Writing has always come easily to me; mind you, I didn’t say excellent writing. I simply mean the act of putting words to paper with my trusty pen. Whether it’s taking down notes in class, typing an article like this one, or finding an outlet for the drama in my head, penning down useful information and ideas has always been a way to sort out my thoughts.
But don’t get me wrong. This article’s focus isn’t to encourage you to be the next Shakespeare or make you scribble in your diary every night. It’s to open your eyes to the different aspects of your life you can improve by writing. So let’s start:
It can help with your studies
I know some of you will swear that you’re allergic to keeping notes or that once the speaker says it, you’ve got it. But hear me out first. Several studies have shown that students who process their course work through writing tend to retain the information.
One saying goes, the dullest pencil is better than the sharpest memory. That because no matter how strong you claim your memory is, it’s still a lot more fragile than written words. Yes, I said written. In this particular instance, analogy beats digital. That’s because writing is a lot more thoughtful process that requires your brain to engage with the material more.
Reading your own words on paper, again and again, can also help you visualize the content better, as opposed to reading from a screen with the same background and font. I love using different colored pens, scribbling visual aids, equations, and even references.
It makes it easier to track your thoughts
Reflection is a crucial part of growing. But how do you do better if you don’t keep a record? Sure, you have your memory, but your brain still processes and discards information it deems unimportant. Sometimes that also includes your million dollar ideas in the making.
Don’t worry; you’re welcome to go digital with this one. Whether you call it a diary, a journal, or a random collection of your thoughts, make sure it’s accessible. How often you write in it is totally up to you. There’s no hard and fast rule to what you can write either. It could be ideas, some poems, or your goals. Whatever it is, make it yours.
But don’t forget to review it. It could be fun to read some old love letters to a crush, recall an old idea, or keep track of your goals.
It helps you manage your workflow
There’s a sweet feeling that comes with writing down your goals and then crossing them out as complete. Putting down your goals or target for the day is an excellent way to keep track of what you’ve done and what you still need to do. You’re also less likely to forget to do that thing you promised a friend you’d do -but forgot about till you were about to sleep.
So to avoid those awkward moments, take a few minutes to put down what you want to achieve. Merely putting your goals on paper can motivate you to take action.
Don’t worry if you don’t complete it. You can always pick up where you left off tomorrow. Besides, it’s a fantastic way to monitor your progress and perhaps even re-evaluate your workload if necessary.
It’s a great way to express your emotions
Sometimes my feelings can be somewhat chaotic, and I have a hard time explaining what I mean at that moment. In such moments, writing is an outlet for me because I don’t even have to understand how I feel or what my thoughts mean. There’s a reason there’s such a thing as writing therapy. There’s even ongoing research into how writing can boost your immune system.
Revisiting what you wrote can even give you a better perspective. If you wrote about how mad you were at someone, for instance, as your present self, you could ask, “Was I overreacting? Could I have done something to avert the incident? Or was my anger justified, and it’s time to make some change?”
There are a thousand and one more reasons to write –and a lot more to the points I listed. Writing doesn’t have to be an elaborate affair, but it has to be yours. Platforms like Tell! that focus on creating spaces for African writers are a great outlet to develop the habit of writing while sharing your content with people like yourself. You have to tell your own story, no copy, and paste. You need to use your unique voice.