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33. Why Writing Helps You Understand Yourself

Writing expands your mind by anchoring and exploring evasive thoughts on paper.
33. Why Writing Helps You Understand Yourself
Photo by Jeremy Bezanger on Unsplash

Writing forces you to explore your thoughts, organize them, question them, wrestle with them, connect them and more. By writing, I slowly disentangle the ball of yarn and create a semi-nice-looking tapestry. The more I write, the more details and clarity my tapestry gains.

I used to always want to write on a daily basis but the habit never stuck. For the last two months, I have written every day for at least 15 minutes and often up to 1.5 hours. I have gained a considerable understanding of myself due to that new habit. I have developed clarity in my ideas, better communication skills, increased patience, faster typing skills, stronger self-discipline and delved into some painful memories, making more sense of them.

Thoughts can be rapid and evasive. Writing them down anchors them on the page. You can finally start considering them in more depth without them running away.

Writing is such an amazing technology! Think about humans pre-writing: the only canvases for ideas were physical drawings, their mind’s eye or the conversational landscape. This always reminds me of David Chalmers’ famous essay The Extended Mind — writing is very much one such tool that extends your mind’s capabilities!