Five Reasons Why Writing is Important
Most academic institutions make writing an important part of the curriculum; and this applies to all majors, too. The aim is: by the time they graduate with a bachelor’s degree, students will have been trained to write competently. But what’s with all the fuss about writing in the first place? Why is writing important?
Here are 5 reasons to prove the importance of writing:
1) It is a pivotal form of communication in all walks of life.
Words are everything. Words give the world and life and everything in it meaning. And because people must effectively and efficiently convey meaningful information to each other, strong communication is what keeps most of the world moving in the same general direction. (At least most of the time.) Consequently, communication is one of the most crucial aspects of the working world. It’s needed to form trusting relationships, close business deals, conduct interviews, draw in customers and retain clientele, etc. And it’s needed to accomplish things, that’s for certain.
Written communication is just one form of communication, albeit an important one. In examining the aforementioned reasons that communication is important, one may look more deeply and understand how each can be accomplished, in part, through effective writing – whether in emails, letters, social media posts, memos, newsletter, etc. They may also want to consider how each opportunity – like closing business deals, or drawing in customers – can be tarnished with bad writing. For example, a badly worded email, or a letter, with spelling mistakes, miscommunicated ideas, and careless grammatical errors are enough for a potential client to lose interest in a business deal or an investment; likewise, a business contract written infallible, ambiguous language can ruin a good relationship any day.
2) Most jobs require one to do it in some capacity.
Whether it is the law enforcement officer writing a crime report, a teacher drafting a lesson plan for the next day’s class, or a lawyer finalizing the legalities of a business deal, writing is something most professionals are required to do, whether they are employed in white- or blue-collar jobs. In fact, it’s safe to say that because so many businesses and organizations require their employees to at least be somewhat competent in writing, quite a few people are hired simply because their skill for writing is better than that of another applicant.
This is good for college graduates, who have been trained for four years – and sometimes longer – on how to write in the professional world. (After all, the entire point of getting an education is to find and keep a good-paying job/career throughout one’s life.)
3) It utilizes one’s intelligence, education, and critical-thinking skills.
To be employable, people must have two things, generally: experience and an array of practical skills. Writing just so happens to be a much-needed and highly valued skill in the working world – especially in the corporate field and private sectors – not just because most jobs require people to do it daily and weekly.
Sure, it’s true: anyone can write and make paragraphs out of sentences, sentences out of words, words out of thoughts and emotions. Writing well, however, is not an easy thing to do. Not only does good writing result from the pain-staking process of being a sort of expert in using one’s language, but it comes after overtime practicing the skill of writing, too. Writing is the result of reading, comprehending and contemplating information, and it combines one’s own intelligence and capacity for retaining information in order for them to communicate at the most effective level possible.
Those who write well are, in many ways, highly skilled individuals in their language. Writing is an extension of one’s speech, an ally of communication, one that indicates one’s intelligence, their level of education, among other things; it utilizes one’s ability to consider and dissect relevant information for a purpose, and writing also makes uses of one’s critical-thinking skills developed in college. Critical thinking is the ability to actively and skillfully conceptualize, apply, analyze, synthesize, and/or evaluate information gathered from, or generated by, observation, experience, reflection, reasoning, or communication, as a guide to belief and action.
4) Those who write well are good for business.
Imagine the brilliant copywriter writing the next catchphrase that goes on to make a shoe company millions of dollars; the copyeditor who catches a grammatical or fact-checking error describing a product that would otherwise have caused an undesired effect; the technical writer who can translate the language of a computer programmer into the language of the consumer.
People who are experts at writing their language are generally creative people with good ideas, a trait that can make writers excel in the advertising/marketing, publishing and journalism and even political arenas. They convey thoughts in the writing form, ideas that can ultimately entertain a reader, attract a client and woo a potential customer. In several real-world ways, people who are good writers can lead to an increase in revenue.
Good writers with a solid education – because they truly are pedantic souls and, therefore, nerdy about the exactness of the language they speak, read and write – are the best candidates to entrust with details, especially written ones. Good writers are good readers, which can translate to them having a satisfactory experience with editing and proofreading, as well. A spelling error describing a product could mean a business gets sued for copyright infringement. But a highly trained copywriter would likely be trained to look for such errors. In turn, writers can save money – or at least can prevent a business from losing money.
5) Language-oriented people make other’s jobs easier.
The great American writer Mark Twain said:
“Writing is easy. All you have to do is cross out the wrong words.”
His maxim is meant to be ironic, perhaps even a little cryptic. To the everyday person, writing appears to be a very simple activity, just putting one word in front of another to make sentences. But the craftsperson of words knows that’s far from the truth. They know that writing is never easy, and always a challenge … but mostly fun. It’s a very tedious, hair-pulling thing to be good at. And because of this, writers can help others who aren’t good at writing.
For example, the computer software engineer (who seems to speak in a different language when explaining their work to others, anyway) can focus on their job instead of worrying about writing software literature; it would be a writer’s job to translate the information in software literature so that the mass of people can read and understand it. It does not become the engineer’s problem. In turn, because of this, they can focus on what they’re good at.
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Writing every day has numerous benefits far beyond finally getting that novel of yours out in the open. Whether you’re aiming to improve your vocabulary, keep track of your dreams, or keep a journal of all the goings-on in your world, writing daily can bring about some stellar effects in your life.Writing every day has numerous benefits far beyond finally getting that novel of yours out in the open. Whether you’re aiming to improve your vocabulary, keep track of your dreams, or keep a journal of all the goings-on in your world, writing daily can bring about some stellar effects in your life.
A Wake-Up Call for Your Brain
Have you ever hauled yourself to work and then sat there for a couple of hours, waiting for your brain to warm up enough so you could be articulate and productive? That’s a massive waste of time, especially since anything you’d be forced to tackle during that warm-up would be tepid at best.
Instead, consider hitting the ground running by sitting down with a writing assignment while you’re sipping your coffee/tea/wheatgrass smoothie. You can either list a bunch of topics on slips of paper and just pull one from a jar to write about each day, or subscribe to one of the numerous mailing lists that can deliver a subject to your inbox every morning. Figment is great for that, but all you need to do is a quick Google search for “daily writing prompts” and you’ll have no shortage of topics to scrawl about. Getting the gears spinning so early in the morning shakes your brain-meat into good working order, and by the time you roll into the office, you’ll be sharp, focused, and ready to plough your way through anything that lands on your desk.
Stream of Consciousness Purging
Writing a few pages as soon as you wake really is a perfect way to begin your day. You don’t have to write a story, but rather just let all the first thoughts of the morning flood their way onto paper. This could be as mundane as: “Great, another Wednesday morning. I forgot to get cat food so I’m feeding Mr. Fripples a tuna omelet. I have no idea where my socks are. Hopefully Martha will remember to get more coffee for the office kitchen…” etc.
What good does all of this do? It allows you to vent any frustrations/worries that may have percolated in your skull overnight, thus allowing you to begin your day with a clean slate. It’s also a great means of self-exploration and reflection: after you’ve written every day for a few weeks, take an afternoon one weekend to sit down to read what you’ve been scribbling. If you find that the same worries and issues are popping up every day, that’s a strong clue that these need to be addressed so they’ll stop weighing on you. Should you discover that you begin every morning with self-criticism, you can make a conscious effort to be kinder to yourself, and to start your days with positive affirmations, or perhaps something self-loving like yoga, a walk in the park, or a few minutes’ worth of meditation
If you’re looking for a specific subject to write about, consider keeping a dream journal. Keep it by your bedside so you can write notes if you happen to startle into the waking world in the middle of the night, but be sure to take a few minutes to jot down some notes every morning. If you didn’t dream anything, make note of it. If you did, try to write down everything you can recall from the night’s meanderings, even if it’s just vague imagery or colours. Over time, you’ll realise that your ability to remember details from your dreams has improved significantly, and you may start to notice patterns or themes to your dreams.
Vocabulary Maintenance and Expansion
Are you familiar with the saying that falls along the line of “use it or lose it”? That applies to many different aspects of life, and one’s vocabulary is no exception. In an era when texting and tweeting are the main vehicles for communication, many people find that their mental word banks are dwindling in favour of creative ways to condense thoughts into as few words and characters as possible. This can be problematic when you’re sitting in a meeting and can’t remember vital jargon, or if you’re writing an essay and have a word dancing just on the periphery of your memory, but it won’t come through; you’ll likely end up using a term that isn’t completely appropriate, unless you spend time sifting through a thesaurus to find the right word.
One fun way to expand your vocabulary is to subscribe to a Word of the Day email: every morning, you’ll receive a new (and often obscure) word, and you can try to fit that into a conversation or written exchange at some point that day. How fun would it be to toss words like “confrere” and “factotum” into emails to your colleagues and family members?
Evening Contemplation and Relaxation
Most of us have very busy schedules as well as a fair bit of stress on our minds, and it’s not uncommon for these things to weigh on us when we actually have a few moments’ respite from non-stop responsibilities—like when we’re trying to sleep. Consider keeping a notepad or journal beside your bed, and allot 15-20 minutes every night to writing down your thoughts about the day. If there are things that are stressing you out, getting them down on paper to acknowledge them may help to alleviate the anxiety so you can get some rest. Alternatively, you can use that time to think about all the great things that happened to you over the course of the day, so that the last thoughts you have before drifting off are positive, constructive ones.