Write to Learn
We think of writing as a way to communicate our ideas with others. But writing is also a great way to learn something new.
We are exposed to so much information every hour, every day. Most of it might not be important or even interesting to us. Some of it is, but with this information flood, the important stuff could easily dissolve.
Taking the time to capture the interesting information and insights in writing is an act of learning. It will not just help you remember the more significant bits of information — writing will help you process them and make them an inherent part of the way you see and understand the world.
Write to Think
We think of writing as a way to communicate our ideas with others. But writing is also a great way to communicate with ourselves.
When thinking about a new idea or a personal dilemma, I often find myself thinking in circles — infinite loops of circular arguments and insights. When these thinking loops are running just in my head, it is not always trivial to break the cycle and come up with a conclusion.
Thinking in writing sometimes helps me break the loop, arrange my thoughts, and even reach a conclusion faster. The text needn’t be well-phrased or effective as it should be when you write for others to read. The mere act of writing (and reading) the things running in my head helps me clarify things and focus my thoughts.
Write to Reflect
We think of writing as a way to communicate our ideas with others. But writing can help you practice meaningful reflection.
Reflecting on the things we experience during the day is essential to personal and professional growth. When you reflect on what you have done, heard, seen, and experienced, these things sink in and form new insights. You can connect the dots and see things from a different perspective.
Writing helps you slow down this processing and pay more attention to the details. You don’t have to plan your reflective writing — write associatively what you remember, what it makes you think, and how it makes you feel. Don’t force insights to emerge — let them emerge organically.