Total reading time: 5minutes
At the risk of stretching the truth, the thing editors at ML dislike most is writing ‘Plans of Action’. Assuming it isn’t the plan of action itself that bugs you, suffice to say you dislike writing in general. But there’s a ton of value in writing down complex ideas and improving as a writer in general.
Below are three reasons why you should care about writing (and, by extension reading, too). It’s a bit lengthy, so I’ve bolded the point I’m making at the end of each section for those of you too busy to go through the whole thing.
1) It improves your ability to communicate clearly
Truism. To write is to communicate. But with writing, particularly in short form, there is the apparent absense of tone. Ever received an angry response from your girl/guy to an sms wherein you meant well in? The type of stuff where you go ‘wtf was that about’? Yeah? You know what I’m talking about, then. Our brains respond to this craziness subconsciously, meaning you eventually compensate for the absence of tone and the limited space by being very specific about the words you use (or littering sentences with emoticons and ‘lols’ and rofls).
Funny enough, this has the knock-on effect of helping you communicate better through speech and in contact with people.
The point is the more you write, and the higher the stakes of communicating clearly becomes, the better you become at communicating your ideas lucidly.
2) It makes you think
Writing makes you think about that thing you’re writing about. It also makes you think about what you’re writing about that thing. So you have the compounded effect of thinking about the subject – ‘how am I going to tackle this Ma Afrika Tikkun gig?’ – as well as how you’re going to communicate it – ‘Sam, I have no bloody idea how to tackle that Ma Afrika Tikkun gig’. While this is not a technical psychological term you can quote me on, ‘writing makes you think harder about hard stuff, thus making them easier’. Funny, that.
3) Writing makes you smarter and makes your work easier
Not only are you communicating clearer (see 1) and thinking harder (see 2), writing well and reading well develop in step. This makes you smarter, because writing and reading is all about pattern recognition. The knock-on effect is your improved pattern recognition is not only limited to writing and/or reading – it applies to most everything people do frequently. Like, say, editing a video. You’re better able to understand the kind of challenge that accompanies that type of video, and how best to tackle. This means you work smarter and more efficiently.
It also means you get hawk eyes for certain job types so you can look Sam square in the face and say: ‘Hell no am I doing Ma Afrika Tikkun. Just like you can’t defend the undefensible, you can’t edit the uneditable’.