Less than two years ago, I had almost zero published articles with no audience of readers.
However, this never stopped me from considering myself an aspiring writer. I knew I liked writing a lot and always wanted to share my thoughts. My biggest challenge was not knowing where and how to start.
I was lost because I thought I had nothing original to share with the world. This was a big blocker – until I published my first article. The response was very supportive and encouraging. I realized that while new ideas are great, readers are also interested in new interpretations of familiar concepts.
This revelation helped me tremendously to keep writing in public. Writing has been life-changing for me. It has helped me to become more self-aware, find my professional focus, and meet great people on the web.
Here are six of the biggest benefits I’ve seen from focusing on my writing. With them, I hope to inspire you to start your own journey of writing!
1. Regular writing improves communication
We use writing almost everywhere as a way to communicate. However, written communication is not extensively discussed—at least, not as much as verbal communication.
We have much praise for public speaking but barely talk about the benefits of public writing, even though in some workplaces we write more than we talk. If we think that remote work is the future, then writing becomes one of the most valuable tools for effective communication.
2. Nothing else provides more opportunity to learn about yourself
I believe that the best way to become a more self-aware person is to start writing. Nothing else provides more opportunities to learn about yourself. When you make writing a habit, you start noticing patterns that you continuously fall into. This helps you to unlock your personality, and it’s powerful.
As Paul Graham says in his essay on “How to do what you love:”
” ‘Always produce’ is also a heuristic for finding the work you love. If you subject yourself to that constraint, it will automatically push you away from things you think you’re supposed to work on, toward things you actually like. ‘Always produce’ will discover your life’s work the way water, with the aid of gravity, finds the hole in your roof.”
3. Writing is a form of meditation
I have friends and co-workers who meditate regularly to clear their mind and find inner tranquility.
Writing, for me, is a form of meditation. Being alone with your words helps you stay focused for a while. Staying focused is challenging; we humans are easily distracted. When you write, there is no outside; everything fits perfectly, and your body and mind speak a common language.
4. Sharing knowledge online makes the world better
The Internet is one of the most significant knowledge and communication advantages we have over previous generations, and writing online allows us to leverage it.
I think Patrick Collison once said that the biggest leverage a human can build in the world comes from teaching others to do the same. Sharing our knowledge with each other makes the world a better place.
Talent is equally distributed across the world, but opportunities are not, which means that we can build new opportunities for others by sharing what we already know.
5. Writing builds an audience – and friendships
It took me a while to understand the power of the network. Many things become a lot easier when you have a big network of people who are willing to help and support you. Humans are inherently kind to each other, so why don’t we use it to our advantage?
Writing is a great way to build a network of friends and acquaintances. Since I started blogging regularly, I have received many kind emails from strangers. Some of them are my friends now, and we’re in touch frequently. Writing helps you to build an audience, and it becomes a great medium for you to find friendships.
6. It can expedite your reputation and career
Having a strong online presence through writing builds your thought leadership, and relationships with others on the internet helps tremendously with finding your next job or gig. I haven’t found a better way to build a professional reputation than by writing in public. I find that a body of writing on a blog is a better way to show off your skills than your resume.
Over to you!
I hope some of my lessons might inspire you to start your own journey of writing! If you’re interested in more resources on writing, try these on the Open blog:
- 5 Writing Books That Have Made Me a Better, More Creative Writer
- The Best Advice on Writing: 36 Inspiring Quotes for Banishing Doubt and Fear
- 6 Ways My Brain Stops Me From Creating – And How I’m Fighting Back