This is a guest post by Gigi Wara, a lifestyle and self-improvement freelance writer. This time she writes for Elite Editing, the most trusted English-language academic editing service in Australia.
If you want to succeed in your career and beyond, consider taking up writing to help you develop personally and professionally. Becoming a better writer may even turn out to be the secret to success.
Writing is a free, fun activity that can be done at your convenience. You don’t have to attend meetings or schedule a session. It’s a spontaneous and meaningful activity that anyone can do.
Warning: Once you start, you may not be able to stop, as writing can be quite addicting! Although people write for various reasons, here are some benefits that you may not be aware of.
5 Benefits of Becoming a Better Writer
1. Relieve stress.
Writing about a difficult situation at work or a relationship issue is a good way to get it out in the open without saying the wrong thing to someone. You might even figure out what you really want to say before you say it.
Medical studies have shown that patients struggling with chronic illnesses or serious diseases experience reduced stress and increased immune function after writing an estimated five times a week for about fifteen to twenty minutes at a time.
So put your stress in writing and get it out of your system.
2. Solve problems.
Exploring a problem through writing is a great way to consider various approaches before sharing your ideas publicly. Writing can help you keep an open mind while you define a problem or analyze contributing factors.
Putting abstract ideas in concrete terms is a valuable way of becoming a better thinker as well as becoming a better writer.
The more you write and reflect on your ideas, the better problem-solving strategies you can develop.
3. Exercise your creativity.
If you enjoy literature, write a story or compose a poem. If you prefer nonfiction, work on a literary essay or memoir of a special or challenging time in your life.
Even if you feel that you are not a very good writer, like learning to drive, your style will improve with practice. There are many ways to becoming a better writer.
Experiment with a variety of literary forms. Participate in an online or community writing group. Submit your work to editors for publishing consideration. As you receive feedback from others, you will learn how to adapt your style with prospective readers in mind.
4. Revise, revise, revise.
When writing for an audience as opposed to keeping a personal journal just for you, don’t fall in love with your first draft. Your first attempt should get your ideas on paper or a computer screen where you can work with them.
The second draft is about getting organized with format and style. Subsequent drafts should be open to revision for improvement in many areas, as needed: voice, tone, diction, fictional or nonfictional elements, and so on.
But don’t overdo it. Self-editing is good at times but it is also a good idea to let someone you trust read the draft and offer suggestions. Don’t edit just to track down every misplaced comma or floating adjective. Look for ways to make your voice heard and your style shine!
Related: 14 Writing Tools
5. Enjoy it.
Some famous authors will urge you to write what you know. Others say to just go with the flow, wherever the writing takes you.
In personal writing like a journal, diary, or memoir, you can write until you express what you want to say.
With literary fiction or nonfiction, you can have fun with your plot or characters, sharing your philosophical views on life or creating a pretend world for your story. Like video games or other hobbies, writing should be enjoyable and offer a creative outlet for self-expression.
As you reflect on the evolution of your writing capabilities, you will be surprised and gratified to see what you can accomplish. Writing can become a confidante to receive our deepest secrets, controversial thoughts, and creative visions. Your thinking will change as you write more often and in various genres. Whatever challenges you are facing or goals you are trying to reach, writing can help you get there.
What other ways to becoming a better writer do you know of?