There are many reasons to write regularly. I don’t mean writing to communicate like emails or text messages, but journalling, writing fiction or working on a well-researched topic.
Why is this something we should do? Why write a story when there are already so many other stories out there? What makes me think my writing is so much better than anyone else’s? For anyone feeling the resistance, I want to talk to you today.
Writing is Working Out
Writing is not about impressing someone with your vocabulary or turn of phrases, just like how going to the gym and working out is not about beating someone up at a Costco parking lot. Going to the gym is about taking care of yourself and doing something for your physical health. Writing is very much like going to the gym, but instead of working out your body, you are working out your mind.
If you’ve ever done any meditation, you know that you are supposed to focus on mindfulness, which is being conscious of what you are thinking about, but you are not chasing any of those thoughts, you are simply allowing them to pass unencumbered.
Writing, on the other hand, you are chasing every thought. You are capturing all your thoughts. You are making connections with all your thoughts. You are analyzing them and diving into them and understanding why they are there. Writing, when it is flowing, can get you into that meditative state. Writing is the blend of exercising and meditation if that makes sense.
You are working out your thinking muscle, which can apply to literally every part of your life from business to communicating with your friends. Like working out, you allow writing to be an outlet for your emotions. Before you yell at something, write. Combine it — go for a walk and then write. It is possibly the healthiest thing you can do.
Writing is Finding Time to Think
We make decisions every day and we call that thinking, but it isn’t, really. It’s reacting. We are reacting to the surrounding environment. We are reacting to what people are telling us. We are reacting to our mood and emotions.
Let’s be honest, in day-to-day life, we are not too far off from mindless zombies trying to get through our responsibilities and obligations so we can go home and lie down. We get through the day without analyzing or reflecting on what we’ve accomplished.
Socrates says that the unexamined life is not worth living. He means that if you don’t take time to understand the decisions you made, then you don’t understand your goals, you don’t understand what you are living for, and you don’t have any wisdom to pass on before you die.
If you block off some time to write, you will have prioritized time to think and examine your life. This is time to reflect on your previous experiences and what you’ve learned. This is the time to examine where you are in relation to the goals you want to achieve. This is time to record the ideas you want to share.
And here is the most important thing: I rarely know how I feel about a topic until I write about it. Anything political, anything philosophical, and anything about art, I don’t truly know until I sit down and write about it.
We all write for different reasons, but these are two reasons I write. Let me know why you write in the comments below.
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10 thoughts on “How Writing Helps You Think”
I have to say, I’ve never thought of it this way–writing. But, I see your point.
Thanks for checking out this post, Jacqui! Glad it resonated.
I agree, writing is great exercise for the brain! Great post!
I appreciate the support! Thanks for checking it out.
Oh my goodness. It was so relaxing listening to you. Love that soundtrack. Writing is definitely a think-intensive activity. I have also had experiences where writing is what helps me fully flesh out how I feel about something, my personal philosophies. Question for you: are you using some sort of teleprompter? Otherwise, if you memorized this, you are blowing my mind.
Hi Raimey, thanks for checking out my video and the post. I don’t have a teleprompter but I do have a lot of bloopers 😛 I write about my personal philosophy as a writing prompt often, something like: Is it more important to be respected or liked? You learn a lot about yourself as you write.
I work out a lot of personal demons when I journal. It keeps me sane or sanish. hehehe
Anna from elements of emaginette
Love that line: writing is finding time to think. So true.
This was GREAT to watch and listen too! And I agree with you 100%. For me, writing is therapeutic. I use writing as a way to work things out before I react to them. What a great way to say it!
I’m Damon McMann and I’m a writing lyricist of 23 years. I write because it’s like breathing for me. I must write. I’ve tried to let the lyrics go so many times but they’ve always found their way back. Honestly I wouldn’t mind selling them but I write for my own pleasure first n foremost. I’ve been through things in life that I write about n My friends n family tell me stories all the time and I just put them into lyrics as well so I would have to say it’s definitely my main exercise n it helps keep me going. I definitely wanna leave something concrete after I’m gone for my kids to capitalize off of n grow my legacy into something even stronger and that pretty much sums it up for the reasons I write.