I’ll always credit my writing abilities to my longtime fascination with writing. From before I even knew how to write, I was gripped by a passion for creating “stories” and little “books.” To this day, I still remember the first “book” I made – on colored paper, complete with drawings, and transcribed in my mother’s handwriting.
As I grew older, of course, my stories grew with me – graduating from handwritten scrawl to carefully chosen fonts, from staples to plastic binding covers (yes, things were getting sophisticated up in there). But beyond the aesthetics, as I continued writing in my free time (which, in the fifth grade, was a lot), I found myself more and more easily coming up with ideas. Furthermore, I started developing a deeper love for conceptualization, and a broader appreciation for language and its infinite complexity.
Now that I’m a senior in college, however, I’ve started realizing this love and appreciation isn’t necessarily shared. If anything, I’ve witnessed peers treat writing as a nuisance, as irrelevant to their path of study, or as unimportant in the “real world” past the era of tedious assignments. More broadly in our culture, seemingly like everything else, writing has become about efficiency – a quick check-in text to your boyfriend or girlfriend, or an obligatory e-mail hastily fired off. Lengthy messages in our on-the-go culture are even looked down upon, and the sender quickly makes an impression on the receiver as “crazy” or overbearing.
Writing has adopted a new connotation as a burdensome task, and seems to have lost its once relaxing, contemplative, reflective associations.
After years of writing in journals and creating stories, I like to think I’ve come full circle as I’m now writing a book as my senior capstone project. And thanks to my longtime pursuit of writing, it couldn’t feel more natural.
With that in mind, I make the argument that everyone should be writing. Here’s why…
I’ve always held the firm belief that avidly reading will make you a better writer, and avidly writing will make you a better reader.
Improving your own grasp of language through the practice of reading and writing will likely improve your communicative skills, both on paper and in person.
Writing in a more personal format, like a journal or a blog, creates a space for inward thinking and reflection. Almost miraculously, the thoughts in your head become vastly clearer once put in writing. When your ideas, concerns, dreams, and experiences are put in writing, you’ve taken the time to phrase them, form a thought around them, draw conclusions, and make interpretations. To me, there’s no better way to reflect on yourself and your experiences.
Whether you’re e-mailing your boss or a coworker, writing a heartfelt card, or sending a letter to explain something you couldn’t quite get out in person, writing for different audiences and situations is a crucial skill. Adapting your style in this way will continue to make you a better writer.
When you’ve acquired the necessary skills and have become comfortable expressing yourself in writing, you’ll be able to more deeply connect with the people around you, regardless of the situation or audience. It’s a rewarding feeling to harness the skills of expressing yourself formally, informally, professionally, and personally.
How might you introduce more writing to your life?
Feature Image Borrowed from //1//
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