Here's why we makers should make writing a regular practice.
Writing Helps Us Understand
Writing begins as a conversation with ourselves. We have thoughts. We write them down. We read them back to ourselves. We respond by revising and logically structuring these thoughts into paragraphs. We use punctuation and style to glue them all together.
By getting our thoughts out of our head and on a page, we make our thoughts more clear to ourselves. We help deepen our own understanding on a given idea.
Deep understanding is necessary for makers. Understanding develops the perspective and conviction needed for bringing products to market. This is why blog-first startups are viable. Writing forces a maker to deeply understand the value they intend to bring into the world.
Writing is also a valuable tool even if we don't intend to share what we've written. Journaling can help us reach clarity of thought and help us sort ourselves out.
Writing Builds Trust
When shared, writing can start conversations with others. Delivering clear and well written ideas demonstrates our understanding to others. An understanding helps build trust.
Writing isn't easy because we have to make our ideas concise. It takes effort to make thoughts understandable. That effort to make a message understandable is a form of thoughtfulness. It's what allows a reader to feel a sense of joy when they grasp a new idea or knowledge shared with them. That satisfaction delivered builds a bond and trust with that source.
This is why Twitter is so powerful. You have to distill a thought or quip worth reading in under 280 characters. The result is an incredibly rich and easy to read source of knowledge and entertainment. We follow those who make knowledge and entertainment so easy to come by.
Writing Makes Us Honest
By writing our thoughts and making them public, we open ourselves to conversation. Often we live in our own worlds with our ideas, strategies and plans. We can obsess and treat them like they are the best. By sharing our ideas to the world through writing, we test the validity of them. This validity is crucial to turning ideas into reality.
We should be honest with ourselves and others in conversation. We'll hear from critics who challenge our ideas. We'll hear from people who have feedback and suggestions. By remaining honest, these conversations help shape our understanding. We only get to this understanding by being honest with ourselves and others.
Writing Connects Us
Taking our inner thoughts and understandings and making them public takes courage. It's incredibly revealing, but exactly why it makes it such a great opportunity to connect with others.
Our words give people something to relate to, to remember, to believe in, to think and talk about. They represent us. They are something to point people to and for others to discover. They hold us accountable to the people who read them. Our words can enable others to get to know us without ever having actually met us.
In this way, writing can open doors to new relationships crucial to a maker in growing a business. Our writings allow us to exist to the world and give us a timeless presence for others to reach out to.
What ideas do you have? Are you writing them down to gain deeper understanding? Are you sharing them with the world to keep yourself honest and make connections?