Spoiler: none of the benefits listed here include money, fame or literary recognition…I'm trying to remind myself, and others, about the amazing privilege and fun of being writer, even when we're frustrated to upteenth degree by yet another rejection letter or struggling to finish that first draft or just can't figure out how to fix a sentence…

So, I was thinking that even if I never ever sold a book, what have I really gained with all of the effort I've put in to writing and practicing writing and editing and just coming up with stories and characters over the course of my life? Well, I've put together an incomplete (and editable) list:

  1. You become a more observant person. This isn't to say that everything that happens in your life and all relationships suddenly become fodder for your novel-cannon—rather, in just the process of writing (when imagining or remembering certain exchanges, when describing setting—look, feel, smell, taste—or when trying to nail down those exact words which will perfectly elucidate what you're trying to say), you are in effect practicing those observation muscles and recording those observations in a way few people ever do.
  2. Your mind becomes a crazy horde of words. Yep, thumbing through that thesaurus nonstop will give you some mad diction skills. Soon enough, you'll be popping out words like "ogling" and "commiseration" and "obfuscation" in every day speech. Your partner or children or parents or coworkers will turn and look at you and say,"Obfuscation!?!" and you'll be like, "Yep, it means shadowing or making something dark…"
  3. You become a better communicator. Whether in email or posting on Reddit or texting about the slurpee you just gulped down, writing begets better writing. By just editing your words or learning how to be more concise and clear in what you have to say, you're helping people all over (probably in more ways than you realize) to understand these magical things called words and what they can do.
  4. You get to spend a lot of time in worlds of your own making. This applies to fiction, but can apply to non-fiction. Few people have the guts, nonetheless the imagination skills, to just start with a blank white sheet of paper (or word processor) and just go—just start writing it down, mapping it out, outlining, creating this totally unique place that only you could have created. That is all your own.
  5. You just maybe get the chance to give something back. Writing is one of those things that's all in the giving. Whether your audience is a betareader, your five-year-old, your English teacher or a whole mass of followers, you are giving them something more than just a bunch of words on a sheet of paper. Something to believe in? Something to enjoy? Something important? It's totally up to you.
  6. And lastly, you've just got guts and a well-oiled creativity organ. Guts because a lot of people hate writing or, at the least, would rather not do it if they don't have to. It's a lot of work, and there are no guarantees, so you've got guts for just diving in there and seeing what comes out. And a well-oiled creativity organ—which is pretty self-explanatory. But the ways your imagination will spark and come to impact your real life and become a joy for the ones around you, is a real benefit that has no bounds.
Read:  [Weekly Critique Thread] Post Here If You'd Like Feedback On Your Writing

This turned out much longer than I anticipated…

Thanks for reading! And just KEEP ON Writing!

Source: reddit post


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