One thing I've learned through writing every day is that you need space to think. The day can get away from you with all the hustle and bustle. And when 10pm rolls around and I think to myself...shoot, I need to write...it's much easier if I've had a space in the day to think.
What's interesting is that that space doesn't have be to active thought. I can spend 20 minutes in the car listening to music. That often spurs a thought. I can spend 5 minutes reading something, and it doesn't even need to be insightful. That often spurs a thought. I can spend 10 minutes having a great conversation. That always spurs a thought. And when you know that every day you need to find something worth writing about, it forces you to be more aware and present all the time.
But many days, especially lately, I just move from task to task, from decision to decision without actively engaging my questioning mind. These days I'm rather focussed on July 27th. It is becoming rather all consuming, but I've still got work and businesses and kids to focus on too. The all consuming nature of things tends to force active thought out. Without active thought, though, you just feel run off your feet and you never seem to be able to figure out why. But how do you create the space for thought? Actively. I wish I could say that I stick to a rigorous schedule and write at the same time every day. I don't. I wish I could say that I have an editorial calendar and know what I'm going to be writing about for months at a time. I don't. But what I do do is take constant stock of what is going on around me and take 5 seconds. I take 5 seconds to ask myself if whatever I'm doing is worthy of further exploration. When it is, I take note and spend 20 minutes exploring it through writing.
What has really amazed me is not the product of the writing, but rather the calmness that comes from the process. Faye has told me that she's noticed that I tend to write more when I'm in a happy, centered place. While I'm sure that's true, what I've learned this go 'round is that the process can help put me in a happy, centered place. For me, this process calms the mind, engages you in life and broadens your perspective on the world around you. Even if you've never thought of yourself as a writer, I'd recommend daily writing. It can pull out of the rat race just enough that you start enjoying the journey again.