I figure I’ll start off this first post with the reason why I’m engaging in this endeavor in the first place. For a while, especially in high school, I really took solace writing in my journals. I wrote about my thoughts, feelings, ideas, and also penned some cringeworthy poems. But I also found writing an invaluable tool for reflection, growth, creativity, and learning. I genuinely believe I would be quite a different person had I not been engaging in this activity.
However, for the past year or so I feel like I’ve neglected writing in lieu of other activities and hobbies. I’ve started to feel discontent and unhappy without knowing why. I’ve been experiencing some extreme mood swings that destroy my motivation and enthusiasm. I feel like I don’t understand myself nearly as well as I had previously thought.
So here are some reasons, listed in no particular order of importance, as to why I write, and why (if you don’t already) you should start to too:
- “Express yourself.”
Often times you might feel like you have no one to talk to. Or you don’t want to burden others with your problems, especially when they’re as whimsical or ethereal as emotions. It’s unhealthy to bottle these feelings up though. They consume your mental resources, and leave you feeling tired and irritable. Writing it all down will really let you unload your mind, and evaluate your feelings from a distance.
- “Collect your thoughts.”
We all suffer from monkey brain syndrome at times, especially with the assortment of technologies that surrounds us. Our mind races, and we think of a multitude of things at once. If you don’t find an outlet, you will quickly wear you out. Find a way to quickly quantify your thoughts to free up your brain’s RAM to prevent yourself from crashing.
- “Remember your history. Learn from the past. Know thyself. Self improvement. Growth.”
Although sometimes the stuff you write can be downright cringeworthy, it can also be hilarious and enlightening. These are precious memories and thoughts that, at least to you, were very real. If you can remember your past, then you can better understand yourself and prepare for the future.
- “Be honest with yourself.”
Use writing as an opportunity to be 100% honest to yourself. What are your feelings? Why are you sad? Do you fancy someone? What do you regret? These are questions that only you can answer for yourself. And these answers are invaluable to your growth, and can guide your future actions toward happiness and success. So start asking yourself the hard questions.
- “Share your story. Inspire or educate others.”
Everyone has an important story to tell. Letting others know about the epiphanies or realizations you stumbled upon, or the mistakes you made, or the things you’ve learned; they are all valid ways to help others figure out life for themselves as well. Writing for yourself, and writing for others, do not have to be mutually exclusive. By the same token, this is why reading is also indispensable. You can learn from the mistakes and experiences of others, without having to go through them yourself.
- “Reinforce learning.”
Writing can help solidify concepts and complex ideas in your mind, as well as identify aspects of the topic you’re writing about that you don’t fully understand. It’s a good way to reinforce and supplement previously learned material.
- “Slow down the pace.”
Often times we’re caught within the throes of an intensely busy life. Our schedules are packed, and we budget our time. However, it’s important to take a step back extract ourselves from the race. To me, writing is a sort of meditative and zen-like activity (at least when I write entirely for myself). I forget about my worries, and focus on the present. I am calm and relaxed, while at the same time being somewhat productive. Hopefully, if you choose to start writing more, you feel this as well.
- “Be creative.”
Writing is an act of creation. Being able to write is a powerful tool. Wanting to write is even more powerful. Express your creativity, and build something new that wasn’t there before— whether it be a novel, poem, or nonfiction article.
And that’s why I choose to write. I hope this somewhat convinces you to try to write more. If it does, I look forwards to seeing you add your own reasons to this list!