Some Benefits of Writing

One thing I love about writing is that it’s a way to process ideas, so they don’t get stuck in my mind. Writing moves and transforms thought patterns by taking ideas on a journey from one place to another. After writing about an idea, that idea will no longer be mentally stored in the same place. It will have moved from one part of the mind to another, often a place where the idea feels less restless and more peaceful.

Writing reorganizes mental shelves. Sometimes it’s clear where an idea should be placed. Other times ideas jump around quite a bit, never quite sure where they fit, but then writing can at least test and rule out where they don’t fit.

A nice benefit of sharing personal stories through writing is that it helps me make sense of a wide variety of events. Writing structures those events into a long-form personal narrative. That narrative is one possible order among many, but the narrative that emerges from writing is better than the default narrative form during the pre-writing phase. Real life can be chaotic and difficult to understand, and writing personal stories helps me to explore different ways of framing and organizing events in my mind, so I can chose empowering options that keep my overall story progressing in interesting ways. Thanks to writing, my story doesn’t have to remain stuck behind dead-end narratives like victimhood or scarcity. I can write and rewrite my way around those walls.

These benefits can be gained from private journaling, but one benefit that cannot is the ability to create ripples in other people’s lives. Writing is a solitary activity, but when published it invites social consequences. Those consequences can in turn inspire more life events, thereby providing even more writing inspiration. It’s a cycle that could be vicious or delightful depending on how you influence people. By seeking empowering narratives for myself, others are encouraged to do similar mental processing, which often leads to improved results.

I’ve easily written more during the past six months than during any equivalent period of my life before, and I think it’s helped me feel tremendously unstuck. Writing this year has helped me find more peace and flow, even in a world that seems to be doing the opposite.

Writing helps me maintain an unobstructed path to the land of possibility, so I can spend more time dwelling on what could be and less time fussing over what was or what should have been. Writing helps me release ideas into the past, so I can remain receptive to new ones arising in the present.

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Steve Pavlina

Steve Pavlina is an American self-help author, motivational speaker and entrepreneur. He is the author of the web site and the book Personal Development for Smart People.

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