I started writing as a way to add credibility to my resume. Beyond a few published articles, I had no intention of continuing. What I wanted was an interesting work life, and my lack of success in finding this prompted me to search for new, self sufficient methods I could utilize to build my skillset. My first article was simply the result of being struck by a thought while spending time somewhere unfamiliar, and figuring that I may as well try something new and unfamiliar while I was at it. In that moment, the sole purpose of writing was to function as a tool for building myself up. A lot has changed since then.
Although I first started to write over two years ago, it was only recently that I decided to put forth a commitment to regular writing. My writing used to be absolutely sporadic, only occurring when a wave of inspiration came into my reality. Organizing my thoughts was difficult, as I stewed over pieces for ages before they were of any quality worth sharing. One of the biggest changes I have noticed since I first started is the actual improvement of my content. First, my grammatical ability has been amplified, but most noticeable for me is my greater ability to connect and articulate thoughts with increasing accuracy. These are just the ways in which my writing has improved, but there are things outside the act of writing that have improved as a result as well.
Writing is an inherently creative process. What I have learned is that creativity is like a muscle. It starts small, but grows with practice and new challenges. I was recently listening to a podcast with Canadian author Malcolm Gladwell where he states that the best thing for his creativity was having daily deadlines. It forced him to generate ideas and write frequently. This process helped him develop an instinctive ability to brainstorm and in turn, create. Writing often has enhanced my ability to think in new, alternative forms. In an interesting way, expressing my ideas often is actually fuelling my ability to conceive them as well. The “ideas” note in my phone grows daily, far faster than my ability to even produce articles. Adopting the mindset of a content creator has helped me break into projects that are beyond the realm of creative writing alone. It’s exciting. I now work in a creative industry and am now experiencing opportunities to work with creatives and outspoken individuals of all sort. It has become another source of inspiration and is allowing me the chance to get involved in new modes of production I have never experimented with before now.
“Every creative act, however small, enriches our species and the world around us. To find and nurture talent, is to be truly wealthy.” – Stewart Stafford
As a writer, reading and writing go hand in hand. The things I read and the things I listen to are often the source material for new projects. Books and audio content consume a generous amount of my time which, consequently, inspires the bulk of my articles. Writing more has catalyzed me to read and listen more. It’s kind of like a positive feedback loop of new knowledge and (hopefully) greater skill. During university I neglected books and many forms of reading. Endless amounts of school work shaped a personal belief that reading was always and exclusively a chore. After, when outside that learning environment, I found the absence of a learning process instilled within me the urge to find new ones. This spurred me to start writing and reading again, with the amount of reading increasing equal to the amount I started writing. It still amazes me how much my passion for learning has changed since my days as a 16 year old with an unhealthy obsession for snowboarding and nearly nothing else. Reading, writing, and vulnerability are all things I now enjoy and continue to have more and more fun with the deeper I go.
Writing started small for me and has evolved into something entirely different. I write often, I write better, and that’s because I enjoy the process involved. For myself personally, the benefit lies in the opportunity to be a creator. Before I started writing I only consumed. I read, I watched, I listened, and I bought. Everything was taken inward but I had nothing to reflect outward. The new ways of thinking involved in writing regularly stimulates the mind in a unique way that can truly shift our mental schema. I think we live in an era where this is becoming an incredibly valuable ability. Creators innovate. Creators lead, and creators mold their own path in a world where everything seems to be pre-defined and pre-destined for us. I began creating as an early step toward an eventual ability to avoid typical corporate 9-5 life, but many others do the same to thrive in that environment. It all depends what you are looking for.
From the beginning, I began writing to bring value to my situation in whatever way I could. What I didn’t realize was how much value this interest would truly manifest. Creation is an intangible skill that will change your life over time through repetition, through working that creative muscle. It can be as simple as knitting scarves for your friends or cooking new dishes. Finding a way to express yourself outwardly is something that needs to be taken advantage of and not for granted. Becoming a creator will alter and grow your mindset in ways that are difficult to describe, and this is not exclusive to writing or any individual art form for that matter. Any creative interest that brings value to your life is good.