Writers often find themselves in two camps at the same time: writing for ‘fun’ and writing for work.
On our own time, writing allows us to explore new worlds, share stories with imaginary or real audiences and fulfills us in a way not many other things can.
Employers hire good writers because they’re good at telling stories, convincing people to buy things and branding. Good writers communicate messages and information in a way that makes audiences understand and act on them, which makes us pretty marketable, all things considered.
Good writing helps us fulfill our deepest, darkest ambitions and sometimes helps us get jobs, too. But that’s not all it’s good for, you know.
It has hidden benefits outside the professional world, benefits you might not have thought of before. Here are a few.
It makes people think you’re smart
You already are smart. Really! But have you ever received an email from someone that just doesn’t read right? They’re missing words or don’t finish thoughts. They mean to come off as professional but certainly don’t come off as sounding intelligent – even if they are!
The same goes for blog posts or any other form of online communication. If you can’t clearly outline your argument or make your point clear, people aren’t going to take you seriously.
You don’t have to write everything like you would a research paper. But choose your words, and the way you present them, carefully.
It convinces people to pay attention to your ideas
Have you ever scrolled through Facebook comments (not recommended) and completely skipped over the ones that just don’t make sense because of the way they’re written? Poor spelling and grammar (plus disorganized ideas, contradictory sentences, etc.) not only makes you look pretty dumb, it completely strips you of any credibility you might have otherwise had. (Unless English isn’t your first language, there’s really no reason to still be having this problem.)
People won’t pay attention to the point you’re trying to make underneath all the mess because they can’t get past the way you’ve worded things or how you’re presenting your argument.
It may just be social media, but it’s a wonderful place to spread ideas if used correctly. Dive in with words as your shield and all the hateful comments (maybe) sort of might not hurt your ego so much.
It could get you a date
Wait, what? Okay, so this one’s a little ‘out there,’ but think about it. Why do people turn to online dating in the first place? Because they want to get to know as much about someone as possible before actually taking the time to hang out with them.
It’s easier. It’s convenient. People can decide, by photos and minimal biographical information, whether they want to give a person a chance or not.
Which means what you write on there is your way of getting someone’s attention and drawing them in. Sort of like pitching an article, except you’re pitching your best qualities in hopes someone will meet you for coffee. Or something.
You have storytelling skills, darn it! Use them!
Developing your writing skills doesn’t just make you marketable as a professional. It makes you marketable as a person in the real world, too.
Image courtesy of Ministerio TIC Colombia/flickr.com.