Do you know what writing can do for you? You may not fully understand why writing matters, how writing helps, or how writing can be so important. Prepare to have your mind blown! Here are 5 reasons why you must develop your writing skills if you ever hope to be remembered as a success on this planet.
1. Writing is Permanent
Have you ever heard of a gentleman’s agreement? There’s a reason these are so hard to defend in court. If an agreement isn’t written down, it doesn’t technically exist. Instead, it’s an argument of emotion and mental savvy to sway the jury or judge. When you write things down, you are creating permanency. Your thoughts, your agreement, your idea, it becomes a tangible object in our world. It becomes – real.
According to the University of Texas, writing has been evolving since about 3,200 B.C. with graphical marks on a variety of objects. Along with the permanency of writing becomes actual reality. The physical impression of language or thought is birthed into existence through writing.
In our minds, abstract thoughts seem so perfect. I can’t tell you how many times a joke in my head sounded SO FUNNY only to find it falter and fall when it leaves my mouth. Unlike with verbal communication, writing things down allows us to critique what we’ve written. This is where the magic really happens and this is why great writing is a skill that can be so hard to learn.
2. Writing is Hard
A very small minority of people believe writing is easy. Of those, most of them don’t write very well. Good writing takes literal, hard, exhausting effort and a great deal of mental toughness. Why is this you wonder? It’s simple, really. The act of writing is actually the act of communication.
When an idea, concept, plot, or anything else is in your head and not on paper, it only needs to make sense to you. You haven’t actually taken that thought and turned it into information that can be communicated. For example, if I wrote an email to my wife with only the word “DMV!!!” written, she would think I’ve lost my marbles.
For my thought to become true communication, I have to put effort into it. It’s far more lengthy to write “We need to renew our vehicle with the DMV before tomorrow!” but this second piece would communicate the thought in my head properly. Many people consider themselves writers or authors but they may not be putting in the hard work to turn their thoughts into true communication.
I’m a big fan of a site called Query Shark. Here, literary agent extraordinaire Janet Reid tears query letters apart and provides incredible insight into the publishing industry. What’s so fantastic about her Query Shark website is that not only do you see how you can become a much better writer of query letters, you also see that it’s doable. Doable with…hard work.
If you want to separate yourself from the masses and shine, you must put in the hard work. Try your best to write down your full thoughts. Then, try your best to edit and revise that writing to even better writing based off your audience. Writing for the right audience can be tricky, but it simply comes down to switching places. If your ultimate reader/listener is a kid, write in a way that best communicates your message to a kid. If your intended reader/listener is a literary agent, be sure you’ve written in a style that a literary agent expects. Same goes for technical writing, school assignments, etc.
3. Writing Creates New Things
I firmly believe humans are creative beings. Our God is creative and created us and we are creative and create other things. Through writing, we have the incredible power to create entire worlds. We can create real emotions and perplexing thoughts that other people will experience.
Artificial intelligence is all the rage right now, right? Creating new things has been the downfall of the robot for a long time. Still today, after many, many years of research and development, robots simply can’t create. They can borrow. They can test. But they can’t create. The best of the best is still based off information fed to it by a creative human being. And, if you’re wise, you’ll realize that non-creative tasks are more and more being given to the robot. Job security at it’s finest is finding a lucrative outlet in a creative space. Or do you think robots will someday determine beautiful patterns and which color is “in” next Fall?
Let’s take the wonderful example of J.K. Rowling, who is literally able to be used for just about every author example imaginable. Through her Harry Potter series, a new world was created. This new world was so wonderful, take a look at the below fascinating facts from the Telegraph.
- Harry Potter has been translated into 69 languages.
- 400 million copies have been sold.
- 200 countries have the book published in it.
- The new Pottermore Twitter account sent 2 tweets and had already garnered nearly 80,000 followers.
- J.K. Rowling earned over $1 Billion, making her the first Billionaire author (who then was also the first thjat gave so much money away she lost her Billionaire status).
- 30 owl species became threatened due to parents giving owls to their children as gifts.
- Platform 9 at the King’s Cross Station was closed due to the similarity in the book.
Does creating something new wield incredible power? You bet it does. Is it rare? Oh, yes.
4. Great Writing is Rare
What exactly is so rare about great writing? The hard work. Hard work is the single biggest difference between successful and unsuccessful books, literature, or content. You’ve heard the saying, sometimes winning is just about showing up.
When comparing great writing to poor writing, you won’t know if one went to a university while the other didn’t, or if one had a mentor and the other didn’t. The only thing you will notice is the great writer poured themselves into their book while the poor writer was lazy. Great writers take their writing seriously and look for ways to improve. Poor writers give up when revising becomes difficult or when other pursuits distract them. Great writers have the end goal ever before them. Poor writers are only in it for the moment.
I’ve discussed before the art of writing and the hard work to pull ahead of the crowd. It’s hard but it’s simple. All you do is write and read. Repeating this indefinitely until someone out there considers you’ve done enough work that it’s worth a price. The price is your tipping point. Great writing is a long term investment because, like a farmer, you put the majority of your efforts into the front-end. Your book may take 6 months to polish for a sale or it might take 20 years. Regardless, that time has little to no reward. But like bamboo, which can grow up to 35 inches a day after a great number of days has passed with little to no growth, your content only rewards you once it’s ready. And, once it’s ready, your content can multiply just like how bamboo spreads, with series and spin-offs and alternate ideas or new opportunities.
As Golden Eggs come from the goose, the upfront investment in your story is well worth it to create great writing that pays you and your family dividends for years and decades to come. But don’t just get caught up on the financial aspect of writing. Writing is fun!
5. Writing is Fun
Between you and me, writing is one of the best kept secrets! Billion’s of people read books but only a handful write books. Why is that? My personal opinion is most people don’t know how fun writing can be! Whether it be a children’s book that makes kids and parents laugh before bedtime or a young adult novel that makes teenager’s eyes become glued to the pages, knowing your writing caused such delight is an incredible feeling.
Each page view my website receives makes me a little happier because I know someone on this beautiful planet has benefited either with knowledge, understanding, encouragement, or guidance. Sometimes people wonder why I even manage a blog. Let me tell you!
I’ve often thought about what I would do after I retire from my professional career. I’ve thought long and hard, you see. Have you? Most people haven’t. Well, I have, and I was trying to figure out what I would do with all my time if money was no object. What would I do for fun, you know? What could I do from any location? What could I do even as typical ailments of old age grip me? What could I do to serve my community and my world? The answer was always a resounding one. I could communicate. I love to communicate, especially in writing.
Now, there is most definitely a financial aspect to the enjoyment of writing. Whether in books or as content generation in newspapers, magazines, or websites, writing is very lucrative. And why is writing so lucrative? Because, writing is hard, writing is permanent, writing creates new things, and great writing is rare.
I love this article by Daniel Nathan on Write to Done about Writing for Fun. In it, he gives some excellent reasons and techniques to focus on the fun of writing and the joy of communicating through the written word. My favorite piece is the discussion on fun writing helping your writing flow. What this means is if you’re not enjoying what you’re writing, you’ll really struggle with finding the right words. But, if you focus on having fun while you write, trying different tactics, techniques, or topics, the words will simply flow from your fingertips.
Try your hand at writing. But, before you set pen to paper or finger to keyboard, I want you to remember one thing. Anyone can be a great writer. Especially, you. So have at it. Write your heart out. Then, revise and edit what you’ve written. Share it with others and begin to enjoy the power of communication, the thrill of being an author, the excitement of creating something new. It’ll be hard, but it’ll be worth it. For tips and strategies in developing your writing, be sure to follow my blog using the link in the sidebar and leave a comment below of what you think about writing. Do you love it or hate it?