Although it may appear at first that the people who have the most to benefit from writing are writers, managers, businessmen, journalists, or keynote speakers, that cannot be further from the truth.
Each and every one of us can take away something from developing and honing our writing skills, even if it’s just a simple practice of keeping a journal.
As human beings are social animals, we need to communicate with each other on a daily basis.
Although the majority of that interaction is carried out verbally or non-verbally, a great deal of communication requires us to write. The most obvious example of this is posts or messages on social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr. This also includes text messages we send each using our smartphones, or through platforms like Skype, Viber, and WhatsApp.
Of course, emails still have their place and some even still hold on to the lost art of writing letters. These are all instances where we are required to write, but what about benefits of writing just for the sake of writing? How can we make use of that?
The following list contains eight reasons why good writing skills can improve your life, and make you a well-rounded, happier individual.
1. Writing Helps Your Clear Your Mind
We've all sometimes felt the need to vent and speak our minds in order to get our point across.
Well, writing can help you do that.
Try and write down all of your thoughts, grievances, doubts, fantasies, and pretty much everything else that crosses your mind. Just write, without thinking about what lands on paper or your computer screen. It may seem like the end result is something pretty chaotic, but that’s not the point.
The point is for you to clear your mind, so that you can go about your day, working, solving problems, and just enjoying life. Without all those thoughts in the back of your head distracting you, you will find it easier to work and focus, no matter what your profession is.
2. It Will Help You Recover Memories
You will be surprised at how writing is able to bring back old and almost forgotten memories.
Start writing down those which you do remember. Before you know it, a certain word or a phrase you’ve put down on paper will trigger some other memory you would never have thought of otherwise. Some of those memories won’t be pleasant, but you will be able to look at them from a distance and put them perspective, and ponder how much you have learned from those experiences.
On the other hand, happy memories will put a smile on your face, and you will remember events and people you care about, driving you to get in touch with them again.
3. You Will Be Able to Stockpile Ideas
It is a good rule of thumb to always write down ideas that pop up out of nowhere because you will be less likely to forget about them that way.
You can try and keep them inside your head but, seeing as we live in a digital age, we process an insane amount of information. We are bound to forget most of them, and that includes some great and precious ideas.
However, when you write them down, you will not only save them from being forgotten, but it will be easier for you to develop them and connect them with one another. You can even come up with new ones through brainstorming.
4. Put Your Life Events into Perspective
One of the most basic examples of this is keeping a journal, but it’s not the only way of putting things into perspective.
Writing fiction will also help you analyze things and look at them from a different point of view. You will be able to draw parallels between those fictional events and situations, and those which took place for real in your life. This will help you look at them in a more objective light.
Another effective way of doing this is to start a blog. This will make you think long and hard before you write anything down since your work will read by an audience. Set up an account on WordPress or Blogger, and publish your first post.
5. Improve Your Verbal and Writing Skills
When you are writing something down, you become more careful in choosing the right words. This means your writing will be more eloquent, concise, and elegant than your actual speech.
But, if you keep at it long enough, plenty of those beautifully put together words, phrases, and sentences will begin to find their way in into your verbal speech. You will start to use an expanded vocabulary, which will leave a better impression of you on the person you are communicating with. Both your personal and professional lives stand to benefit from this. Try and follow some of the tips written here.
6. You Will Feel like You Have Accomplished Something
You know that pleasant sense of accomplishment after building or fixing something, or winning a simple game?
You will also get that feeling once you finish writing a short story, your daily blog post, or your latest journal entry. Those who are more ambitious can take on writing a novel, or a book, which is even more satisfying and brings a greater sense of accomplishment. But, for the time being, stick to shorter forms and, who knows, you might even be able to publish some of your work down the line, or earn some money on the side thanks to your writing skills.
7. It’s a Great Mental Exercise
Keeping in shape doesn’t just apply to exercising your body regularly. You can do the same for you mind as well. Writing activates a number of different cognitive processes, and unleashes your creativity.
All of this will keep your brain sharp and active, and it can even act as a preventative measure against some mental illnesses, such as Alzheimer's or dementia. If you are interesting in finding out more about the mental benefits of writing, check out The Power of Story.
As you can see, there are plenty of ways in which you can benefit from writing on a regular basis, even if you are not a professional writer. All of the aforementioned reasons will lead you to become a more accomplished, eloquent, and satisfied individual.
Great writing skills go a long way toward establishing you as a more complete person too. You will be able to improve your social life, and also maybe become a better professional.
Start writing today and reap the benefits.
About the Author
After a few years being a freelance teacher, Laura decided to become a freelance writer and editor instead.
She has worked many happy years as a writer, where she helps to edit the work of some of their most diligent and professional writers.
She one day hopes to own a ranch in Texas and has already started saving for the deposit. You can contact Laura via Twitter @LauraJonson13.
This essay is a winner of JetWriters Essay Writing Contest 2015
Author: Luiza Costa Ribeiro
Many students may bemoan the fact that college education is largely made up of writing. Writing is challenging and learning to write well is even more so. Some may wonder if all this writing is actually bringing them any benefit? How will students use these skills in the future?
In truth, possessing good writing skills brings enormous benefits. You don’t have to go into one of the “writerly” professions (novelist, journalist, academic) in order to reap the benefits of this skill. Studies of corporations show that 80% of employees earning a salaried wage list writing as part of their job responsibility (California Writing Project, University of California).
Here are some of the reasons why writing essays in college is important:
Getting more out of your college education
Learning to write well in college will not only help prepare you for the future, but will help you get more out of your college courses.
Writing requires that you learn how to do research. Learning how to locate and decipher sources that are credible and relevant is an important skill that will serve students throughout all of the academic courses.
Writing essays requires you to be a more attentive reader. As you read, you look for clues to themes that support your argument and ideas. New ideas may emerge that you hadn’t thought of. Your thoughts begin to shape opinions and align evidence to support them.
Academic writing trains you to be analytical. You will be taking the thoughts and ideas of others and putting together an argument based on that research. By doing this, you’re forming a new argument and joining the dialogue on the subject. The better you get at this, the higher you’ll climb in esteem and the more your words will have value to others.
Part of your job in academic writing is to take complex ideas, break them down, explain and simplify them. Learning to go from the complex to the simple is an incredibly useful skill that you’ll be able to apply in all of your coursework, even if it’s hard sciences or mathematics. Questions like “What is the most common denominator?”, “Why is this issue important?”, “Who/what will be affected by this issue?” will allow you to get more out of your classes. Finding the meaning and importance of something is a great starting point for in-depth analysis and learning.
As you learn to seriously apply these skills to your coursework, you’ll get more out of your classes. Though it may not seem like it at the time, academic life, for most, is finite. The more you can get out of your limited time where you have the luxury to explore thoughts and ideas in an academic environment, the longer the information and skills you’ve learned will stay with you after you graduate.
Enhancement of future employment opportunities
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Writing isn’t just for college papers. Our world is all about writing. Tweeting, posting, messaging, emailing, and other forms of communication involve some form of writing. The better you get at it, the better you’ll be able to represent yourself on social media as a professional person whose words are worth reading.
As you search for your niche in the professional world, you’ll be required to communicate about yourself in written form. Resumes, cover letters and email pitches are all written. If you’ve honed the skills to write in a way that’s dynamic, compelling and coherent, you’re a few steps ahead of the rest of the crowd. A well-written resume, even if the applicant’s experience is limited, has the ability to convey their intelligence and potential to employers.
Your analytical skills will serve you well when writing business proposals, and your training to provide facts and evidence to back up your claims will make you a natural at writing them. Business proposals, written communication to superiors, colleagues and other members of your network are all a chance to come out as a thought leader, a professional and an expert in your field.
Besides that, you’ll likely have learned to hone your revision and editing skills during your academic career. Sending out resumes, cover letters or emails that are not only well-expressed but demonstrate a mastery of grammar and are typo-free can make a big impression.
The California Writing Project whose aim is to illustrate the importance of learning to write well, cites several examples of how writing can serve you in the workplace:
“According to most corporate leaders, employees who are skilled in writing are the most likely to be promoted and the least likely to be outsourced or eliminated.” and “More than 90 percent of mid-career professionals recently cited the ‘need to write effectively’ as a skill of ‘great importance’ in their day-to-day work.”
Improvement of analytical skills and self-expression
Author E.M. Forster once said, “How do I know what I think until I see what I say?” Indeed, writing has the ability to reveal your inner thoughts and opinions in ways that may surprise even you. The better you get at writing analytically, the easier it is for you to apply those skills to other aspects of your life. People who write in journals often find it a useful form of exploring self-awareness. By writing down your thoughts and opinions, even on non-academic subjects, you are honing your ability to express yourself, to identify patterns, observe events and consider possible solutions.
Learning to write well is a great investment, not only in your college career, but in your future career path. The writing skills you develop today will continue reaping rewards for decades to come. Don’t dismiss your academic writing assignments as a medieval form of scholarly torture. They will bring you the researching, analytical and self-expression skills that you’ll use in various ways throughout your life.
1. Renee O’Farrell, The Importance of Good Writing Skills in the Workplace
2. Bill Stifler, Learning to Write Well, 1998
3. California University, Calofornia Writing Projest, Why Writing Matters
4. Marquette Unibversity, What Makes Writing So Important?
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