Attended a writer’s convention in December 2017, and had the pleasure to interview one of the Guest Speakers ~ Mr. Patrick, who was speaking about the Benefits of the Writing.
THE BENEFIT OF WRITING
It is likely that most adults do not give much thought to the writing that they do – in terms of the amount of text produced, quality of the written work, or the variety of writing tasks in which they engage.
Typically, writing in everyday life tends to be performed for either the mundane tasks of personal and household management – shopping lists, phone messages, reminder notes to the kids – or for work-related tasks, such as inter-office memos, sales reports, or personnel evaluations.
Writing using a computer or smart phone is increasingly common with the spread of technology into all aspects of modern life, although there are generational and demographic differences in the practice of using a computer for writing.
A recent study found that younger, better educated, and employed US adults spent more time writing with computers, while older, less educated, and non-working persons spent more time writing using paper. While the variety of writing tasks adults engage in might be thought of as essential to work and home life, many everyday writing tasks probably contribute little to the overall quality of individuals’ intellectual and emotional lives.
Of course, a significant number of adults engage in extensive and meaningful writing tasks. The most obvious examples are professional writers – journalists, book and short story authors, poets, and essayists, opinion columnists, college professors. The products of their work can be said to contribute to society in important ways: Inspiring and entertaining readers, reporting and analyzing significant political, cultural, and world events, critiquing government officials’ actions, educating children, youth, and adults. Of course, one need not be a professional writer to obtain benefits from writing or to share what they know and think with others.
Even some nonprofessional writers may be prolific, daily writers. Although extended letter writing is less common today, given the ease of text messaging and email for instant communication, some adults remain devoted and adept letter writers
The ubiquity of writing in everyday life raises the question of how – and how much – writing contributes to individuals’ intellectual and emotional development. Numerous studies have demonstrated the benefits of reading, but much less scholarly attention has been devoted to the personal outcomes that derive from writing.
What advantages does writing afford to individuals? How does writing contribute to the development and maintenance of one’s thinking abilities? And, how does writing contribute to emotional well being
- Writing Can Help You Think
Writing is necessary to help the human mind achieve its full potential. Writing, for example, allows the writer to concretize abstract ideas and to “connect the dots in their knowledge. Particular kinds of writing tasks may, indeed, be beneficial to intellectual vitality, creativity, and thinking abilities. A study found, for example, that when adults write about significant life events their memory for such events is improved.
Writing enables the external storage of information that can be represented symbolically (e.g., letters, numbers, words, formulas drawings) and which can then be analyzed, critiqued, reproduced, and transformed, among other potential actions.
- Writing Might be Beneficial to Cognitive Skills
Writing enables the external storage of information that can be represented symbolically (e.g., letters, numbers, words, formulas drawings) and which can then be analyzed, critiqued, reproduced, and transformed, among other potential actions. Writing might be beneficial to cognitive skills because it requires focusing of attention, planning and forethought, organization of one’s thinking, and reflective thought, among other abilities – thereby sharpening these skills through practice and reinforcement.
- Writing Can Help You Feel Good
James Pennebaker, a cognitive psychologist at the University of Texas-Austin has undertaken a series of investigations into the benefits of writing, including its ability to heal emotional wounds.
Short-term, focused writing can, benefit anyone who is dealing with terminal illness, victims of violent crime, or new college students struggling with the transition from high school.