Student takes on New Year’s resolution writing challenge

By Megan Brown

Editor’s Note: Megan Brown is a Stuttgart High School career practicum intern for the USAG Stuttgart Public Affairs Office.

The New Year means one thing, a series of unobtainable resolutions that have probably already been broken. I knew this, and did not want to succumb to the fate of the dreaded failed resolutions, so I decided to do something different. This year my resolution is to complete a 365 day writing challenge.

Writing everyday is not easy. I love to write but there are still days I am freighted by the enormity of this challenge. If I write one whole page everyday in a notebook by 2017, I will have filled just over five notebooks.

However, the benefits of writing everyday override the fears.

According to studies, many benefits have been shown to come from writing daily. For starters writing every day is stress reliever and can clear the mind. It can lead to stronger vocabulary, increased focus, and better expression. Writing also has been linked to an improved mood, and lower blood sugar. Overall, writing daily has been shown to increase brain function, and lead to better recall. According to an article published by Harvard Medical School, regular “exercise” such as writing, changes the brain to improve memory and thinking skills.

Finally writing everyday can spark creativity, and be helpful in achieving a goal, especially in my case. Personally writing daily, I have already noticed some of the benefits, by improving my vocabulary and the speed in which I write. Ideas, and word choices are coming to me quicker, and I complete my writing prompts faster each day.

I am doing this challenge simply because I want to become a better writer. The improved writing speed I am noticing is an added bonus, which I will need for the Advanced Placement examinations coming up this Spring, in May before graduation. In six months I will be going away to college where I will major in journalism. I want to keep my writing skills sharp, so I can succeed in the journalism field.

The challenge I am completing is through Gaia Online and it is free. It is the original 365 day writing challenge with 365 different prompts ranging from snow days, to new beginnings, to jealousy. The prompts are designed to challenge your mind and bring in a new form on writing; as of today I have completed over 40 prompts. The rules for the challenge are simple. The prompts can be done in order or not, although is more challenging to do them in order. Also the prompts can be typed or hand written, writing by hand is proven to be more effective.

While there is no physical or monetary prize for participating, this challenge can still be completed for anyone who wants to write for fun.  It doesn’t take much to do something small everyday to work towards a bigger goal.

Additional Sources:

Regular exercise changes the brain to improve memory, thinking skills