Toastmasters Project 9: Pen it down!

Can you imagine a life where creativity is considered a shameful activity that should be done behind closed doors? Can you imagine a world where self-expression is viewed as irrational, emotional and often frowned upon?

Ladies and gentlemen, writing is  part of our everyday life. At its most basic, writing is a way of communication. It is the one inalienable characteristic of writing itself, whether you’re communicating with a colleague or friend or you’re communicating with yourself – through a to do list, for instance.

Aside from the fact that writing is an inescapable part of everyday life, there are many good reasons you should make a good session of writing part of your daily routine, even if it’s just a few hundred words. You don’t have to be a pro to reap the benefits of creating the written word.

Facts on writing:

  • Research by Laura King mentioned that Writing and happiness are correlated:
    • Expressive writing such as jotting down your emotions and goals has therapeutic effects such as improved mood, reduced stress levels for those who write regularly
  • Research by Adam Grant mentioned that Writing helps one to cope with trauma and bad times better:
    • Sometimes we are unable to verbally communicate our trauma or emotions, and it is much easier to write
    • Engineers were retrenched and 52% of them who wrote who reemployed full time in 8 months as compared to 19% of those who don’t

When I first started out,

  • I was afraid of people judging me, not so much of strangers, but of families and friends if they were to read my blog
  • I was afraid of writing unworthy stories, as language was not my cup of tea

But I chose to write anyway and I have been writing summaries on self development books. A couple of times I have got comments saying that my writings help readers who don’t have the time to read and apparently, a couple of my former bosses came across my blog and encouraged me to increase on the quantity. It’s little things like that will push you on and go a long way.

I cant guarantee you will get your next best gig or if you can make money from your writing, but at least you get the following benefits:

  • Knowing what you want
    • Making it clear on what outcome you want to achieve from a situation, activity or goal
  • Develop your analytical skills
    • Working through your problems with a piece of paper encourages you think through logical and creative ways
    • People tend to react to problems rather than responding to it, but if you’re used to solving them by processing each component of the problem in writing, you’ll develop a better approach and skillset.
    • You’ll at least pause to think through the situation before hitting the panic button next time something comes up!
  • Meeting yourself all over again
    • Life is so fast paced that its easy to lose yourself
    • By letting words flow out of your brain unedited can introduce you to a part of yourself you’d been censoring from yourself to cope with everyday life.

Discontentment, disillusionment, and unhappiness often come from forgetting why we’re doing something (for instance, on a different track, not having a good reason for living a certain way) and it is important to keep those simple reasons at the forefront of your mind or you run the risk of letting your life becoming mundane.

It’s not only important to remind yourself of your motives for your current actions; it’s important to monitor your actions to see if they are aligned with your life goals or if there is a need to change them if needed. Sometimes, the only way to keep such a close monitor on your actions and goals is to write about them every day.

Friends, as William Faulkner said ‘Get it down. Take chances. It may be bad, but it’s the only way you can do anything really good.’

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