Why Is Writing Important?
All of us have been writing for as long as we can remember, right?
Beginning with the earliest squiggly scrawls to the proper arrangement of words on paper, writing is a skill that most of us take for granted. Yet, although we are prolific practitioners of the craft, we’ve never really stopped to take time and wonder why is writing important?
But you should! Even in the age of digital media (and more so because of it), writing is one of the essential skills of the 21st century. No matter what profession you belong to, writing is a skill you have to master for success.
So today, we are going to take a tour of the written word and understand why writing is important in life. We’re also going to explore the history of writing, and take time to delve into the practical benefits of inculcating good writing habits.
Writing is perhaps the one skill that sets humans apart from other living beings on the planet. While most animal species have some means of communication, recording such conversation in written form is unique to humans. But what is the purpose of writing? To understand this, let’s go back a few centuries to ancient Mesopotamia, where writing is said to have begun.
It must be mentioned, however, that expression of thought in the form of written or pictorial records have existed since prehistoric times. Cave paintings and pictography are the precursors to the written word. But writing as a systematized skill was first recorded in Mesopotamia, almost 5500 years ago.
It has been discovered that in the beginning, the writing was simply a pictorial representation of real-world events. These events mainly comprised of trade records and matters of administrative importance.
Eventually, however, the system was replaced by a more complex set of characters representing an amalgamation of Sumerian speech and other languages. This was recorded with reed styluses on clay tablets; hence the writing had a wedge-shaped characteristic. This is known today as cuneiform.
It is also believed that around the same time, writing was discovered independently in Egypt. Later on, the Chinese, Mesoamerican, and Indus valley civilizations also adopted the written word.
In most cases, writing as a skill was a means of recording important events, commercial transactions, and even royal births and deaths. From this, it is clear that throughout history, humanity has used writing as a uniquely valued skill, simply because it allows us to capture essential pieces of information.
But this was in the age before computers, you’d argue. Right now, in the time of digital media and the internet, writing is undoubtedly a secondary skill? Well, if that’s what you think, then you are in for a surprise!
You’re probably reading this on a smart device, most likely your phone or tablet. But the very fact that you’re reading this implies that someone has written it!
Writing as a mode of communication is essential in the 21st century. Rather than make it redundant, digital media has made it even more important to have writing skills. Whether you’re sending an email, preparing a report for the boss, or texting your sweetheart, writing as a form of expression is now more pervasive than ever.
The importance of writing doesn’t stop here, however. The applications of writing go far beyond merely written communication. The following are some of the most relevant reasons why writing is important, even today.
The legendary philosopher Rene Descartes wrote: “I think, therefore I am.” Cogent thought is one of the hallmarks of modern civilization, and what is writing but the organization of thought into recorded media!
Our minds can often be a turbulent morass of thoughts, and numerous impulses can create a sense of confusion in the brain. Setting our thoughts down on paper allows us to create a structure for the same.
Once you write something down, you are essentially giving it a real physical existence in the form of words. This can lead to better organization of mental processes, greater depth of thought, and improved mental performance in general. And as everyone knows, an organized mind is a better mind.
Just knowing how to write is not an end in itself, however. You need to be able to write in a way that can be understood by the person reading your piece. Also, another critical factor to know is why is diction important in a piece of writing.
Diction primarily refers to an author’s style of writing, choice of words, and the overall tone that the writer uses while writing. And it is diction that separates good writing from a bad one.
A well-written piece of text, with proper vocabulary, structured sentences, and right grammar is always better received than a shoddy document that’s hurriedly put together. Your diction, as you write, is proof of an educated mind, which is a must in today’s world of intense competition. Which, of course, brings us to our next point.
For a moment, consider yourself to be a hiring manager, and you have two resumes in front of you. Both candidates are equally qualified for the job, and you’re in a quandary regarding who to hire. Then you notice that while the resume of the first candidate is pristinely done, the second one is full of mistakes and spelling errors.
Who are you going to hire?
The choice is essentially a no-brainer! Good writing always trumps a carelessly written document, and in the professional arena, good writing is one of the most intensely valued skills. It doesn’t matter if you’re a brain surgeon, a lawyer, or an accountant, writing is something that you’ll always have to deal with. So it’s best to pick up the skill while there’s time and keep practicing to get better at it. With proper writing skills, you are sure to land that dream job.
So you need to nail that next client meet, or make a presentation that speaks for itself. Apart from domain knowledge and business skills, writing skills are a must to succeed in any commercial venture. Writing as a means of communication can appeal to potential partners, clients, and, most importantly, customers.
That’s why copywriters are some of the most highly paid individuals in any business. Good copy ensures that customers take the desired actions, and this naturally translates to better leads and sales.
Well-written email communication still provides higher returns than any other mode of marketing, both traditional and digital. So if you are a business owner, there’s absolutely no way you can ignore the power of the written word.
We’ve already mentioned why writing is important for organizing thought. And organized thought directly leads to more organized speech. Good writers can pool in their mental faculties and coherently structure their thought processes.
This, in turn, allows them to better express themselves both through the written as well as the spoken word. As a result, great writers are almost always great speakers. Since they have the power of the word by their side, they can influence the masses with their speeches and motivational talks.
Great business leaders have realized the significance of writing, and this allows them to articulate their ideas better.
Finally, writing is one of the best avenues by which you can connect with your inner self. When writing, you are essentially communing with the deepest part of your mind and soul. This allows you to dip into the inner recesses of your psyche, and churn out thoughts that lie buried deep within.
Writing is one of the best methods of self-expression and can have a cathartic effect on your mind. This is why keeping a daily journal is recommended as one of the best ways to make sure that your life is on the right track. Specific psychological treatments recommend that the patients write their thoughts down as part of the procedure, and this has been found to be beneficial in several cases.
Whether it’s about education, career, or just self-expression, writing is still one of the best modes of communication. And no matter what career path you take, writing skills are always going to keep you in good stead.
So, it doesn’t matter whether you are a student or a professional; excellent writing skills are something that you should never neglect. For, at the end of the day, when the trials are done, there’s nothing more relaxing than sitting down with pen and paper (or screen and keyboard) and putting down your thoughts.
What do you think? Do remember to write in and let us know.