3 Reasons To Write

Posted on by Brian Hertzog

Putting ideas to paper is harder than it sounds.  We want to write, we fantasize about publishing that "great American novel" bouncing around somewhere in the depths of our mind, but when it comes to actually sitting down to write, suddenly there are 1000 other things that seem immediately more interesting.  I could check email, Twitter, Facebook, make a call, make a snack, talk with friends--I could go on.  Sometimes, all we need to overcome this anxiety is a good reason.

Nobody ever explained to me why reading is valuable, except for the Reading Rainbow guy, but even that didn't really make sense at the time--I was five.  Parents often plead with their beloved little ones to "eat your veggies".  I once threw peas across the living room in revolt.  Needless to say, I ended up picking up my mess pea by pea.  How many parents take the extra minute to explain that eating vegetables like broccoli and spinach will make you healthier, smarter, taller, and stronger.  Should have eaten those damn peas!

Here are three simple reasons to write. 

1.) Writing makes you a better thinker. 

If working out builds your abs and biceps, writing sculpts and tones your mind.  Not only will you be able to articulate your thoughts, but you will be building the muscles of imagination, decision making, and story telling.  If you can do those things--watch out world.

2.) Writing gives you a voice.

I'm usually awake from 8AM to midnight.  Which means every night for eight hours, I'm not talking, I'm not meeting new people--I'm somewhere in candyland winning the worldcup.  Writing gives you a voice even when you're sleeping!  If I'm not there, you can still jump inside my mind, experience my world, and listen to my stories.  Writing is a way to scale your thoughts.  If you believe people should experience a slice of your universe, make it easy for them and yourself.  Write it down.

3.) Writing forces you to pay attention.

"Don't bother me man, I'm tweeting."  Ah the glorious age of connection.  At all times we are never bored.  But to make the transition from consumer to creator, you have to freaking pay attention, man.  What's happening?  What story you are trying to tell?  What did it smell like?  Feel like?  Etc.  Writing forces you to be present.  Use your senses young padawan.  To tell a compelling story you must immerse your reader in your imaginary world.  They must feel what you feel.  And to do this, you better be paying attention. 

Those three reasons are enough for me.  I hope you find them persuasive--at least enough to whip out a piece of paper and a pen.  Don't hold your thoughts and ideas prisoner in your mind like Rapunzel.  Give them a chance to spread, to grow, to meet other ideas and make idea babies.  You can take these reasons, leave them, share them, whatever you want, but thanks to writing, now you have them. 

No more excuses.  No throwing your veggies across the room.  Find a place to be alone with your thoughts and write.