Why I Write
Writing is my superpower.
My writing ability is one of the reasons I’ve got this far in my career. It’s been called out in every promotion I’ve had, and regularly comes up in performance reviews.
More recently, my writing on data contracts has unlocked so many opportunities for me; from podcasts to talks and meetups to an opportunity to write a book.
Until recently, I’d never really focused on learning how to write. Maybe, as an introvert, I’ve just found it easier to communicate by written words rather than spoken. So, I wrote more than most, including on this site since 2008(!), and that practice pays off.
Often, I’m writing for myself. By writing things down I feel forced to think critically about the subject. What do I know? What don’t I know? Am I able to explain it clearly? It’s a forcing function to help clarify my ideas.
Some of this stays private, in my notes app. But making it visible, either to my colleagues at work or wider on the internet, is a great way to hold myself to account. If I don’t feel comfortable publishing, that tells me I need to spend more time thinking it through.
Luckily for me, the ability to write well is more important than ever. Most of us do most of our professional communication on something like Slack or Teams, particularly as we spend more time working remotely. The quality of that communication affects how well you’ll work with others and the relationships you build with them.
Beyond the day-to-day, it’s by writing high quality documents that you get decisions made in an organisation - particularly larger ones. It’s how you persuade and convince others to do what you need. It’s how you get budget approval and backing from someone you’ve never met.
Almost every job description will have something like “exceptional written communication skills”, and writing exercises are increasingly being added to interview processes. Being a good writer is no longer a nice to have - it’s a must.
So, that’s why I write. And it’s why you should, too.
Cover image from Unsplash.