I listened to Allison Fallon's The Power of Writing It Down while jogging through my neighborhood. Those weren't my best runs, because I kept pulling out my phone to thumb-type a great quote before picking up the pace again.
And yet they were fantastic runs, because Allison's words inspired me to re-establish a daily journaling practice.
On that first outing—with her voice in my ears—I listened through the first chapters and returned refreshed and motivated. Allison's invitation to "unlock your brain and reimagine your life" spurred me to set a timer and launch the first 20-minute personal writing session I'd attempted in a long time.
I continued the practice the following days and discovered I was indeed "getting limbic," as Allison calls it—I was slipping past the nagging to-do list items and scheduled tasks to explore feelings, memories, and struggles. Nothing dramatic transpired (yet), but I've found myself diving deeper and opening up on the page, in private, before the day presses in.
I'm not new to this practice, but I'd fallen out of the habit. I'm so grateful for Allison's convincing call to return to it and reap the benefits.
In this interview, Allison mentions Julia Cameron's Morning Pages, which reminded me of Writing Down the Bones and Natalie Goldberg's explanation of freewriting as a way to get to our "first thoughts." Allison makes a strong case for why and how a private writing practice like that feeds directly into our professional writing, whether through ideas or memories we unearth that can be woven into our work in progress, or through shifts in perspective that add depth and insight to our piece.
Will you join me in revisiting this simple but fruitful activity that can enliven and inform your writing pursuits and projects? I predict you'll begin to see how a daily writing practice will truly unlock your creativity.
And please enjoy my discussion with Allison Fallon. Allison is an award-winning author, sought-after public speaker, and nationally recognized writing coach. She has worked with thousands of people to realize their writing potential and become published authors. She's host of the podcast Find Your Voice, an excellent resource for writers, and author of The Power of Writing It Down: A Simple Habit to Unlock Your Brain and Reimagine Your Life.
On Allison's writing practice:
My daily writing practice happens for 30 minutes every morning, and it's me just sitting down and dumping out my first thoughts of the day. The great thing about this is it's a beautiful practice for absolutely anyone whether or not you want to be a published author. It can bring so much value and goodness into your life, regardless of what other kind of writing you do.
On mimicry as a way to learn writing:
There's something about being able to copy an author that we really admire, appreciate, and adore that helps us get into the groove of finding our own way to say it.
On the right to tell your own truth in your own voice:
Don't I have the right to share my own unique experience of what it was like to live in that household? Don't I have that right as much as he has that right? That's what it means to find your voice. It’s to be able to stand on both feet, to say, “This is how it was for me.” And even if it was different for you, that doesn't change the fact that this is what was true for me.
On how our brain's "catalog" stories and we reinforce those stories through repetition: