The image that comes to mind when we hear the word ‘writer’ is a recluse, hunched over a word processor, obsessively trying to produce the next great piece of literature. Writing is much more than the image suggests. If the definition of writing is putting thoughts on a page, we are all writers.
Just like how you don’t have to be an artist to draw, you don’t have to be a professional author to reap the great benefits of writing. In fact, almost everyone grows and improves from having a writing habit.
Here are 5 surprising benefits of writing:
1. Writing makes you happier and more productive
Warren Buffett, Richard Branson, and Bill Gates are successful people who write on a regular basis. Mr. Buffett spends a great deal of time thinking and writing. He feels writing is key to refining thoughts. Richard Branson uses a standard-sized school notebook that he believes is his most essential possession. Mr. Gates describes the benefits of writing as a means of sitting down and re-evaluating his thoughts.
These are just a few of the many examples of people who know the value of writing. For them, writing is a tool for encouraging creativity, expression, and thinking. Writing is incredibly useful to many people. Research shows writing affects the mind.
Research indicates expressive writing improves mood and well-being. Those who engage in writing frequently, see a reduction in stress levels. Laura King conducted the research that suggests writing about future dreams and achievements makes people healthier and happier.
“Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.” – Benjamin Franklin
2. Writing inspires and influences your own self and others
Writers grow to appreciate the power that words have. Those who enjoy writing often want to bring enjoyment and happiness to others. Other reasons people write include the need for validation or income, pushing boundaries, or making sense of experiences.
Entrepreneurship and writing may seem unrelated. Any professional position requires writing, but writing is not necessary to be successful. Regardless of how much someone relies on phone calls and in-person meetings, much of communication happens through writing.
Writing is different than speaking. Every word receives consideration before it is put to the screen or paper. The process functions as thinking in slow motion. It allows one to find better words for abstract ideas and catch faulty logic. As you pick through your brain, you end up editing your own writing.
3. Writing makes you empathize with others
Writing forces the writer to consider the audience of a memo, sales proposal, or business plan. By developing the habit of writing, you start to naturally think about the audience. As you become better at writing, you adjust strategies, actions, and behaviors. A simple phrase change or change in pace can shape your perspective toward a particular demographic set.
One of the best problem-solving avenues is writing. The process allows people to mindfully distil and digest experiences. To untangle a mess in your mind, write out your thoughts to become aware of the language you use. Let a colleague read what you write and provide feedback. This method often proves fruitful.
4. Writing creates self awareness
Journaling is a self-awareness tool that allows us to discover who we really are, cultivate self-love and acceptance, and change things that need changing in our lives. The process helps identify things that drag us down or hold us back. We learn to address such issues in a concrete, positive manner.
Terry Tempest Williams wrote a work entitled, Why We Write. She listed a page and a half of the benefits of writing. Personal writing is a great avenue for dreaming and brainstorming. When used as a private journal, writing is a means of self-reflection. Writing hones thinking. It is similar to meditation. Writers tune into themselves and think deeply about business practices, philosophies, and other issues. Writing bolsters creativity and generates ideas.
Writing and conversation are separate but related skills. They use the language center of the brain. Improving one helps improve the other. Conversations are often thoughtless and quick. Therefore, it is more likely that writing influences conversational ability.
“I think self-awareness is probably the most important thing towards being a champion.” Billie Jean King
5. Writing helps you reaffirm your goals
Writing exercises combat automatic filtering and sorting processes in the brain. When you write, you are journaling for mental health. Free writing allows the capture of streams of thought without filtering the information.
Overcoming mental filtering helps clarify thoughts and explore possibilities. Free writing allows the brain to look outside our scope without staying too focused. The process allows us to move forward from a place of stymied creativity and dig for new ideas. Seeing written thoughts allows manipulation of them in a tangible way. Becoming better at writing lets us expand on ideas by adding erasing, and deleting words.