Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Write to Save Your Life


Writing about your experiences as they are happening to you is one of the most valuable tools you can master. 

The benefits of writing about current experiences are many, but to name a few:
  • helps you organize your thoughts
  • allows you to vividly describe memories
  • encourages you to share your thoughts and ideas
  • acts as a form of self-expression
  • gives you a perspective of yourself

I would like to elaborate on the last two.


Throughout your life, you will have to be able to describe your observations to other people. Communication: it's the key trait that separates humans from chimps. (No wonder essays are so important on the SAT). The better you express yourself to those surrounding you, the better you will convey your message. Writing, therefore, is more important now than in any point in human history, and practicing it is even more vital. 

Different emotions require different types of writing. A résumé requires quick, to-the-point information in as little text as possible. A poem to a lover, on the other hand, is prized for its attention to detail and its figurative language. Hence, you must practice all types of writing for all types of purposes. 

In most cases, however, you will be conveying information from your perspective: your observations. As such, you need to develop your own unique writing style that best formulates your thoughts and best associates with your character. You will find (and I noticed this of myself as well) that you will use about 20% of the same vocabulary in every text that you write, simply because those are the words that first come to mind. 

What should you take from this? Be yourself while you write; your message will best associate with you that way.

Perspective of Self

Memories fade. Blogs don't. When you write about what you are feeling, you will be able to look back at yourself in 5 years, 1 year, or even just a couple months and reflect on how you have grown since then.

Nobody know more about you than yourself. Hence, you are your own best critic and life coach. Don't be afraid to let the pen fly(or keyboard nowadays) and really articulate your emotional state. Vent it out. Let loose all the emotions that you have, but be sure to keep any negative ones private as it may be too soon to let someone else know just how you feel. 

Until a person fully develops by age 25, their pre-frontal cortex is still developing. This is the part of the brain that puts reason before emotional irrationality. As a result, it may be better to keep your most emotional writings private for a while, then look back at them later and decide if it is reasonable to share.

Remember, writing doesn't have to be a fruitless endeavor; you can write to understand yourself and to help other better understand you.


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