Today is the National Day on Writing and, I’ll admit, I never thought I’d enjoy writing to you weekly as much as I do. Do you enjoy writing? Whether you already have a passion for the written word or not, I hope to tell you why I think it’s worthwhile to step away from the noise and give writing a try – as well as provide some helpful tips! You must know I love hearing from you, so read on and let me know if I’m onto something.
In life I find myself asking the “why” question the most. So why write? When I searched online, I discovered many benefits to writing – some I didn’t even know about! Here are my favorite reasons to write.
First, the creativity. In a life filled with routine, writing feeds my soul by satisfying my thirst for creativity. We all have a unique voice and a unique way of thinking. Picking a topic or a thought and painting a picture of it on paper with words reminds me of who I am.
Second, writing improves my communication skills. As I go back and read what I wrote, I catch patterns that need improvement. Hearing myself helps answer the basic question: would I want to listen to me?
Third, writing helps me put events, thoughts, and ideas into perspective as well as learn from them. I often find myself seeking knowledge on the subject matter and discover something new each week that’s interesting.
Fourth, writing helps me find my voice. It is still something I’m working on and enjoying the process. Reading some of the things I scribbled from past helps me further establish my tone, style, and feeling in each sentence every time I write. Creating my unique identity and signature through this voice helps me get to know myself better and be better at expressing myself.
Last, and perhaps most important for me, writing is my way of meditation. Finding an opportunity to step away from the noise, slow down my breath, and just focus on one topic is a gift. While talking about focus, I must add writing has also been a great way for me to improve my skills there.
So how about those tips you promised you may ask? Here we go!
Writing with a pen and paper is best for diaries and memorizing things, but I almost always use the iA Writer app. I like how it’s built to eliminate distractions. Instead of many buttons and menu bars, it offers a clean white page with a simple black font. I love the focus feature which grays out the previous sentence (or paragraph if you choose) so your thoughts can keep flowing. There are other features as well that help improve your writing such as detection of fillers, clichés, and redundancies in your writing style.
When is a good time to write? I imagine everyone is different, but I feel most creative in the mornings before life happens and the world around me is still somewhat quiet. With a hot cup of coffee, I truly enjoy discovering, expressing, and reflecting through these paragraphs.
Editing and reading over what I write is not something I do enough of but I’m always amazed how much I get to improve my message by doing it. Also knowing I’ll read and edit what I wrote helps me speed up my first draft. This alone keeps my creativity flowing at a great speed. So, this is 2 tips in 1!
Cut to the chase when writing! That’s something I tell myself often. Finding ways to get the message across with less words and get it out there earlier in each paragraph is something I aspire to get better at each time I write.
Writing my first draft really fast and avoiding distractions when thoughts are flowing helps me capture the momentum. My mind often goes 100mph and I tend to suffer when I stop writing midway. It takes me more time to get back onto the train of thoughts and speed things back up again.
For my style of writing, I use humor and don’t shy away from showing personality. I realize what I write needs to be entertaining so I sprinkle it with humor which makes it a fun piece to both read and write!
Clarity is something I pay a lot of attention to when I revise my writing. I sometimes find myself mumbling too much or talking about too many things. Finding the balance between writing an article that’s easy read with a simple message and making it feel rich is a fun challenge.
I often look at the flow of what I write and add transition words that connect things nicely. Keeping the reader engaged all the way to end is always the goal.
So what’s your favorite “why” for writing and tip you find most interesting?
– Burak Sarac, Team Lead
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