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Write Because Your Heart Demands It

happinessIs journaling your new year’s resolution every year? Do you find yourself giving up after only a few weeks? Chris Grosso and Alice Peck, authors of DEAD SET ON LIVING, share tips to help you get your thoughts on paper and how to stick with it. You may find that the practice helps you stay positive and grateful for the good things in your life.

Journaling has been a hugely cathartic practice for J. [Ivy], me, and so many other people I know, so I’d like to share some thoughts (rather than instructions) that will hopefully help get you started if words are your thing.

  • Write like today is your last day on Earth, your last day of being alive. Write with that kind of passion and abandonment. If this was your last chance, what would you say?
  • Fuck what anyone else thinks.
  • Get out of your head. Sit in stillness and write what you feel. Write for release, for healing . . . maybe even for sanity.
  • Don’t force yourself to write every day if you’re not feeling it. I know this would be considered blasphemy by many writers, but this is my truth, so I’m going to share it how it is. This is something I learned very early on while writing songs. If you’re forcing it, it’s going to be ugly, if it happens at all. If that’s the case, leave it alone and come back to it when you feel inspired. One of the worst things I think a writer can do is force it.
  • If you feel you must write every day, I’ll be the last one to tell you not to, but if that is the case, you’re bound to run into times when the well is dry and nothing is coming out. When this happens, Google is your friend. Simply type in something like “writing prompts” or “journaling prompts,” and you’re sure to get a ton of websites that will provide you with enough writing ideas to last a lifetime.
  • Don’t write for money or fame. Please, just don’t. It’s almost guaranteed to come off as empty, soulless, contrived, and just fucking gross. Instead, write because you want to be heard, even if it’s only by yourself.
  • Write because your heart fucking demands it of you.
  • Write because it’s the only thing in that moment that will help you find any semblance of understanding in this screwed-up world . . . or don’t. What the fuck do I know, anyway?

Need some inspiration from the stars who do it best? Take a look at these reads.

Excerpted from Dead Set on Living: Making the Difficult But Beautiful Journey from F#*king Up to Waking Up by Chris Grosso with Alice Peck. Copyright © 2018 by Chris Grosso. Used by permission of the publisher. All rights reserved.

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