Every day I write a page in one of our notebooks, and share it over various social media channels, and, as of today, I have been doing that for 776 straight days.
I'm often asked the hows, whys and wherefores of my daily pages, so in this blog post I wanted to share the process I use, and the reason why I write my posts - I hope it is of interest....
Back on the 11th January 2016, it seemed like a good marketing idea to share an interesting quote on one of the pages of our notebooks - not only would the quotes be interesting and useful to others, but it would obviously showcase the quality and colours of the notebooks.
For the first few months, the quotes were laser printed, either with or without a handwritten thought, or they were written out in my best handwriting. They were nothing too different, but I managed to keep the consistency going, and posted something every day.
Around four months in, I started stepping outside my comfort zone and experimenting with different page layouts, trying to be a little bit more creative. It was pleasant for me to experiment with my creativity, and a few more people seemed to like the pages I was writing. Then on May 7th 2016 I wrote a whole page about why I thought Writing Helps. A few more people liked and commented about it, and that feedback spurred me on to experiment a little more and, more importantly, start sharing my thoughts more freely.
Over the next couple of months, I experimented with various page styles before I settled on the right-hand style I have used for the last 18 months or so.
I share a page every single day, usually on the day it is written. It takes me anywhere between 1 and 2 hours to create the page, and there are times when I know that it simply won’t be possible to create and share on the day itself; for example if I have to be on the road by 5:00am and I know I won’t be back until late, it wouldn’t be good for my health to get up at 3:00am just to write the page (I know, because I have tried), and on those occasions I have written and photographed the page on the day before, and then shared it on the actual day.
There are other times that I have tried to get ahead of myself, and build up a collection of pages, but I soon fall back into my old ways of writing the page first thing in the morning, and then sharing it before I properly start my day. I’ll be honest - I would like to get one day ahead, as a way to take some of the pressure away on those days when it is difficult to get going in the morning, but I have never succeeded in making that habit stick for more than a day or two.
I generally start with an idea of something I wan’t to write about, and then I look for a quote on that subject. I try to find unusual or little-know quotes because I think they often convey greater meaning, but sometimes the great quotes are the ones I use. Some days I’m not sure what to write about, and so I will just go off in search of an inspiring quote, and usually that’s enough to unblock my mind.
Once I find my quote and/or subject, I draft out what I want to say; I used to just free-write my thoughts, but often I would lose track the point I was trying to make and end up with something wishy-washy, or so full of errors that it meant that I had to start over again. I usually change my draft as I am writing it out onto the page to make the point better, or to make it read more easily.
I use TWSBI Diamond 580 fountain pens to write the posts - I just love the way the ink flows from the nib, and they seem to encourage me to write neatly. The main TWSBI I use has a Fine nib and I use Onyx Black ink. I also have a different 580, with a wide 1.1mm nub, which is loaded with a mixture of Diamine Red Dragon and Diamine Ox Blood Inks.
The ReasonI used to think it was just habit that made me share a page every day, but I came to realise that I was getting real personal benefit from the process.
I find creating the pages is a great creative practice. Organising my thoughts into approximately 100 words can be a challenge, but over time it has become a discipline, and I do think that my creativity and my communication have improved as a result.
I believe that the act of writing out the words on the page is a very mindful and relaxing experience - I have to clear my mind, because if I don’t, I make mistakes, it’s as simple as that.
But by far the biggest reason I why I MUST share a page every day is the value they bring to others. I love when people comment that my thoughts have helped them a little, or bought them to a personal realisation, or have simply given them something different to think about. I am genuinely touched and invigorated by the positive feeling and energy shared in the comments.
I can’t imagine not writing a page every day - I may change things up a little when I get to the 1,000th page, but it will be an evolution rather than a massive change.
Writing really does Help…..