We have just begun our adventure into writing, and I already immediately see the benefits. It’s a bit painful to even vocalize them as they all just sound cliché. Anyone that has been in the self help space will reactively just say “duh”. But here we are.
Clarity In Thought
Writing makes you realize how cluttered and unclear your ideas truly are. They may seem brilliant and clear when discussing with a friend or colleague, but verbal dialogue leaves so much room for things to go unchallenged. As you go from sentence to sentence, you never have to wrestle with the validity of each sentence you say as long as the whole picture paints an agreeable narrative. However when you are writing, you don’t have that option. Every sentence and ever thought is eternalized right in front of you and laid bare. Is that really what you believe? Does that sound right? Would I defend that? Could I defend that?
Two Minds Can Be Four
We take for granted how valuable it can be have another person to pick up where you left off. With enough thought and time spent, you should be able to rip apart any of your ideas and you should be able to finish any of your trains of thought. But having another person in the conversation can take that process and shortcut it drastically.
You may have arrived at a dead end in your line of reasoning that will take minutes/hours to work through. You may not have realized the reason your argument leads to a bad end is because of a small mistake you made at the beginning. Luckily they remember wondering about something you said at the beginning. When they point it out, you immediately acknowledge the mistake and start correcting your line of reasoning.
Instead of spending an hour trying to go over your thoughts with a fine tooth comb, your thinking partner helped you move past that stumbling block within seconds. When writing, you don’t have this convenience. You are stuck with your own thoughts and the only salvation for your poor argument is yourself.
A forgotten skill
Besides all the substance of the actual writing, there is the actual writing itself! It turns out it is a skill, just like every other thing we do. I may write alot in forums and with friends on the phone, but these are wildly different skills. I know that my current writing is not the best unless I spend ungodly amounts of time editing. I know I will get better over time and that editing process will be integrated. But till then I have to force myself to keep writing, past the uncomfortable feeling that I know it’s not my best work. The other option is paralysis from analysis and never starting to write.