Why You Should Write 500 Words A Day… Even If You’re Not A Writer

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash

It takes at least one-hundred words to get the junk out of your system… You must unload the trash before you discover the real gems.

Why five-hundred words? And what are these other mysterious benefits from writing? I choose five-hundred words because it takes at least one-hundred words to get the junk out of your system. The junk refers to the surface thoughts that linger in your conscious mind. If you sat down to write, you could easily pump out one-hundred words. You must unload the trash before you discover the real gems.

Connections Strengthen Creativity

I often reference life experiences when I write. It could be a significant life experience or something as innocuous as an interaction with a store clerk. After I record it, I ask myself what I learned from it. I also look for a connection between the experience and a belief, theory or opinion.

Here is an example you can model

Experience: At a street fair, one of the vendors had a promotion. Tell a bad joke, get a free donut. I tested it, and the vendor was true to his word. He gave me a free donut. The free donut made me uncomfortable. I felt compelled to buy a coffee. No doubt, this was the intention behind the gimmick.
Life Lesson: The principle of reciprocity works even when we know someone is using it against us.

Learning

Once I find that connection, I turn it into a story. When you assemble your story and draw a conclusion, you learn something. Writing helps solidify that learning.

Idea Generation

Sometimes you write about an experience and draw blanks. You can’t find a meaningful connection. When that happens, write about another adventure or experience.

Anxiety Release

I used to worry about a lot of meaningless crap. I think my DNA is wired to worry. I’ve lost many nights of sleep due to anxiety. I still struggle with occasional bouts of insomnia, but they are now sporadic rather than frequent.

Improve Writing

I sandwiched this one in the middle because it is the obvious benefit. You won’t become a better writer by thinking about writing or talking about being a better writer. You improve your writing by doing the work.

Confidence

What is the one thing that keeps writers from writing? Fear about how others will judge your output. When you get in the habit of writing every day, you build confidence.

I’m more open to letting others judge my work and less defensive when I receive critical feedback.

If you haven’t published your work yet, start writing five-hundred words per day. In time, you’ll develop confidence in your work. It may even evolve into a healthy hubris. At some point, you’ll cross a threshold. The desire to share your work will overpower your fear of criticism. That is how it happened for me. I wrote for sixty-one days in Google Docs. On day sixty-two, I published my first story. I was terrified, but I couldn’t stand the idea of keeping all this work to myself. Each time you share your creations, the fear subsides a tiny bit.

Active Observation

Writing five-hundred words per day will make you a more active observer. What do I mean by active observation? Well, a few months ago I would have used the word mindfulness, but I’m sick of that word. I can’t take it anymore. Active Observation also seems to align better with my intent. Think of it as being a participant in the world around you rather than a passive onlooker.

Your daily writing ritual forces you to notice all those quirky, unusual or funny incidents that occur.

You’ll pay closer attention to the world around and your experience within it. It will happen on a subconscious level. You need fresh new material each day. Your daily writing ritual forces you to notice all those quirky, unusual or funny incidents that occur. Most people experience these things and forget about them. By strengthening your active-observation skills, you’ll notice the significance of these moments and look for the meaning.

Experimenter in life, productivity, and creativity. Work in Forge | Elemental | Business Insider | GMP | Contact: barry@barry-davret dot com.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store