Becoming a Better Writer

Photo byGreenChameleon on Unsplash

A few days ago, as I was once again diving down the YouTube rabbit hole at 3 am (as any other healthy 19-year-old would), I came across a quote that, I decided, would change my life.

“What can I offer the world?”

Answering this question was no easy task.

When I was eight, I wanted to be a pro basketball player.

When I was sixteen, I wanted to be a computer programmer.

Yesterday, I wanted to be a comedian, which is just a fancy way of saying that I want to stay at home and get free meals from my parents until my “career takes off”.

The point is I’m not sure what I want to do with my life and I don’t have any skills that stand out- unless you count the ability to do mediocre card magic a valuable life skill. With that said, I’ve chosen instead to practice a skill that I believe would be an invaluable intermediary until I know what exactly I want out of life: writing.

This is my first attempt at it.

I’ve decided on taking on the challenge of storytelling for three reasons: universality, perspective, and, obviously, for my own personal enjoyment. These three attributes were essential as I came up with a skill that I wanted to practice. As I was unsure of the career path that I’d eventually take, I wanted to practice a skill applicable to many. I also wanted a skill that I’d learn to love and love to learn in the process. Finally, I wanted a skill that forced me to learn more and challenge me to look at things from different vantage points and I found writing to check all the boxes.

Writing is a universal skill

The main reason why I want to become a better writer is that writing is a universal skill. It’s a skill that's applicable anywhere.

I believe that writing, as a skill, is severely underrated. Think about it, no matter what career path you choose to take, you’ll have to write something. Perhaps it will be a project proposal, a resume letter, or a simple email, the ability to write compelling and persuasive work is an invaluable skill that few take the time to master.

I’m a firm believer that when speech fails to express emotion, we turn to written words.

With the ability to quickly and clearly elaborate my thoughts while keeping my readers engaged, I believe that writing is a universal skill that would aid in any future career path. The written word isn’t going away; it’s used in every walk of life so learning to write proficiently and persuasively so that others could understand me is absolutely critical.

Writing is enjoyable

I personally find it fun to write. I find the ability to write down my thoughts on my notepad to be an enjoyable activity. As an avid reader myself, I get motivated whenever I finish reading a great book or find an inspiring poem or quote. I feel as though I am compelled to express myself on the page and share my ideas or visions with my readers.

When we find that spark of inspiration and motivation, we just want to ride that wave till it’s gone; it’s an extremely pleasurable experience. When I’m writing, I don’t feel as though I’m confined to the constraints of the page I’m working on. In fact, I feel the opposite.

I feel liberated.

The pages allow me to just let the words flow without a filter. In fact, I wrote this whole section in one go, never stopping to check on my grammar or punctuation. (I will after I’m done though) (Update: I did.)

That’s what it’s like when you’re just writing for the sake of writing. The act of writing down your thought at the moment is beautiful. It’s brilliant. It’s pure magic.

Writing, at the end of the day, is more than just something you do to pass a class or update your boss. It’s a simple therapeutic exercise that anybody could do. I believe that we’ve forgotten the beauty of the act of writing and focus

Writing adds perspective

Everyone has stories to tell and they form the basis of how we communicate and therefore, interact with the world. Humans are drawn to these stories because we see ourselves reflected in them. This is exactly why I think mukbangs are so popular on YouTube; people see themselves and their need to eat a lot of food.

I’m serious. Well, kinda.

Writing and stories are central to human cognition and communication. When we tell other people’s stories, we see the story from their point of view and at that moment, we know what it’s like to be them. It’s a beautiful way to pass on stories and ideas. Leonardo Da Vinci, for one, was a big proponent of journaling. If he didn’t write down his big ideas, how would we have known about them? How would we have been able to take inspiration from his ideas and turn them into our own?

I want to be able to look back 5,10, or even 20 years from now, and read the stories I tell just so I could see how far I come. Practicing my writing is a means to make sure that I don’t fall asleep halfway thru reading them.

More than anything, I’d like to become someone who can inspire people with my writing. If you’ve ever seen a Nike commercial and felt compelled to get out there and change the world, that’s what I feel whenever I finish reading a great book. It’s a feeling of invincibility and unlimited opportunities that I wanna encapsulate on paper.

I just want to share inspiration with the world.

As I take on this immense task of writing, I urge you, the reader, to try and do the same. Take a look at yourself, assess the skills that you currently have, and see what you can offer the world.

If there’s anything that you wanted to do, practice, or learn, this is your call-to-action.

This is your day zero.

Feel free to comment down below about any challenges that you wanna give yourself! Add a reason and write it down for accountability.

Also, if there are any online workshops or training courses that you guys can suggest for me to improve my writing, add that as well!

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