Blogging to Learn and Share
Writing to Learn
Your brain actually keeps a lot more than you remember. To keep itself tidy, your brain makes it easy to access things you use all the time. Everything else gets harder. Retrieval strength is what scientists call the ease of accessing information in the brain.
To increase retrieval strength, you need to retrieve soon after learning and regularly going forward.
But, there are other aspects of retrieval than just frequency of use. Tying information to other information lets you form cues to get at it from other angles. Your brain is a network.
Making connections also increases your ability to retrieve ideas.
When you want to use or share what you’ve learned, you need to be able to access it and connect it to what you’re working on. When you wait until the last moment you may come up short.
Our brain’s organization is messy. I’ve struggled to communicate because different ideas were competing to come out of my mouth at the same time. Other ideas disappear into the abyss.
Our brain is non-linear and ephemeral. Life and communication is linear and fleeting.
Writing lets us put things in order. It helps you use ideas that you want to keep around. It also helps you organize those ideas so that when you need to use them, you are more prepared to do so. It also lets you connect and develop ideas further.
Blogging to Share
Blogging lets us share what we write. It makes it easy to share our learning with others.
Scott Hanselman suggests blogging instead of emailing as a productivity tip.
Often emails are only targeted to a very small audience. Writing a blog post and sharing that lets you save your writing for the future. It creates more value by letting others benefit from your knowledge and learning.
Blogging lets you keep your writing in an open, searchable location. It makes it easy for others to go through, which also makes it easy for you to go through. It lets you document your learning journey.
If you’re writing to learn you might as well blog to learn.