Writing One Sentence Per Day: How it Helped My Creativity
| 3 min read
It’s been a long day. There’s much for you to make sense of; there are things from this day you could think about for hours on end. Or maybe very little happened on this day — perhaps it felt empty or unfulfilling. Or was it a day full of joy and excitement, a day you’ll cherish for the rest of your life?
Whatever today was, it likely wasn’t like the day before, and it likely won’t be like the day after. As these days, weeks and months roll by, each presents their series of hills and valleys, their moments of brilliant sunshine and crushing rain. How do we balance this variation? How do we use it for self-help or personal development, in however small a way?
Journaling is a common outlet for people to reflect on each day, and it is a practice that comes with numerous health benefits. I do something similar, and perhaps it could be viewed as journaling by some. Every night, before I go to sleep, I write one fictional sentence.
This practice is both a creative and emotional outlet for me. I take out a notebook and, without overthinking, write a sentence that channels emotions I felt in the hours prior. I try to make these sentences engaging and full of life, both summing up a complex day and challenging my own creative boundaries. My sentences have varied greatly in length and subject matter, but I try to avoid low-effort sentences like “he walked his dog to the store” or “they went to the movies.” Sometimes, sentences like those are all that comes out, and that’s alright. The important thing is to just put words on a page, however short, long, simple or complex the sentence may be.
Here are some examples of sentences I’ve written recently:
- “All across the fields, fire spread: Smoke and screeching orange against a pitch black 3 p.m. sky.”
- “It slouched there in the rain, tried and failed to catch raindrops in translucent palms.”
- “And the busses kept driving by, kept dragging glitched, dying sonic passages behind them until midnight struck, and all the streets went dry.”
- “Do you remember the cows which grazed between skyscrapers?”
Some of my daily sentences have grown into short stories and poems; others have become sources of new personal outlooks. Every now and then, I’ll flip through my notebook and trace my life — the best and worst of it — through tiny, fictional worlds that help me understand so much. Perhaps writing one fictional sentence per day can do the same for you.
If writing one fictional sentence per day doesn’t feel right, you should still try some form of creative writing — whatever is most comfortable for you.
The mental and physical benefits of creative and expressive writing are numerous, especially for those working through trauma. If writing isn’t something you enjoy, other creative outlets like painting, videography, music and dance have similar health benefits.
Opinions expressed in this blog belong solely to the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan or its subsidiaries and affiliates.
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