I’m 57 years young, and only during this past year did I finally make the commitment (and start) to write as a regular part of each day. This new habit has me feeling great, and I’m going to share with you five reasons why in just a moment, but first a bit of the backstory.
I’ve been a non-fiction book addict and an avid reader for over 40 years. This habit is a good fit to me because I grew up as a curious guy who loved to learn. I was the only son in a family where our dad, a hands-on electrical engineer, also was an avid reader and a hungry learner.
Honestly, early in my career I was so busy working, learning, reading, and being a husband and father, that I didn’t give much thought to writing. Writing always seemed to be something that only “authors” could do, and should do. After all, I was trained to be an engineer, not a writer.
In my limited way of thinking back then, writers were storytellers who spent hours in their own worlds, dreaming dreams, and magically turning their thoughts into wonderful books.
While those authors were busy writing their stories, engineers were busy solving real world problems. In my mind, engineers didn’t write books.
Age Often Brings Wisdom
It’s funny how our eyes are opened and our thinking often shifts as we experience life while growing older. My opinion now has flipped a full 180 degrees from those earlier years.
Along with many other roles, today I also think myself as a writer, and I’m enjoying some wonderful benefits that go along with this new perspective. Here are the five that I share most often with engineers who are considering this habit:
Five Valuable Benefits From Writing Everyday
- Greater creativity… Writing daily lets you clear your head and capture some of the great ideas lurking there.
David Allen, the productivity guru and bestselling author of Getting Things Done, The Art of Stress-free Productivity, refers to this clearing process as “empyting your psychic ram”.
There’s a real sense of freedom when you’re able to clear out the old and make room for the new. Your ability to create becomes unleashed.
- Improved clarity…Writing forces you to put down your thoughts in a way so they can be clearly understood later by you, but also by others.
Increased writing practice helps you learn to be more clear, concise and succinct with all of your written communications. These skills are critical for an engineer in the workplace, but are also valuable for use at home with family and friends.
Personally, I find that the improved clarity in my writing positively impacts my verbal communications as well.
- More learning…Writing feeds my hunger for learning because it often forces for me to do research on new topics I’m wanting to write about.
For example, before making the commitment to write everyday, I studied various methods that different writers were using to make sure they consistently wrote everyday.
It was fascinating learning how other writers create productive writing environments for themselves and how they stick to their writing routines.
- Expanded career opportunities…Writing is opening doors that in the past I never gave much thought to. It can do the same for you.
By capturing your thinking, you’re putting yourself in a position to share your thoughts and ideas with others through a variety of delivery channels.
Today your writing might be limited to a text, an email or a project report in the workplace, but in the future your writing may show up as a blog post, an ebook or even a published book.
- Empowering and fun…So often we, and the world, see ourselves only through the roles that are readily apparent.
For example, I call myself an engineer because I went to college for it…or call myself a father because I have three sons…or I’m a husband because I’m married, and so on.
There’s something very liberating, empowering, and fun about taking on a new role that let’s me call myself a writer.
If you’re not currently writing beyond what’s required of you in your job (or as a student), I urge you to give it a try. Grab a pen and paper, or your laptop, and start by writing for a few minutes everyday about something that excites you. I’m confident that you’ll soon enjoy all five of these benefits, plus many more.
Seriously, take the advice of author, Anne Lamott, that she offers in her popular book on writing titled, Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life. Ease into a habit of writing by tackling it the way her father advised her younger brother to tackle his grade school project on birds. He told him, “Take it bird by bird, buddy, take it bird by bird.”
Questions: How could better writing impact the engineering work you do each day? What new doors could writing open for you? You can leave a comment by clicking here.