Just a couple of years ago, I would have never, ever claimed to be a writer of any sort. I wasn't even a particularly avid reader.
However in the past couple of years, I have swapped some of my reading time for writing time and I can honestly say the benefits have been incredible. Truly. It's been one of the most rewarding past times, generating great personal satisfaction, a little bit of regular passive income and a fairly big ego boost.
SO WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF WRITING MORE INSTEAD OF READING?
- A chance to develop and improve your writing skills
- A way of getting thoughts and feelings off your chest
- An opportunity to review your life, your current status and thoughts and see if there is room for improvement
- A chance to create a keepsake for you and your family to keep forever
- A chance to make some extra money on the side
- A way to boost your ego by developing a fan base
- Writing gives you a personal sense of accomplishment and satisfaction
- Writing increases your productivity levels
Let's look at each point in more detail
A CHANCE TO DEVELOP AND IMPROVE YOUR WRITING SKILLS
It's never a bad thing to work on your writing skills. Writing at its most basic level is about communication and effective communication is one of the key tools you need to have effective relationships at work, romance and in your social life. You might be thinking that your writing skills are terrible, you can barely write an email or an sms yet alone do any creative writing, and you wouldn't even know where to begin. If you have read Malcolm Gladwell's Outliers: The Story of Success you will know that talent can be rather overrated. Passion and continual practice and commitment make much more of an impact than pure talent alone when it comes to developing a skill. (though I have to add that Malcolm Gladwell does make a strong case for a bit of luck in there too!)
A WAY OF GETTING THOUGHTS AND FEELINGS OFF YOUR CHEST
If you want to get writing, but do not know where to start, consider creating a diary or personal journal. Do not overthink this, simply write down what is on your mind, no matter how small, unimportant, rambling or stupid it may seem. Keeping a diary is like having a do-it-yourself therapist. You can get feelings off your chest.
AN OPPORTUNITY TO REVIEW YOUR LIFE
Write about your emotions, state of mind and when you review your diary back, you might find common themes. For example, you always get stressed in similar situations - both at work and in social settings. You can start to discover parts of yourself that you might not have noticed before.
A CHANCE TO CREATE A KEEPSAKE
Keeping a diary is a great way of creating a momento of your life that may be enjoyed by you in future years and your future generations too.
WRITING AS WAY TO MAKE SOME EXTRA MONEY
You would be surprised at the number of ways you can turn writing into money making opportunities. People make money from blogging on the weirdest subjects from photo of cats dressed up to....well...you name it. Of course, you have currently reading an 'infobarrel' so I'm sure you know that you can make money on infobarrel just by creating infobarrels and having people click on the adsense or other ads. Read Infobarrels own article about how this all works.
There are general websites such as Hubpages, Redgage and Bloglipi which share revenue and specialist sites such as Everythingmom for parenting tips and information and Quomon for IT advice.
WRITING BOOSTS YOUR EGO
Even though I have a full time day job, I love telling people that I'm a writer. It strikes up such interesting conversations. And I love having people commenting on my blog saying how much my blog post has helped them, or they relate to me, or they have just enjoyed reading my musings. Of course, I have had the odd strange even upsetting blog comment, but, hey, the good stuff outweighs the negative about 500 to 1.
WRITING GIVES YOU A PERSONAL SENSE OF ACCOMPLISHMENT
Reading is great, but it's not as if I look back on the year and think about my accomplishments and go on to list out the books I have read. Writing however, gives you an enormous sense of accomplishment. It's one of the easiest ways to feel creative and feel that you are doing something productive and useful (yes, even if you are writing gibberish)
WRITING HELPS MAKE YOU MORE PRODUCTIVE
Writing helps you to achieve focus. Being focused is one of the key ways to become productive and successful. I believe developing concentration and focus is just like developing your muscles: it comes with practice and gradual improvement. Try to get write a small diary entry (or anything) and then see if you can build it up into 100 words, 200 words, 400 words...and so on. Or you can measure it in time (2 minutes, 5 minutes, 8 minutes, 19 minutes) It might take a while, but you will get to the point when you can concentrate and work with intense focus for a sustained period of time.
So, how about tonight, instead of picking up your book, why don't you sit down with your favorite pen, a nice notepad and start writing. Don't worry where it takes you....just have a go and you might find this is the start of a new productive, focused and more successful you!
P.S. READING IS STILL GREAT THOUGH!!
Don't get me wrong. I like reading. And I'm a total believer that people should sometimes switch off the TV, close up the laptops and get lost inside a great book. There are some books which just uplift, inspire and change your life.
If you're wondering, on my list of amazing books would be Pride and Prejudice to keep my incurably romantic dreams alive, Eat Pray Love which just makes you see the world with fresh eyes, How to Simplify Your Life which made me declutter almost all physical, emotional and work-related baggage from my life and made me happier, more spiritually fulfilled and less stressed and the Philip Pullman "His Dark Materials" trilogy which transports you away to another place.