What Can Writing Do for You?

By Jimmy Warden

Writing is hard. It can be scary, it can be laborious, and it can be boring. But it can work wonders for everyone. While practicing writing, I’ve realized that it has done a lot for me, and I am sure it would have similar effects on you.

1.) Organization

Writing is a way to organize our mind and help it remember. Thousands of thoughts occur throughout a day, hundreds of decisions are made, and many conversations are had. It is certain a few essential items are forgotten by the day’s end. Jotting down important notes in a planner, a journal, or a phone is a proven strategy to improve retention and minimize forgetting.

It can also help plan days, weeks, and months. Writing down dates of events and putting them in a calendar will make that information relevant enough to stick in our brains. It aids in avoiding the blunder of missing a birthday, family gathering, anniversary, bill payments, due dates, etcetera. We can also plan those trips we’ve always wanted to take.

2.) Therapy

Developing a writing habit can be a way to release emotional, mental, and physical stress.

When we feel a certain way, it is difficult to describe why. Writing about it can help us do that. Analyzing emotions through our written words helps express what we cannot say with our mouths; it is an act of emotional release. The more we articulate our feelings, the better we feel, and the more detail we include, the more helpful it will be. This is how we gain an understanding of our triggers. We’ll know what stimuli disorient our moods.

The same point stands for our mental stress. It is a massive challenge to explain our thinking. We seek the exact words to detail our thoughts, but the messages can come out cluttered. We misspeak; we mumble; we misuse words; we can be at a loss for words. Writing about our thoughts, however, leads to more clarity of mind. A clearer mind leads to clearer thinking, which leads to clearer speech.

You might be wondering where physical stress comes into play? Mental and emotional stress can manifest into physical stress — tight shoulders, neck, back — so writing about those things is a proactive way to avoid physical stress.

3.) Wrestle with Ideas

We can be uncertain about ideas. The ones we’re not fully invested in: emotionally, intellectually, or spiritually. Analyzing them, however, can help identify whether or not they resonate with us. If one strikes a chord, that is a sign it’s meaningful. That source of meaning is a determining factor of whether or not we keep the idea in our belief system.

If we’re wary about a decision, old-fashioned pros and cons lists can be reliable sources of information. Drafting a pros and cons list takes the guesswork out of our thought process. It is a visual scale that shows benefits and losses from the possible outcomes of a scenario; that way we don’t have to waffle back and forth about them. That information is pivotal for decision-making because we’ll want to make the decisions that have more pros than cons.

4.) Goal setting

Writing gets our act together. We all have mental checklists of tasks and goals that we want to complete, but we don’t always have a system to help us do that. Writing down our goals can be that system.

Having goals will also help with organization. Our ambitions can be divided into smaller pieces, and we can schedule our days to chip away at those chunks. For example, if we had a dream of writing a book, writing 300 words a day could be the formula to complete it.

So what do you have to lose? Other than time, nothing. But there is a lot to gain. So give it a try! Pick up a journal or notebook and start penning away! Open a word document on your computer or phone and get to typing!

Let the words be your medicine.

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