just write more

People sometimes ask me this prompt: “What advice would you give yourself?” I have written fancy versions of this answer. They read more like marketing think pieces.

My real answer – if I could really only tell myself one thing – would be the following: write more.

I’d say the same to you, too. If there is one thing i could tell you, it’s just to write more.

That’s the one advice I’d give. Like if you were to tell freshman year of high school me anything, it’d be write more. He’d learn to read more, too, but it’s all related.

Freshman year of high school me thought of writing as schoolwork, not personal, really. I eventually learned to like writing. But it took me some time. I didn’t get it. Until I did. And it realyl clicked.

Same with college me. Same with any version of me that ever got really happy or got really upset. Or even was just in the middle. The thing to me is that writing more solves all problems.

My dad always used to give me advice to drink more water. I felt like when I was sick, I was always just told to drink water. I wish I was also told to write.

Write more.

It sounds so simple and basically unbelievable. Especially nowadays. It’s like easier to write than ever before. We have all these writing machines — computers, phones, etc. — that lower the activation energy required to get our mind spinning.

But still. Write more.

Why???

Writing is thinking. And thinking is core to most all of our issues. At least in my opinion. Core to my issues I should say. Beyond that – core to who I am as a human. Core to who I want to be as a human. A person who writes is a person who thinks. Who has opinions. Who has awareness. Who has taken things in. And given them distance.

The brain is a very powerful thing that we — talking for all humans here — seem to barely understand. If I were a betting man, which I am not, really, I would certainly say that humanity’s understanding of the brain will grossly evolve in the coming decades. At least I hope.

And if we do, I think we’ll find something akin to writing as an exercise for the brain. An exercise that is only as healthy as the healthiest workout. A workout you can do on and on.

Ugh the above thoughts are half baked. not even. I should write a book about writing. A book of books, really. That’s how important the topic is to me.

If you had asked me, what has changed over the past decade? I would tell you the skill I have worked on the most is writing. And writing is horizontal in that I write all sorts of things. Not just one mode of writing. But I have written in so many contexts…everything from idea generation to problem solving to research to storytelling…all revolves around writing.

I am no expert. I am not at the 10,000 hours…I don’t think. But I am sure that writing is the or if not the I would say a major cure in basically all situations.

I meet a lot of people — and this is perhaps what catalyzed the essay – who try to think without writing. Good for them. I do not really know how they do it. Actual thinking. Deep thought. Research. Really understanding things at a fundamental level.

How?

How do they navigate those waters just in their heads? How do they truly process their ideas?

Part of me thinks they don’t. And they end up with mid / bad ideas.

They end up with surface level thinking. Surface level ideas. Surface level concern and worry. And they don’t really go into it. They don’t externally process it until you ask them a question about it. So they have to think out loud. Which is relatively boring and takes time. Boring in that like I don’t really enjoy the conversations. The back and forth. The waiting for them to have actually thought about a thing. To actually have thought is not about reacting live. People confuse that. Perhaps you learn that in school. Like blurting out answers was a smart thing to do. It made you look quick and smart.

You can be quick and smart. But if I write for 10 hours on a topic, I will be more effective.


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