Some people process the world through movement. Some by sitting still. Some talk to navigate problems and understand life. Some write.
Joan Didion famously explained in her Why I Write essay,
I write entirely to find out what I’m thinking, what I’m looking at, what I see and what it means. What I want and what I fear.Joan Didion
This emerges over and over again in essays, interviews, and memoirs from people who write. Some variation of “writing helps me refine [process, understand, know] my thoughts” or “writing is how I discover.”
It will probably come as no surprise that I relate to all of this. Each time I read or hear someone who writes say one of those things, I think, Yes! Me too! I get it! We are kindred! I belong!
I wrote a few days ago about how since I began working from home, I’ve struggled with figuring out when to shower each day. When I sat down to write that blog post, a blog post about how routine gives me space to think, I had no knowledge of where it would end. Yet, by the time I got to the final paragraph I had an aha! moment about how to fit showers into my work-from-home life.
Beginning the day after I wrote that post, I started setting my alarm 10 minutes earlier so I could get up and shower. That’s it. Showering first thing is now part of my routine, and I feel like I have an extra hour in my day because of those 10 tiny minutes.
It’s a small, dumb example of how writing helps me process life, but I can’t tell you how happy it makes me.