The more our society turns to audio, video and bite-sized content for information, the less we’re inclined to write. Plenty of people write for professional, educational or creative pursuits, but what about everyone else?
When you don’t need to write, practicing the written language can fall to the wayside. But that’s dangerous since there are so many important benefits to starting a regular writing routine. There’s a lot of value you can gain from writing for yourself, even if you don’t have the best writing skills. Here are some of the ways writing regularly can change your life for the better.
Anyone can easily go through life on the path of least resistance. It’s more comfortable to confirm your negative biases than to explore topics that challenge your current opinions. If you want to be a more well-rounded person psychologically and socially, writing about complex topics pushes you to stretch your mind in new ways.
Forming your thoughts and feelings about a controversial or unfamiliar subject can also help you realize your weak points in an argument. If you go back and read what you’ve written, you might notice fallacies or intellectual blindspots you can work on resolving. It gives you a new perspective on life– and the lives of others.
If you can’t think clearly, you’ll likely struggle to communicate what you truly mean. Writing acts as a vehicle to move your thoughts from point A to B– from deep inside your brain to some type of clearly formulated self-expression, whether legibly or verbally.
Feeling unprepared before making a major decision or initiating a serious conversation? Writing “pros and cons” columns for yourself or listing a few bullet points you want the other person to understand can equip you with confidence to express what you want to say. The result? You learn to communicate complex ideas and build your emotional intelligence.
Freewriting is the process of writing whatever comes to mind without stopping. Grammar doesn’t matter, punctuation flies out the window– there’s no right or wrong. You simply write without stopping, even if it sounds ridiculous at first.
What you’re left with is a mix of conscious and unconscious sentences that you can scour for interesting points. Sometimes, ideas and realizations fall onto the page out of nowhere, simply because you started writing and didn’t give up. We tend to stand in our own way when it comes to idea generation. Writing gets your creativity flowing and launches you through the barrier of stuckness.
Studies have shown that using handwriting to lament difficult emotions decreases the intensity they hold. Writing activates you to process adverse life experiences or traumatic events– or at least unbury them from being trapped in your psyche. Instead of remaining a victim to past or present life circumstances, writing things out helps you face reality (no matter how painful) and make space in yourself to move forward.
Even if you don’t have hardships to process, keeping a private journal or notebook can prompt you to reach more profound levels of self-inquiry. Since you’re likely the only person who will ever read this type of writing, you’re free to confide in the pages and discover a stronger side of yourself.
What’s the only thing that outlasts stone, film, photography and verbal storytelling? Writing. For thousands of years, humans have preserved life-changing ideas, stories and discoveries via the written word. Books change lives, recorded testimonies change history and your own words can eventually change your life.
Maintaining a daily writing practice gives you something to look back on and remember fondly. Recording your memories, accomplishments and realizations can hand off invaluable lessons to future generations, and remind “future you” of everything you have to be grateful for.
If you keep up an expressive writing practice for months or years, you’ll probably be shocked at how far you’ve come. You’ll see how you were able to develop your self-esteem, solve complex problems, improve your thinking and clearly explain what matters most. Through that, you may find there’s added meaning to life.
Want to start using words to win in both life and business? Reach out to the team at Hire a Writer to learn from the experts.
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