Why You Should Write

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Whether I have liked it or not, writing has always been in my life. When I was younger, I despised writing. A common punishment in my parents’ house was writing sentences like, “I will never…” or “I will listen to mom” up to 500 times—it was an effective punishment. That combined with the weekly vocabulary practice my mom made me do contributed to a disdain for the act of writing.

As I grew older, and as I stopped getting myself into trouble, I began to appreciate the art of writing. It was a way for me to express some of the most intricate ideas and feelings that I had. Writing has become more practical for me, but it remains an activity that I believe everyone should participate in beyond the classroom.

As college students, we are deeply familiar with writing. There is no doubt that writing is a valuable skill to learn no matter which industry you decide to enter, but it is understandable why so many students despise it. Final papers, blue book exams and the plethora of other writing college students must do can make oneself jaded.

The sense of dread behind writing, I hypothesize, stems from the strict deadlines and less-than-exciting topics. The sense of dread that amasses behind writing over one’s college career can often follow into adulthood. Journaling, writing out goals and writing for fun are often lost art forms to many working adults.

According to researchers, journaling can be very beneficial to one’s health. From stress relief to problem solving, writing down your thoughts is no doubt helpful.

Aside from personal health, writing is a mastery of language. As I mentioned earlier, writing is a valuable skill in any career. Whether you are writing succinct reports for managers, lengthy research papers or policy documents, writing is key; it is a skill.

How does one get better at anything? Through practice and repetition. As hard as it may be sometimes, I try not to think of writing for classes as a chore because deep down I know that the more I write, the better I will become.

Writing can be used for more than just practice or mental health. There are a plethora of online articles and success coaches urging people to write down their goals. Whether it is writing your daily goals, semester goals or lifetime goals, this simple act has had reported increases in productivity and accomplishment. By writing them down, you force yourself to think about the goals you would like to achieve (which is hard enough by itself) and then you are able to better visualize them and “make them real” so-to-speak.

To take it one step further, you can write down how you achieve those goals and have a specific plan laid out. Having goals in your head is one thing, but to write them out allows you to begin to solidify those goals beyond just daydreaming in your least exciting class.

I have a request for everyone reading this now: write something right now. A sentence about your day, a rant about your job or a goal for next semester—anything. Try it and see how it feels. Begin to love writing, not only for others, but more importantly for yourself.