I’ve been writing positively in my journal daily now for over 10 years and if one thing helped me to keep going it was the writing style I was using.
Because my journal is a closed book – in other words it is private and no other human will ever get to read it, it meant that I let myself write about anything I wanted in any way I wanted to.
I only had one rule – and that was to write with an appreciative positive tone.
I found out very quickly that keeping my writing simple was the best way.
And it has worked wonders for me!
You can benefit too if you follow these simple guidelines below.
So, you may be wondering what do I mean by writing style?
And what will the benefits be for you?
Well, your writing style is the way you form your sentences. You can choose to make them simple and to the point, or you can beat around the bush by being flowery, over the top and long winded.
In gratitude writing there is a huge benefit by keeping your writing to the point by being as simple as possible. And this article will show you how to keep your writing simple.
Benefits for You
The benefits are that you will be engaging your feelings more with every sentence you write.
Your words are very powerful – whether written or spoken, and when you consciously use your words in a more positive way, your life just starts to get better and better.
You will soon start noticing this – and feeling good!
Don’t worry! It is a process that will give you more clarity over time.
You will find that when you have more clarity in your life you will feel more in control of it. It is a beautiful situation to be in.
So let’s start!
Writing in a simple way will affect your word choices. You will choose words that are basic instead of complex, short instead of long and easy instead of complicated.
Basic words vs complex words
I choose to use basic words that I normally use in my every day speech whenever I’m talking to someone (think – family member), or on the phone to a friend. I keep it real.
Whenever you are talking to your family or a friend you don’t usually put on any airs and graces because you don’t need to impress them. They already accept you for who you are, so your speech reflects this. It is basic simple speech.
for example –
I’m feeling good, instead of I am feeling satisfactory.
You would never talk to yourself by saying ‘I am feeling satisfactory this minute’ now would you? Instead you would just say ‘I’m feeling good’.
Basic – good
Complex – satisfactory
Here, you have a try now –
Basic word –
hint – imagine talking to your best friend
Complex word –
hint – imagine talking to a noble stranger
Short words vs long words
I use short words instead of long words. Because I am writing for myself I don’t need to impress anyone or to show anyone how intelligent and learned I am, so I can just use a short word instead of a long one.
My ego is not doing the writing in my journal – my heart is.
For example –
I really loved the great weather today! instead of I was very impressed by the extraordinary weather today!
Would you ever say to yourself ‘I was very impressed by the extraordinary weather today’? Most probably not! Instead you would just say ‘I really loved the great weather’.
Short – loved, great
Long – impressed, extraordinary
Here, you have a try now –
Short word –
hint – imagine talking to yourself
Long word –
hint – imagine talking to someone from a Bronte novel
Using shorter words is just easier to do.
Yes there will be a time and a place to use longer words, but when you are concentrating on writing in a tone of appreciation you will find that it is much more effective to use short words because in the process of writing the word with your pen on the paper and saying it in your mind at the same time, you engage your feelings to become involved faster.
This process of engaging your feelings when writing a word – is what gratitude writing is all about.
So when you write short simple sentences about something you are appreciating you will engage your emotions faster and deeper, than if you wrote something complex, long and involved.
If you wrote something complex, long and involved you would be engaging your thinking brain to work out what the meaning of the sentence was first before you got your feelings involved. You would start to lose interest fast. You really wouldn’t be feeling much, and you would wonder what the point of positive writing was all about.
Easy words vs complicated words
And I use easy words instead of complicated ones. If I have to look up the meaning of the word in a dictionary before I am going to use it then there is a good chance that the word is too complicated to use.
Why would I want to confuse myself or distract myself with words I don’t really know the meaning of when I am meant to be focusing on writing sentences that will make me feel good?
For example –
Tonight I felt so good looking at the rich bright yellow sun as it set behind the clouds, instead of Tonight I felt so good looking at the rich patina of the effervescent bright yellow sun as it descended amid the crepuscule blanket.
You would never say to yourself ‘rich patina of the effervescent bright yellow sun’ or ‘descended’ or ‘crepuscule blanket’ now would you? unless you were writing a novel along the lines of Emily Bronte. You would just simply say ‘rich bright yellow sun as it set behind the clouds’.
Easy – rich, bright, yellow, set behind, clouds
Complicated – patina, effervescent, descended amid, crepuscule blanket
Here, you have a try now –
Easy word –
hint – imagine talking to a young child
Complicated word –
hint – imagine using a dictionary
Using easy words is always the way to go. Otherwise you will be distracting yourself from your writing flow.
Because the whole point of writing in a gratitude journal is make yourself feel good in the present moment.
So let’s put those 3 sentences together!
First we will try the complex, long and complicated version –
I’m feeling satisfactory. I really loved the extraordinary weather today! Tonight I felt so good looking at the rich patina of the effervescent bright yellow sun as it descended amid the crepuscule blanket. (wtf!)
and let’s compare it to the basic, short and easy version –
I’m feeling good, I really loved the great weather today! Tonight I felt so good looking at the rich bright yellow sun as it set behind the clouds.
The first one reads like a 19th century novel and the second one reads like, well like something you’d say to a good friend!
When you open your journal and pick up your pen to write positive words, you are making a very personal connection to your heart.
You are actually engaging your heart feelings – those feelings of love, joy, happiness, appreciation and pleasure.
And the easiest way to connect with your heart is to switch off your analytical, thinking brain – take away all the cues that might trigger it, and instead surround your mind with basic, easy, short language that will activate your feelings right away.
Remember – you are writing for yourself – and you are writing to yourself. You are writing to a good friend. You are your good friend.
And when you talk to a good friend – then basic, short and easy is best.
It’s all about the feelings – your feelings! and this writing style gives you control of them.
I hope you found this article helpful? And I hope that you try this at home.
Let me know how you get on in the comments below.
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©Annette F.Tait / The Leverets Nest