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What Does Writing to Learn Promotes?

I always thought that writing was used mainly for leisure, but it turns out that I was greatly mistaken. Yes, you read that correctly. Just like any other skill or hobby, you can use writing to learn something new, whether it’s how to write a better summary for a review, craft a perfect email to ask for a favor, or just to engage with another human being.

In some instances, writing can definitely be a fun distraction. For example, you could write a poem, describe a scene from a novel, or list your favorite hobbies and talents. In most cases, though, writing is a tool that you can utilize to learn something new.

To that end, here are just a few examples of how writing can (and often does) lead to personal and professional growth:

Personal Growth

One of the biggest benefits of writing is that it can help you grow as a person. For example, if you’re having trouble expressing yourself or feel that you have a lack of social skills, writing is a great way to work on these issues. It can also help you become more open-minded and can teach you to question your assumptions.

In one study, participants were asked to write a description of a time when they were exposed to a culture they were not familiar with. Not only did this help them improve their knowledge about the subject, but it also helped them develop an awareness about different perspectives and different ways of thinking. As a result, they were more capable of understanding, accepting, and appreciating the views of others (2).

Professional Growth

Even in the workplace, writing can be an excellent way to improve your productivity and gain confidence. If you’re struggling with written communication and want to become better at pitching or writing articles, you can practice with an easy to follow journaling guide. By simply taking notes on how you perform, you can pinpoint ways in which you can strengthen your writing and gain more from your colleagues. To that end, many workplaces have started requiring employees to take notes during meetings or to have a notebook nearby so that they can jot down ideas as they come to mind. It can also be a great tool for creative individuals who want to come up with ideas to solve problems or to think of new approaches to challenges.

In one study, participants were assigned to either a handwritten or a typewritten condition. Afterward, they were asked to complete a short story about an imaginary colleague. Those who wrote with their hands improved their creative thinking and problem-solving capabilities (3).

How Does It Feel To Write?

One of the things that often gets lost in translation when someone writes for fun is how much it actually feels like they’re working. If you’re the type of person who feels completely relaxed and effortless when you’re putting your thoughts on paper, you’re in for a treat. However, if you find that writing is a chore and you constantly have to be pushing yourself to keep up, you may not see the full advantage of this creative hobby.

To that end, if you’re looking to start writing, it may be a good idea to try and find a way to make it more fun. One way to do this is to give yourself a reward when you complete a writing goal- such as writing for a certain length of time or producing a certain number of words.

For example, if you’re struggling with procrastination and you want to find a way to get yourself into writing mode, you can set a timer for ten minutes and challenge yourself to write down all the negative thoughts that are going through your mind. When the timer goes off, you can stop what you’re doing and go back to your writing. The act of putting your thoughts on paper will feel good, and it may even inspire you to do additional writing- regardless of whether it’s for fun or for class.

How Can It Help In Learning?

The act of writing is often times associated with leisure, but that’s far from the truth. In fact, using writing to learn can be a great way to increase your chances of getting a good grade for the class. If you’re in need of some extra help, you can ask the teacher for some special writing assignments that will help you understand the material better. Some instructors even give extra credit for originality and creativity.

In one study, participants were taught about organic and non-organic farming techniques, and then assigned to write either about their knowledge of organic farming or their experience with it. Those who wrote about their knowledge were more likely to get a high score on a test than those who wrote about their experience. This shows that learning through writing can be an effective way of gaining knowledge (4).

Additional Tips

If you decide that you want to give writing a try, it may be a good idea to sign up for a creative writing group with friends or family members. This will help you find the inspiration and courage to write something down even if you feel like it’s not good enough to be published. It will also provide you with a fresh set of eyes to critique your work, and hopefully help you find the hidden gems that you can bring to the world- just like Anne Currier did for Emily Dickinson!

Last but not least, if you really want to push your writing skills to the limit, why not consider trying your hand at some creative non-fiction? This is a form of writing that combines memoir with fact. For example, you could write an article about your experience with a famous brand or product, or you can even write an entire book about the topic. Some famous examples of creative non-fiction include Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood and Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird, and it’s usually required reading for many journalism classes.