If anybody ever tries to tell you that writing is worthless or a waste of time, whether it is as a hobby or as a career, you are allowed to slap them because they are wrong. Ok, you probably shouldn’t really slap them, even if they deserve it.
Writing means different things for different people and can be done for any number of reasons. There’s nothing wrong with just writing because you enjoy it but if people ask, there are many valid reasons to write for fun and many ways that writing can affect your life in a positive way, often without you even realising it. These are just some of the ways that I’ve come up with.
- Providing an outlet.
Much safer and healthier than venting your feelings with violence or keeping them bottled up is venting them through words. Writing is a popular hobby amongst people who have no other means to express themselves, such as prisoners or people in long term hospital care. It feels good to have control over something in your life, even if it is an imaginary world inside your own head.
It is also more important than ever to tell things from your own perspective. You may feel that the characters in the media don’t represent how people really are or marginalise certain groups. This is because these characters are often the constructs of rich producers rather than regular people.
- Learning new things.
Writing will always lead you to doing some kind of research, even if you’re writing your own life story, which will help you learn and discover things you would otherwise not have found out about. You may be surprised at what new interests you find. This research will also prompt you to get out and explore more often to places you wouldn’t normally visit. This might turn into an adventure worth writing about in itself.
- People will be impressed with you.
Most people would like to think they have a book in them or say they’re going to write someday when they have more time but barely any of them will actually do it. This is why people are so impressed by someone who actually takes their writing seriously or works hard enough on it to finish something or even get it published. You’re guaranteed to always have something interesting about yourself to mention at parties. Just don’t get too carried away and become the insufferable genius writer who everyone hates.
- You’ll gain a rare skill.
If you do decide to start writing professionally, it can be overwhelming at first to see the number of freelance writers out there all competing for the same gigs. But if you write well, work hard, and meet deadlines then you are already in the top category of freelance writers, even as a beginner. Once you figure out the secret of how and where to pitch then you’re golden. (I’ll be writing a blog post about how I did this later on.) Writing skills will always be in demand even as society and technology change and writing can be done from anywhere with no formal education or training.
Even if you don’t want to write professionally, the skills you gain from writing as a hobby will help you immensely in your everyday life. Good writing skills will help you stand out from other job applicants, gain credibility in your work, and become more disciplined.
- A feeling of accomplishment.
Whether it’s a sales flyer you wrote in an hour or an epic fantasy trilogy you’ve spent years working on, nothing feels better than finishing a piece of writing. We all need this feeling at times to give ourselves a boost. Sometimes our society gives us the impression that if something doesn’t make money or benefit humanity in some way then it is worthless. Your writing won’t always be praised and it won’t always be great, especially the first time around, but if you enjoyed writing it and you got something out of it then it can never be considered a waste of time. You’ll never know what doors will be opened up for you when you begin to write.
Writers, what unexpected ways has your writing helped you in your daily life? Share in the comments below.