Five things writing has done for me

Sometimes, writing gets a hard rap. I mean, it can be a lonely and thankless kind of pursuit – especially if you haven’t started submitting or sharing your stuff yet – and there tends to be a lot of self doubt and musing mixed in. But it ain’t all bad. In fact, it can be pretty amazing.

I’ve put together a little list of the things I think writing has done for me, aside from personal satisfaction and an occasional pat on the back, in a practical sense.

1. Widening horizons

Reading had done a pretty good job of this anyway, but there’s nothing like wanting to write for forcing you out of your comfort zone. Instead of only reading the books I’m pretty sure I’m going to like, I read a huge variety of stuff from different genres, emerging writers and different age groups. And that’s not even including the research that goes into some stories. (Yes, I do count five hours reading all news stories I can find about talking dogs online as research ok.)

2. Making friends

Loads of people enjoy writing and even more enjoy reading. Getting chatting to them online has shown me your friends don’t have to have the same tastes as you to be great folks. You’ve already got something in common, so it’s easier to skip the ‘what’s your favourite band’ chat and move straight onto things you’re desperate to share.

3. Eating alone

Thanks to what must equate to months and months spent scribbling in notebooks in a variety of cafes, bars and restaurants, I can happily order, eat and sit staring into space on my own pretty much anywhere. Doesn’t sound like much maybe, but when I think back to how shy I was as a teenager I reckon this has been a bit of an asset – for my self confidence if not my general diet.

4. Developing a scrawl

I write by hand so often that I think my handwriting may have evolved into something else. Unless I’m concentrating, it’s barely legible. This has two benefits. One, I can take notes very quickly. Two, no one else can really make head or tail of them.

5. Word appreciation

I appreciate words and beautifully constructed sentences 100 times more now I know how difficult it can be to choose or craft them. Look how much I love the name of this street – would I have loved it quite as much had I never sat down to try and craft a masterpiece? Only the potatoes know.

So that’s five reasons for now, I’m sure there are more but my lunch break is pretty much over. Got any plus points to share?

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10 responses to “Five things writing has done for me

  1. For me the main one is connecting with people online who know what it feels like to want to write and to feel how hard going it can be and also share the good moments. Writers are a brilliant group of people.

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  2. Here’s one:

    Learn to accept criticism. It happens to my writing, and it’s hard, hard, HARD to take. But after a step back, I can see my writing improve. And so, when someone tells me that the brilliance of my ensemble of plaid, checks, polka-dots may be lost on the general public, I may consider changing my outfit.

    But also…learn which criticisms to ignore. Sometimes someone will make a suggestion for my writing that I know won’t work. So I trust my judgment. Bright orange top in the middle of winter? Well, too bad world, I’m wearing it!

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    • There should probably be more orange tops in the middle of winter – you could be a veritable little ray of sunshine!

      Ooh, good one! For sure, learning how to take criticism is a biggie. And being able to work out when it’s valid and should be really listened to and when t shouldn’t is another.

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  3. Unfortunately, my scrawl’s too far gone and even I can’t read it a lot of the time. That pad you gave me is 3/4 filled with semi-illegible nonsense (and lots of hand-drawn maps!)

    I see a lot of fun signs, being in a country where English isn’t the native language. Here’s the best one I’ve seen recently – an English teaching centre that’s not exactly promising: http://bit.ly/fnrntV

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  4. Why do I love writing? Why do I believe it’s the best job in the world?

    Gosh, I don’t have the space to tell all. So here’s, two.

    1. Regardless of what mood I’m in, where I am or what point in my life I’m at, I can write about it. All my experiences can be recorded in fiction and nonfiction writing. I seldom keep things wound up inside; I just write it down.

    2. I can work where ever I am in the world. With my lap top, I can write in the kitchen, at the cottage or a two-week vacation in Newfoundland. Writing is freedom.

    Great post. There is a lot of negativity tied to writing, but I wouldn’t do anything else.

    Diane

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    • I didn’t even think of the ability to work anywhere – too stuck in a routine I guess – but good point!

      It’s funny isn’t it, how much negativity surrounds something that is, essentially, really very enjoyable? I;m glad you think about writing in such a positive way.

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