Ah primer in what getting into the habit of writing can do for everyone. Even – gasp! – non-writers.
by George Dy
I’m not going to tell you that you should write every single day, nor am I going to list out reasons that would make my arguments general enough for everyone. This is merely a story of how I believe my passive writing has helped me in the last year.
It’s not uncommon for people to have daily writing recommended to them. History has been written in journals and there are probably hundreds of more reasons why it’s good for all of us. But in my time writing and even “thinking of writing,” I didn’t think there was any really compelling argument about why we should or shouldn’t. In fact, I searched it up, and this is what I got:
Google showed me results with varying arguments. Some people would argue that unconstructed writing produces too many incomplete thoughts and works, while others would argue the opposite, that getting into the practice of writing would help spark ideas and provide structure for habitual writing and thinking. What all these arguments had in common was that they were targeted at writers, novelists, people that wrote for a living or wrote to achieve a final product. There are mentions of Hemingway and Stephen King, etc.
But , I’m arguing something a little bit different.
I’m not a writer and I don’t think I’ll ever profess to be. The longest thing I’ve written is in academia, and that was never too exciting. Up until about November of last year, I still didn’t write regularly. I’d try to force myself to write in my blog, or I’d try to physically write in a journal. But as many habits do, it trailed off. So like many others, there was just no way of getting me to sit down and write what was on my mind (even at a minimum). What I did instead was had lunches, dinners, or casual conversations with people, which was where I would do my “documenting” or unload of what was floating around in my head.
The problem with these talks is that, while they’re inherently fulfilling, they’re fleeting. They’re temporal, in a sense. It’s the same problem I dealt with when traveling. I’d refuse or forget to write in a travel journal and as a result, I’d lose context of small details of the trip – all the nuances that make my trips so much more meaningful. And just like my quick chats, much of the detail is lost soon after the trips were over.
So I write. I write because it’s hard to remember everything. I write because it’s become a relaxing habit. I write because it’s private. Yeah, all my writing today starts as a private note. Too many people are afraid to write because of the time commitment or the resulting discussion. It’s an increasingly large problem due to the growth of the Internet and privacy. We no longer really ever find ourselves alone. And it’s because of this I choose to write privately first—with the option to share if it’s what I would deem a shareable thought.
Read it all (the details are important)