally, after a long period of gloom!
Whatever we may be feeling, the regular practice of writing keeps us honest with ourselves. It keeps our heads sorted and more aware of what the hell is going on.
When you start a diary writing session, you're like a tight ball of tangled string. By the time you finish, hand cramped up, third cup of coffee empty, you feel lighter and more alive.
You vow to get out there, make the changes you need, and kick life's ass!
When You Own Your Thoughts, No One Else Can
Ultimately, what diary writing does is help you take back responsibility for your choices.
No longer able to fool yourself, you own your shitty choices, forgive yourself, and take charge again.
When you do this, outside circumstances, people, and ideas have less of a hold on you. You're better able to self-navigate.
All the practice of self-reflection and critical thinking done in the diary then help you out in the three-dimensional world.
Nobody and no thing can fool the person who knows herself well!
Self-knowledge is a great power--a weapon in a neurotic world.
This is why I want to encourage everybody I meet to write, write, and write some more, especially when they are feeling lost in life.
But now you're probably asking, "What do I write about?!" or "How do I write like that?"!
I'm going to show you how, as writing is my creative thing, second to making jewelry.
My writing ability is a big part of why I'm self-employed as a social media strategist now. It literally gave me my freedom from working for the man!
Copywriting, the specific style of writing for content online, is the absolute pillar of digital marketing and all that I do. If you seek to build a business online, you must study and practice copywriting if you expect to succeed at making money.
Writing well in general is arguably the most important career skill you should develop, as it's a part of communication, which is arguably the most important life skill!
Join my Facebook community, Marketing For Creative & Unconventional Women to get help and support for any marketing, social media, or copywriting problem you've got going on right now.
I'd love to help you with your transformation from just a creative daydreamer to a self-employed, freedom-focused marketician!