7 Ways Building A Daily Writing Habit Improves All Areas Of Your Life

Dickie Bush & Nicolas Cole

Ultimate Guide Table of Contents

One of the things we hear often from Ship 30 for 30 alumni is:

“This course changed my life.”

When we first started Ship 30, we had no idea this was an outcome people were going to experience. We thought we were in the “writing” business—not the “change your life” business. And what we ended up discovering (after having thousands of people go through the program) is that if you can build a “writing habit,” then you can build ANY habit.

Writing is a metaphor for life.

And so, when people go through Ship 30, a lot more than just their writing improves:

  • Their ability to hold themselves accountable improves
  • Their willingness to embrace the unknown improves
  • Their discipline and trust in themselves improves
  • Their daily routines & productivity improves
  • Their clarity of mind & thinking improves

Everything improves—including their health, wealth, and even relationships—all because they have gotten in the habit of sitting down and asking themselves, “What am I thinking about? What can I share?” on a daily basis.

Think about how powerful that is!

So, we thought it would be helpful to talk a bit about all the different ways writing every day can (and will) change your life:

1. You are always practicing something—and writing allows you to practice “practicing.”

  • When you wake up late, you are practicing waking up late.
  • When you eat unhealthy foods, you are practicing eating unhealthy foods.
  • When you are impatient with your significant other, you are practicing being impatient with your significant other.

In life, every action we take means we are “practicing” something.

When we practice good habits, we have good habits.

And when we practice bad habits, we have bad habits.

Building a daily writing habit shows you just how powerful our daily actions are—and how, if we aren’t careful, we will end up practicing something we really don’t want to get good at.

(Too many people practice not-writing—and get quite good at not-writing as a result!)

2. The world rewards those who don’t wait for permission—and writing allows you to give yourself (and your ideas) permission.

Nobody legendary waits to get started until someone else says they can.

They just do it.

They begin the journey (whether other people encourage them or not).

When you sit down to write every day, this is what you’re doing: you’re giving yourself, and your ideas, permission. You aren’t waiting for someone else’s validation, approval, or guidance. You are this responsibility into your own hands, and trusting you’ll figure everything out along the way.

This simple habit cultivates arguably the most powerful quality in leadership.

3. What keeps people from making progress in life is overthinking—and writing gives you a vehicle to overcome this obstacle.

People overthink going to the gym.

People overthink eating healthy.

People overthink asking someone they find attractive out on a date.

We all suffer from overthinking in one area or another of our lives. Which means, in order to improve, we need a vehicle—and writing is one of the simplest and easiest vehicles through which you can demolish overthinking for good.

4. People think they aren’t allowed to put themselves out there until they are “credible”—and writing teaches you how wrong this is.

You don’t need to be Tony Robbins or Oprah to be able to help someone else.

One of the surprising benefits of writing and publishing online is that you start to realize how many things you know, and how helpful your knowledge can be to someone else (who might just be 1 or 2 steps behind you). And by allowing yourself to help others at scale, the “illusion” of needing to wait until you’re “good enough” starts to fade.

Anyone can help anyone.

5. One of the excuses people use to avoid doing anything online is “I don’t have a big audience”—and writing shows you that audience size is relative.

If you can’t be helpful to 1 person, you can’t be helpful to 1 million people.

It’s not the size of the audience that is the bottleneck. It’s your own ability to understand what other people need—and then give them that knowledge, support, information, accountability, insight, perspective, etc.

This is also a metaphor for life.

You don’t start when a bunch of people decide to give you their attention.

You start—and little by little, you earn people’s attention over time.

6. People think they have to do everything on their own—and writing reveals that if you put yourself out there, people are very willing to help.

Writing might be a single-player game.

But the moment you hit publish, it becomes a multi-player game.

When you start writing online, and do so consistently, you create an Opportunity Flywheel that naturally attracts people who are interested in the same things you are, who appreciate the way you see the world and think about solving problems, and want to collaborate/create/work with you.

Every single cohort of Ship 30 for 30, Shippers are astounded at the opportunities their digital writing creates for them.

That’s the power of hitting publish.

7. Change happens slowly, and then all at once—and writing consistently documents this journey.

It’s very hard to gauge your own growth.

It’s like watching your hair grow, staring at yourself in the mirror.

The beauty of writing consistently, however, is that you document the entire process. You can look back at things you’ve written 3 months, or 3 years (or even 3 days!) ago and recognize how your writing is changed. You can hear how your voice has matured. You can see how your expertise in a topic has accelerated.

And the truth is: this happens everywhere in your life, it’s just hard to see unless it’s documented.

So, by writing consistently, you have something tangible to look at that reminds you: “I am growing. I am changing. I am on the journey.”

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