8 Unexpected Ways Sharpening Your Writing Skills Will Make Life Easier

by Julie Petersen

Writing is a timeless skill. If you're already a writer, you likely know the immense value of the craft in areas other than your career. If you're not, I can tell you that writing has the power to elevate your life in a million ways. These ways are difficult to understand until writing makes its way into your blood.

Writing has been a tremendous blessing to me. When my world was crumbling apart, I was able to turn to writing to chronicle my experience and learn from it after the fact. When I travel, I always keep a travel journal with me because it enhances my memories and allows me to gain more from each place I visit.

Writing even allows me to enjoy reading at a new level. I have more appreciation for a great novel today because I have spent so much time working with and arranging bits of language. But I have learned that writing offers more than just an appreciation for art, and more than just assistance when I travel.

It has also given me a new means through which to view the world. It has allowed me to hone my strategic reasoning skills, and to properly analyze an argument.

It has taught me the merits of research, and the strengths of a strong outline. Writing has, in short, given me a method for analyzing myself and how I fit into this massive world. Through writing, I have become more broad-minded and self-aware.

Here are the ways in which writing can do the same for you:

1. You learn to see both sides.

As a writer, it's important to explore all sides of an argument. When you sit down to write an article, you first need to identify with all the different arguments someone could make within an article.

You might choose to argue one side in particular, but it would be unwise to do so without truly understanding the opposing viewpoint. The ability to truly hear and understand both sides makes you a more well-rounded writer.

2. You are more marketable.

Being marketable doesn't necessarily make you broad-minded. However, your marketability as a writer could very well lead you to opportunities, careers and interactions that you otherwise might not have experienced.

The more life experience you have, the more you will learn. Your perspective will broaden.

3. You get to know yourself.

Writers spend a lot of time in contemplation. Whether you're writing a blog article, a diary entry or even a letter, you are consciously deciding which words will best convey your ideas.

This allows you to get to know how you really feel, and what you believe is the most important thing to express. The more you know yourself, the more open you are to other people because at this point, they do not threaten your fragile ego or sense of self.

4. You'll receive constructive criticism.

No writer gets through the day without a little criticism. Sometimes, it's internal criticism: You know you haven't written to your full potential.

But usually, the criticism comes from someone else. It might come from a client, a reader or a family member. This constant criticism (both good and bad) will make you stronger. You can learn from the feedback and grow as a better writer and person.

5. Writing helps you form arguments.

There is a definite structure to writing an argumentative essay. You need to lay out the main idea, and then narrow it down until you have a specific thesis. Once you have your thesis, you need to provide several sources as proof.

After that, you can address any points that might prove your idea false, and you must tackle them head-on. This method recognizes that just because you believe or say something, that doesn't make it true.

It's up to you to formulate a cohesive argument and make a convincing point. This is true in all areas of your life.

6. It gives you critical thinking and logic skills.

Writing requires foresight, planning, outlining, researching and following through. By taking the time to engage in the whole process, you gain some valuable life skills. Both logic and critical thinking are necessary when you're writing anything longer than an email.

Actually, they're needed for writing good emails too. So, boost your creative writing skills. The more you write, the more you will fine-tune these skills, and the more broad-minded you will ultimately become.

7. You're more valuable in your career.

I don't need to know what your career is in order to know that writing will make you more valuable in it. Writing is one of the most important skills you can master. If you are a strong writer, you can better respond to customers or clients.

You can also better articulate your desires or points of view. If you work for someone else, these skills will help you get promoted. If you work for yourself, these skills will help you grow your business. As you grow, you are going to have more life experiences and a broader perspective on the world.

8. You can watch yourself change and grow.

This is specifically for writers who keep a journal or blog, or for those who write short stories often. Your writing is a reflection of who you are when you write it. If you look back at your writing over the past five or 10 years, you'll see how you have grown, and how your opinions have changed.

You'll be able to identify pivotal pieces of writing that have helped shape your world view. You might come across an article or blog post you wrote when you had a different opinion than you do now. Take some time to remember who you were at that time, and learn the value of self-reflection.

By writing regularly, you can begin to witness the changes in your opinions, behavior and attitude about the world. You will begin to open your mind to new ideas, and you will navigate the world as a new person.