Writing is a wonderful practice — whether you choose to publish your writing or not, the simple act of putting your thoughts and ideas to paper will help you grow as a person and a professional. We often view writing as means to an end. But writing in itself has many benefits that go beyond getting information across to others.
I started writing four years ago, first in spurts and then eventually consistently. I didn’t realize how beneficial writing is to the author before I began, which was an unexpected gift for me. Now it’s a regular part of my routine and an important part of who I am. Through writing, I get to express my ideas and clarify my thoughts with others and am enriched by their feedback.
It Clarifies Your Ideas
Simply writing down your thoughts forces you to think about what you want to express. Sometimes I have an idea I am grasping at, but I do not know quite how to write about it or even what I want to write beyond the initial idea. When I start sketching my thoughts, I slowly start to understand beyond the first concept.
Writing forces you to think explicitly. If you are going to make a point, it must be clear. While reading is passive, writing is active. To write, we must gather our thoughts and put them together to explain our ideas in an understandable way.
During my writing process, I may have a hard time navigating where I ultimately want to go, but to write, I need to identify my point – it must be coherent, especially if I want to consider publishing it. Sometimes I evolve my thought process as I write, as I may have started in one direction, but then when I read it back, I find myself disagreeing with my initial writing. This constant learning is what makes us grow.
Leave a Record
One of the main drivers for my writing was leaving a record for my daughters. I wanted them to know how I worked through my challenges as I was going through them instead of after the fact when I had forgotten the details. My daughters may not end up working in my field, but they’ll at least have my work if they ever need it.
My articles have also been useful in my company, as everyone has subscribed to my newsletter so that they can better understand our decisions. I’ve written about processes, systems, company structure, and creativity within companies, and these articles also serve as a reference for training purposes.
Finally, my writing helps me have interesting discussions with those around me. Individuals may comment on a piece I wrote and provide feedback, which can open the door to a conversation around the topic. Before writing, I often found myself wanting to discuss the topics that I obsessed over with others. Now that I have found an outlet for my thoughts and ideas, others who are on the same journey often find me.
You Learn it Better
I have found myself in conversations, making a case for a point that may have been difficult for me to argue in the past. Previously, although I felt strongly about my opinion, my thoughts were not always clear or structured.
Nowadays, I have written about almost every business topic that interests me. Whenever I find myself talking about these subjects, I no longer feel like I need to search for supporting evidence for my argument. I find that I know my thoughts better than I did before and can discuss them with others.
When I was writing my book, there were subjects I wanted to explain in thorough detail, but as I wrote, I discovered many gaps in my understanding of the topic. I had to go back and research more to ensure I fully comprehended the content. I learned so much as I researched, much more than I would have learned otherwise.
Whether you write in a journal or a blog, the process can become an essential part of your development as a professional. Nobody ever has to see your writing, but if you publish it, it will force you to take your practice to another, higher level. Writing can easily become part of your routine. It may be hard at first, but the more you nurture it as a habit, the more fruit it will bear.