If you’re like me, you are probably feeling some physical, spiritual, and emotional whiplash during this crisis. Sleeping is hard. Your relationship with food or alcohol feels unsteady. You can’t think clearly. Being indoors for extended periods of time (or all the time) hurts a lot. Your life feels like a never-ending date with Zoom.

There are many ways we can ground ourselves to try to feel less “stuck.” Some ways include praying or singing. Others involve painting or stretching. Here’s one more tool for your toolbox: writing for 10 minutes each day. It’s not for the purpose of publishing a brilliant novel or a beautiful essay. Most people can’t do that, especially under stressful circumstances involving a global pandemic. A 10-minute writing practice will simply help you connect with your mind and heart, release some of the longings or worries that are swirling inside your brain, and make more space for you to access your truest self.

Here’s How It Works…

  1. Choose a prompt. (See a list of prompts below.)
  2. Grab a pen and a piece of paper, jot down your prompt, and set a timer for 10 minutes.
  3. Now write! Keep your hand moving the whole time. Even if you need to doodle, keep your hand moving. Science suggests that writing by hand without interruption helps us access our inner truths in meaningful ways.
  4. Do not edit yourself! Don’t write with a destination in mind. Just write the first thoughts or feelings that bubble up. We spend our whole lives editing and not enough of our lives feeling, expressing, and releasing what we really care about.
  5. Give yourself permission to write the worst garbage in the world. In order to access the good stuff, we need to release all of the junk. Want to tear it up and throw it in the trash after your 10 minutes are done? Excellent! Do that.

Some Writing Prompts…

The one true thing in this moment…

What’s in front of me…

Here inside my home…

What I’m letting go of today…

What I’m grieving…

What I’m trying not to think about…

What makes me feel most alive…

Everything I know about trees…

Expecting the unexpected…

I have what I need to…

Our Relationship to Time…

It can be useful to understand if specific times of day or night (9:00am vs. midnight vs. 3:00pm) help you access language differently. What would it feel like to write for 10 minutes right when you wake up in the morning, before you even speak? What would it feel like to write at the end of a long day right before you fall asleep? Consider writing for 10 minutes while you’re eating lunch. Or maybe write immediately after you get out of the shower. Sometimes the shower is an oasis for generative thoughts.

The Power of Making Lists…

You might find that writing sentences isn’t working for you. That’s okay! One way to try to break that lull is to make a list for 10 minutes as your writing practice. Here are some types of lists you might want to generate:

Animals in the sea…

Birds that fly…

Every type of fruit I’ve ever eaten…

Bodies of water…

Countries…

My favourite songs…

Write Alone or Write Together…

A 10-minute writing practice can be a great way to take time for yourself. But you can also try it with a family member or a friend. Sort of like “parallel play” but different. Try organising a “Virtual Writing Booth” and scheduling time to step into the booth together. After your 10 minutes are up, you may want to share what you’ve written. Or maybe you simply want to wave, smile, and move on with your day.

You’ve Come This Far. Keep on Going.

Mazel tov! You now have a new daily practice for navigating this wearying time of uncertainty. Give it a try. If you miss a day or two, don’t be hard on yourself.

We’re all in this together — and we’re going to take it one word at a time.

Article by Author/s
Avatar
Jordan Namerow
Jordan Namerow is a feminist writer, strategic communications professional, and facilitator. With more than 15 years of experience in the nonprofit industry, she is passionate about helping teams and leaders deepen their impact at the nexus of storytelling and social change. A graduate of Wellesley College and Columbia University, she was awarded the Schusterman Fellowship for Jewish leaders. https://www.jordannamerow.com/

Comments are closed.

NEVER MISS AN ARTICLE AGAIN!


Enter your email address below to subscribe to our newsletter