Writing is a character building activity. I used to think it was merely to express oneself. I reasoned that unlike reading, writing cannot teach me anything. To my surprise, I learnt a lot after I started blogging and that did not just pertain to the topics I was writing about, grammar, punctuation, writing style and blogging etiquette. Here’s how writing will make you a better person:
There is no clear cut formula to measure good writing. You may have written a few pages for your novel last night thinking it was the best idea after the invention of the wheel and sliced bread, but when you read it today morning you gape through plot holes. You may open up your old blog posts and think you used to write much better earlier, but are not as good anymore. You may read a book you like and wish you wrote as well as the author.
Writers are not immune to being overconfident, but in general, writing and self-doubt go hand in hand. After a lot of initial harsh self-criticism, you finally accept that you have some days when you are great and some days when you are not so good. So, whenever someone appreciates your writing, you stay humble. There is a big chance that this modesty carries over to things other than writing as well.
Writing is a very creative process. Even if you are a non-fiction author, you need to present the facts in a way that will hook your reader. When it comes to creative pursuits, there is no rule to what is good and what is not. This leads to a clash between people who love something and people who hate it. We’ve all seen hateful comments on articles online, ugly fights over Goodreads book reviews, obscene comments on YouTube videos and trolling on Facebook/WhatsApp.
As a writer, you know how hard it is to create something and you respect the views of creators and artists. They could be bloggers, authors, YouTubers, meme creators, musicians, painters, sculptors, actors or even sports players. You start respecting other people’s opinions, even if you don’t agree with them. You don’t engage in cyberbullying because artists are people too.
Buying original material
If you are serious about publishing a book, you will start wondering how many people will buy it. You will also start worrying whether people will download it illegally or buy a cheaper pirated copy as opposed to buying an original copy. Now that your possible future income is threatened to reduce by multiple folds due to piracy, you start thinking about other authors.
The next time you want to illegally download a bestselling book or the latest movies or buy a cheap pirated DVD, you imagine the amount of effort people would have put in and stop yourself from doing the wrong thing. You may even preach your friends and relatives to always buy the original.
Making good use of bad situations
They say nothing is wasted on a writer. You can’t always retort to the people who hurt you. That’s where writing comes to the rescue. You could pour your heart out in an anonymous blog or expose an uncomfortable truth in an article. If you hate someone’s character, you could extrapolate and write your fictional baddies based on them.
The next time you face a bad situation, you can think of it as an experience because you can now write about how to handle it or write a character in your novel who undergoes a similar situation. The next time someone hurts you and you can’t or don’t want to fight back, you can avoid getting angry or upset because you have a medium to get back at them.
I’m not saying getting back at people is a good thing, but it is good to not bicker with people and stay calm in all situations. Knowing that you can secretly get your revenge on people without actually harming them is enough to make you cool down and hold your composure. If writing can stop you from getting angry, it means you won’t do something in the spur of the moment which you’ll regret later.
These are the 4 unexpected perks I could relate to. Do you find any other surprising benefits? Comment below!