I am writing to become better at something that is essential: communication. I was not born a great communicator. I am timid and when faced with anxiety, my ideas can become hard to connect, resulting in incoherent speech. Therefore, I remain quiet. Ok, maybe it is not that severe, but I could certainly improve this skill. Stress just derails my thoughts and flusters my confidence in my own ability to talk. Writing is approachable in the sense that except for a blank screen, there is nothing worrying looking back at you. It allows me to sort my thoughts, play around with ideas, put them down, realize that there is no central thread, edit them and hopefully arrive at a coherent whole. It further challenges me to think in a single language as I fumble to remember how we say un fil (French) in English (a thread, which I struggled on in the previous sentence). Also, I have come to realize that I often miss key context when telling a story. This occurs when there is a clear scene of it in my head and I assume that others will implicitly comprehend its key obvious details. However, that is not the case, and often these obvious details are remarkably important and explicitly stating them mends the communicational divide.
In addition, writing dramatically increases my enjoyment of written works in general. When coming up on a well-written article, book or anything else, I pay much more attention than before to subtle uses of language, vocabulary that I am unfamiliar with and imaginative storytelling methods. I am more interested because I constantly see how I can incorporate them into my own work and thereby improve it. This motivates me to further expose myself to great written works, improving my own writing even more.
Writing is also a reasonably uncomplicated daily practice. Nothing is required for it, except for a computer or in simpler circumstances, a pen and paper. It instills discipline, a favourite of mine, as I set out to write every day of the week. Sometimes I miss days — or many days — but my sole goal is to return to that daily practice. It is acceptable to miss days and I will not admonish myself for it as my goal is to experience pleasure through a new habit, not to find a new way to censure myself for a lack of performance (which...unfortunately, I am guilty of).
Writing in the evening is also therapeutic for me. I have attempted journaling countless times and never stuck to the routine. I always thought that it had to be about myself and what I did during the day. While I do write a lot about that, I also actively explore my interests that I would generally ignore. Overall, it becomes a creative pursuit through which I gain a greater understanding of myself and the world. I reckon that is the organizational nature of writing, which forces one to sequentially order a jumble of ideas such that it creates a (hopefully) coherent whole.
For me, writing is the first step to improving my communication skills. At some point, I plan to embarrass myself by creating videos. Like most, I am not fond of hearing the sound of my voice or seeing myself filmed. However, I believe it will undoubtedly help develop my presentational skills which will directly carry into my job. While programmers are not asked to be great presenters, I admire great speakers who are clear, concise and do not use “Ums” and “Ahs”, and these skills can only help me to clearly express ideas, problems and solutions. Finally, I love being able to clearly express ideas. Interacting with other human beings is, while sometimes acutely uncomfortable as an introvert, a historically invaluable source of growth and delight for me. Improving my ability to interact with others can only enrich this enjoyment.