When we think about writing as a process, we usually think of putting words on paper, on a computer or any other device one after the other aiming to create sentences that make sense. Well, of course I have no objection to that. The physical act where writing actually takes place is exactly that. So, what do I mean when I say that writing is more than words?
Words and a good use of them are necessary elements of writing. Thus, having a rich vocabulary or simply having the knowledge of making a good use of each word is important. However, in my mind, writing is also about lots of other things.
Allow me to explain myself by listing what are the 5 reasons writing is more than words.
5 Reasons Writing is More Than Words
1. Writing is More than Words Because it is Also About Thinking
For most writing products, thinking before you write about what you are going to write is a process you cannot ignore. We need to think about what we are going to write about, how we are going to write it, and what we want to accomplish through our writing.
Writing provides you also the chance to influence your readers. By sharing your ideas through writing, you can change the way your readers think about the world, life, and themselves. Readers can understand the difference that new ideas and ways of thinking can bring into their lives.
Even if sometimes ideas are in contradiction with what they thought until that point, once you can talk to something inside them and get your message through, they will be in it.
So, when I say that writing is about thinking, this involves two different things. The thinking process before, during, and after writing and what can come out of the final written product in terms of how it can affect its readers and the way they think.
“Writing is thinking. To write well is to think clearly. That’s why it’s so hard.”David McCullough
2. Writing is More than Words Because it is Also About Discipline
To write until you complete a writing project is not an easy process. You may ask whoever tries to finish a novel. Writing is about convincing yourself to sit and write even if you don’t feel like it. Even if you have no inspiration or the courage to do so.
Writing is a long-term commitment and to pull it through, you must have the discipline to commit yourself to it day after day until you complete something meaningful. And even then, it does not mean that anything ends. Not at all. You just write and keep on hoping that someone will get interested in it and read it. But it might never happen and yet you must continue writing as if everyone expects you to create a new masterpiece.
To write, you must accept failure and yet still have the discipline and guts to carry on.
“The discipline of writing something down is the first step toward making it happen.”Lee Iacocca
Read also: How Does Freewriting Help to Writer’s Block
3. Writing is About Impacting The World
Good writing can affect the world. In fact, writing can change the world. Any form of writing. Think about it. Throughout human history, lots of books were marked as heretics. The Nazis would burn books because they were afraid of their power.
Think about Marx and the philosophy of Communism. You may also think about all the science fiction books and the inventions that came out due to them. Think of George Orwell and 1984. How many similarities can you identify with the world now?
To name a few of the means by which writing impacts this world, I would say through the ideas shared, persuasion, and imagination.
“The purpose of a writer is to keep civilization from destroying itself.”Albert Camus
4. Writing is About Understanding
When I talk about understanding, I mean understanding yourself, your emotions, and your needs. But not only, writing is also about understanding other people, their feelings, and reactions. It is even about understanding the world a little more.
Through writing, you process everything differently. When writing, you can constantly ask yourself why. While trying to provide answers to these questions, you may have a better understanding of everything.
“As a writer, you should not judge, you should understand.”Ernest Hemingway
5. Writing is About Helping Thoughts Become Clearer
Apart from understanding, sometimes when you have many things in your mind, you get frustrated. You feel like there is a war taking place inside your head. Writing can help in clearing out your thoughts by putting them in some order and showing you the way out of frustration.
Even the physical act of giving permission to your thoughts to exist somewhere else than just inside your head can lift a weight off your shoulders. Those thoughts stop dancing around. They get shaped and transformed into something you can deal with.
Having a clear thought can definitely lead to a more stress-free version of yourself.
“Words are a lens to focus one’s mind.”Ayn Rand
Final thoughts on Why Writing is More Than Words
To sum up, words are the basic elements of writing. However, writing is all about thinking. About making you as a writer think and about making your readers think too. Writing is also about teaching you discipline and commitment.
Written products have affected this world and even were the starting points of revolutions.
Through writing, you understand yourself, others, and the world better. Writing can finally help you win the war of thoughts inside your mind.
“A word after a word after a word is power.”Margaret Atwood
“I can shake off everything as I write; my sorrows disappear, my courage is reborn.”Anne Frank
These are just some reasons that make me believe that writing is more than words.
What do you think? What other reasons can you think that make writing be more than words?
I would love to read your thoughts in the comments below.
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