We, humans, thrive on expressing ourselves. To be heard & seen has the utmost importance for anyone. The feeling that you matter takes over almost everything. And that’s where writing enters. The best way to express yourself (or your work) is to write.
Reading has always been the most important because it shows you doors that were never there before, but writing is that knock (or kick whatever you like) that opens up that door.
You read about the particular topic but did not write or summarise the whole thing is similar to your messy room. You dump all the furniture, clothes, etc in the room, and whenever you need something, you go through the room to find that particular thing. What it does is it makes a whole new mess in the room, you waste a lot of time, and while searching for it, you get tired and feel demotivated to even continue the task that you were doing before.
Writing is compiling all the information you have and coming up with the topic, hashtags, and conclusion to categorize it correctly - similar to organizing your room.
I am here to convince you why you should write, so, let’s understand how writing helps.
Writing is the highest form that exists to connect with other human beings be it a story, documentation of your work, a few lessons, a to-do guide, a roadmap to be/do something, etc.
Writing and connection between a developer
I am new to tech but what I know for sure is that reading a code is way more difficult than writing it - independent of how clean the code is. It is like seeing the world from a different perspective - like seeing the problem from a different mind & logic.
Reading code is about understanding how what and why a user is trying to convey to the machine - how means the syntax and structure, what means the task that needed to be done, and why means why a programmer used the particular logic to solve the problem or to complete that task.
So, it seems understandable when a developer gives more value to reading code than writing the code. Reading is the first step but in the end, how many problems you have solved and written code for is going to help you understand more about the language.
Coding is the best way to understand the whole writing journey. You get a problem, then you go to write code, come back to understand the problem again, then go back to coding, and this cycle repeats until your code is good to run, is clean, and readable (if it runs or not, it is still the top priority obviously) and well, that’s what writing and reading are.
You start writing as a beginner and you fail. You go back to read more books, then you write again, it still sucks, and the process continues until your writing is easily readable and understandable.
What have we learned?
- Writing helps in clarifying your ideas and formulating them in a way that people can connect to them.
- Writing helps you through thinking about problems, hence you come up with solutions fast.
Writing activates your brain
Your right side of the brain helps you with the creative stuff and the left side of your brain helps you with the analytical and logical stuff but for writing, you need both brains - one to understand the vision and another to pen down what exactly you want to convey.
“Your mind is for having ideas, not holding them.” – David Allen.
This quote is the most profound thing I have read that explains perfectly why writing is so important.
Do you forget ideas that you needed to work on but forgot before you could do anything about them? It’s because your brain is not to store the ideas, but it is to have them. Writing helps in clearing your brain storage so that, you can have more and more amazing ideas.
Documentation of what you do, why you, and how you do
Documentation of the journey is like an autobiography you write for your future self and for the people you wanna share your journey with.
- To count the remaining steps you need to take on a journey - are you near to your destination?
- To understand the algorithm you are using subconsciously - why did you choose one thing over another? See the pattern and you might get to know something important and unique about yourself.
- To trace back the errors in your system - what mistakes you have done, you could have avoided, are important to learn, etc.
- To get motivated while looking backward - to see how far you have come.
- To teach others through your own experience - to not forget the fundamentals for the advanced level.
- To tell and make history - most of the time, we find the solution to problems by looking at history.
- To be relatable to the bigger audience - I go and watch the videos of coders about how frustrating coding gets for them to have the feeling that I am not alone.
- To have fun - after 10 years or so, you come back to that document and see how much fun you had, how different you were back then, what different adventures you had taken, etc.
This is my personal favorite. Humans tend to look at the past with a present view and that’s where journaling helps. What it means is you were neither that sad or disappointed about that particular failure nor happy or excited about the particular success.
Our memories are getting rewritten almost every day, so if you want to have some memories as they were, then descriptively write about them, and well, you just saved a memory forever.
Writing highlights of my day means I get a chance to look at the day from the observance lens and get a choice to change some parts of my life intentionally if I want.
Living intently means journaling every day - some days will be basic and some will be overwhelming but you will always have a choice to choose what parts you want to keep and what parts are not worth giving energy to.
Last but not least, writing improves your communication skills.
Writing makes you slow and helps you to be intentional about what you write because you have all the time in the world. You can choose better words, a new style of storytelling, etc.
The more precise your writing is, the more precise your idea looks. Writing gives you time to refine and polish the message/idea you want to convey.
My two cents:
Write for yourself. Don’t write to sell. Write what you want to read and you will eventually find people who want to read what you write.