The Power of Writing

If ever there were a truer example of preaching to the choir, then surely it would be going on this platform to express why I find writing so beneficial. But here I am, doing that exact thing — shamelessly.

So why do I enjoy writing? The most honest answer is that I am naturally an emotionally expressive person. I was the kid in high school who, being unable to pay attention, would write poetry for fun.

I’ve taken this desire to other mediums — video being the main for me now. That said, writing was my first love. I actually think, for as much as I love creating videos, writing is perhaps my favorite forum of art.

I should distinguish here. There is one thing I absolutely loathe in regards to writing. That is corporate writing, or any form of writing as equally bland and devoid of critical thinking or art. I’m talking about stuff like press releases or legal writing or ghost writing bylines for business leaders who are incapable of putting two sentences together.

Believe me when I say the following: Anyone who believes they’re a talented writer should never settle for working for a corporation. And for those who currently are, think of Kurt Vonnegut, who described his decision to leave GE, where he worked as a publicist, in the following way: “I also wanted, if possible, more self-respect.”

What else do I love about writing?

Going off the art theme, I actually love the fact that it is a form of art. There are ways one can put sentences together that just sound good and roll off the tongue — or mind, depending on how one reads. This may sound cruel, but I actually get enjoyment out of reading material by people who believe they can write well, when in reality their writing is barely passable for gibberish.

But perhaps my favorite thing about writing is that it forces me to collect and transcribe my thoughts. Writing is a mental workout — it requires a straight head, or at least a head that can translate thoughts in a comprehensive manner.

I also love that it’s a way for people to open up. When you’re writing, it’s just you and paper or screen. One of my favorite pieces of advice on writing is that one should write as if posthumously. It frees one from inhibitions. What’s more, being authentic is critical: Anyone who knows what they’re doing and talking about will be able to sniff out a fraud. And anyone who can’t is probably sticking to the places where they belong, on places like LinkedIn (I say that as someone who confines himself namely to that platform and Medium).

This whole idea for me to lay this down emerged from some family issues I’m facing. Let me just put it like this: I had no plan as to what I was going to write. I didn’t know what I wanted to say or the topic I wanted to cover. I just got behind the computer and started typing. And, to be honest, I do feel slightly better.

I think this is my best defense for why I write: I find it therapeutic, even if what I write about has to do with something that is only mildly on my mind.

Here’s to writing, and the fact that it is so much more than just laying some words together to make a sentence.