Writing is now a daily habit for me and I love it. I really look forward to my writing time each morning – just me, my laptop and some hot tea.
As I spend more time writing, I’ve noticed some great benefits and I wanted to share them in the hope they inspire others to write.
1. You get better at writing
If you haven’t just sat and wrote something for a while, it can be kinda awkward at first. You don’t know where to start, how to lay things out and perhaps you even start to question the point of doing it?
Push through this, because as you start to get used to writing, it soon gets easier and you start to get much better at it.
Why should you care about getting better at writing?
Being able to articulate something in a clear, logical, concise and impactful way is a very good skill to have and will be of great use to you both personally and professionally as you move through life. It’s amazing just how many people can’t seem to get the point they want to make across clearly and this can be incredibly limiting for success in life.
2. You learn and solve problems
Before you start to write about something, it’s probably just a concept that’s been kicking around in your head for a few days. You might have spent a few minutes here or there thinking about it.
But as you start to write about it, think about how to lay it out and start to explore all of the key sections you want to write about at a much deeper level – you end up coming away with a much clearer and well rounded view of it. It’s not unusual to change your mind about something as you write about it.
Take this very blog post for example. I knew in my gut that I was enjoying writing and that it was good for me, but only by sitting down for an hour or so and writing this did I fully understand it. By doing so, I will be able to articulate the benefits of writing to others much more clearly and it will also further motivate me to continue the habit of writing – which leads me to the next reason why you should write.
Matt Blumberg wrote a good piece on how writing about a problems helps him become clearer on solutions here which is definitely worth a read- Articulating the Problem is the First Step Toward Solving It
3. You take action and make decisions
As you start to fully appreciate what you are writing about at a deeper level, you can’t help but start to think of areas you need to take action in or decisions you need to make.
The post I wrote on hiring (Promoting from within vs. hiring from the outside) is a classic example of that.
I’d been thinking about it a lot in the months leading up to writing that post. After writing it, the whole thing became so much clearer to me and this lead to me making three decisions on peoples careers in the following days and weeks. Looking back these have turned out to be excellent decisions and writing that post no doubt helped me with those decisions.
The post I wrote yesterday on the most important factor in building wealth was also a big reminder for me of the principle of generating income beyond simply saving. I have known it for years, but I lost sight of just how important it was. Only by writing about it and exploring some of the math was it a big reminder to me just how important it was. It will no doubt impact my approach and some decisions over the next few years.
4. It’s Therapeutic.
I actually started out writing for this reason only. I would have stuff bouncing around in my head I would be thinking about, worrying about etc. Sometimes for weeks and months.
Taking some time to sit and calmly get it out of your head it is a great way to not only understand it better, but also to let go and move on.
Also as I said a the beginning of this post – the ritual of writing whilst everyone else is still asleep for me is a very calming way to start the day.
A few tips to get you started:
- Set aside time – block out some time in the day where you won’t be interrupted and use that as your time to write. I use early mornings for that reason.
- Start small – don’t set off with the goal of trying to write an essay on your first go – 5-10 minutes or a few sentences is just fine. You can then extend this over time, developing the habit is the most important thing.
- Don’t worry about being perfect – writing a few paragraphs you’re not entirely happy with is so much better than staring at a blank screen or continually starting again. Just write and slowly it will get easier and you will get better.
- Shut down interruptions – close email, instant messengers, social media etc. you need to focus only writing and move to the side all distractions (I love Ommwriter for this).
- Do it in public – it can be a bit scary at first but starting a blog is a great way to get some feedback on your thoughts and you may also help inspire others along the way. Squarespace (where my blog is currently hosted) is pretty awesome and WordPress is another great alternative. Both make it pretty easy to be live within a few hours with a half decent design and without needing to understand the technical side of things.
Enjoy your writing :)