7 Reasons You Should Start Writing

February 18, 2013 — 4 Comments

It has been a few months since I re-launched this little web space as a place to write and share more publicly. That decision came with loads of internal hesitation, doubt, and uncertainty for a few reasons…

  • The last thing I wanted was for my words to add noise to a world that is already too loud.
  • I despise the words “blog” and “blogger”. They just don’t sound right.  Ya know what I mean?
  • I had to wrestle down the question – Do I really have that many interesting things to say?
Photo courtesy of abcdz2000, Creative Commons.

Photo courtesy of abcdz2000, Creative Commons.

However, as I sifted through the pros and cons of a starting a blog, I’ve found the pros came out on top.  There’s a good chance you might be wrestling with this yourself. The truth is – Blogging may not be for you, but I believe there are several great reasons for you to start writing, journaling, and capturing words as you journey forward.

So, here are a few things I’ve found…

1. Writing forces you to think about what you think about.

Writing gives you space to reflect on who you are, your worldview, and how you think. It’s amazing how many people don’t actually think about what they think about. There are so many creative ideas and perspectives lost in the recesses of our minds. There is something amazing that happens when you can transform your thoughts into words. Dawson Trotman said “Thoughts disentangle themselves when they pass through the lips and fingertips.”

2. You have something to say.

In our entitlement culture, everyone thinks they are an expert at everything. If you have photoshop on your computer, you are now a “Graphic Designer”. If you have a Canon SLR camera you are now a “Photographer”. If you have a Tumblr, you are now a “Blogger”.

Sure, this tendency is off-putting, but you can’t let that stop you from being who you are. The truth is, no one else on the planet is like you. No one has the same combination of thoughts, insights, experiences, stories, and sense of humor. Why not write them down? You can share them without being self-absorbed and arrogant. You can write without being the one who rants and complains about everything. Don’t confuse pride with confidence. You don’t need to apologize for who you are.

3. You may have already done the work.

Since I speak regularly at Vinelife, I have TONS of sermons and materials that I’ve used over the years. Blogging is a great way for me to revisit some of those ideas and recycle the things I’ve worked hard on.

If you’e a songwriter – start writing about your songs and the stories behind your music. If you’re a photographer, post your photos and why you love them. If your a small group leader at church, share a study you’ve taken the group through. If you cook, share your recipes, and stories that go along with different family meals. The idea is – don’t let your creative work get buried in the past.

4. The only way to get better at writing is to write.

One item on my bucket list is to write a book. What kind? I’m not sure. What about? I have some ideas, but still not sure. But I know this – books don’t write themselves. Even now, I’m not a great writer, but I’m better than I was a few years ago. The same is true for every kind of art and craft. The only way to get better at it is to do it.

Our tendency is to enjoy talking about doing things more than actually doing them. Dorothy Parker nailed it on the head when she said “I hate writing, but love having written.” We like the idea of the finished product, but cower at thought of doing the work.

The worst case scenario is that no one will read what you write. So what? Even if you get better at writing, you win.

5. Writing helps you figure out what you want to write.

One of the first questions we ask when thinking about starting a blog or book is “What I am going to write about?”. Sometimes you just don’t know until you start getting some words on paper (or a monitor). It’s impossible to know what your voice sounds like until you start speaking. The discovery is found in the doing. If you wait to start until you have everything mapped out, you’ll never start. When you go with your gut and pull the trigger, you’ll be surprised what comes out over time.

6. Writing is a great way to encourage.

One of the benefits of digital technology is that your reach is now indefinite. You can talk not only talk to your friends, but people around the globe. The reality is – our world needs hope. Hope is much better than cynicism. Each day we have the chance to inject a little life into the lives of others. Writing and blogging is just another way to do that. It’s a way to help others think of things differently, more creatively, and offer help in small ways. That is what makes this fun.

7. Writing helps you track your own growth.

It’s a revealing exercise to look back at who you were even a few years ago. Growth and maturity is a difficult thing to track, but regular writing is a great way to see how far you’ve come.

It’s a fun and scary thing for me to re-listen to old sermons that I gave a few years back. They were all terrible and beg the question – why did anyone let me hold a microphone for more than a couple minutes? How did ANYONE make it through an entire sermon of mine???  Seriously!

With that said, there is a good chance I will look back at some of these posts and think the same thing. That’s OK. That just means there is growth.

So, what’s stopping you?

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