Writing is My Teacher

Writing changed my life in many ways. I use writing like a lens. To focus. What was blurry now sharpens. And it allowed me to look at life from many different perspectives.

Writing taught me intelligence. I can pour all my ideas. Brain dumping, idea exchange, and what have you. It increases my thought process. It helps me to analyze and improve my introspection on things. To think.

Writing taught me communication. By thinking, I can communicate better. It makes more sense when I talk, verbally. Strong communication skill also builds self-confidence.

Writing taught me curiosity. Being curious made me ask more questions. Understanding the problems and seek for solutions. Words don’t come all the time. I read. I research. From books to libraries. And that takes me to many interesting places.

Writing taught me to install systems. It is easy to outline a plan. Walking it is another story. Having a system involves putting down ideas and produce a draft. Then edit before publishing. And doing that over and over with persistence. Most of all, I understand that we are creatures of habit. And the more I instill good habits, the wiser I will be than when I woke up.

Writing taught me patience. That consistency is key. I need patience when my screen is empty. Patience when there are no ideas. Patience to edit and rewrite when my writings do not make sense. And most of all, patience to just write no matter how shitty I feel.

I have to admit, writing gets me ecstatic. And it’s easy to mistake the ecstatic for the objective. Or to feel ecstatically all day because it feels so good-even if it’s not taking me any closer to my target. It’s a trap and I’ve stepped into it over and over. Every time my foot was poised above its jaws I could see the smart alternative out of the corner of my eye. So I choose that more than not these days: to slow down, to think, to read, knowing that it is easy to build patience if its properly prepared.

Above all, writing taught me humbleness. It opens me up to accept criticism. Being humble demanded high intellectual and physical intensity at a pace allowing me to analyze my Self.

Which is another thing I learned from writing: opportunity. The what now? And when? How hard should I push? What against? Sometimes it is best to sit still. To observe. To rewire. And to let thirst build. To wait patiently until that hunger becomes a scream. Because if I’m calm, patient, attentive, open and creative, then “What now?” becomes an opportunity instead of a lament. Around the corner or over a skyscraper I might find something looking for me just as I seek it. That’s the thing about opportunity: you can seek for it your whole life, diligently, persistently, and miss it in the blink of an eye.

Of course the most important thing about writing is the context, the message, the lesson. It is so, has been so, and can only be so.

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This article was originally published at William Zou. I’m William and thank you for reading.